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Say Goodbye to Energy Thieves

Have you ever spent time with someone and when you walk away you feel completely depleted of any of the vitality you started out with? You go with a spring in your step only to feel like you’ve been trampled upon, or worse still, knocked to the ground. A great friend who can smell bullshit for miles, recently referred to these people as ‘energy thieves’ and it struck a chord.  

Until not so long ago, I used to brush myself off and for some reason now unbeknown to me, be forgiving and go back for more. I think it was part of a ridiculous notion not to cause offense. Perhaps they don’t know the effect their behaviors and unkind words has on others. Or unhealthier still, they are aware, and take great joy in their relentless negativity and cruel words.

At this point in life, many of us are not willing to put up with it anymore. If I invite you for a hike or picnic with a group of us, then you are welcome to join, but we are not changing all the plans to suit you. I don’t want endless commentary about who I choose to spend time with, it’s my business. If you don’t like the way I cook, then don’t come for dinner. As for how I wear my hair, I’m not even going to respond.

I’ve made the mistake of being lured into narcissistic webs, where I’ve shared thoughts and been vulnerable, only to doubt myself, feel crushed and most definitely not uplifted. Energy thieves are not specific with their prey. They are habitual perpetrators and follow a pattern. They are not people who are simply having a bad week, month or year and need a leg up from friends.

They are unhappy to their core but, want you to believe everything is rosy and you are the one doing everything wrong. Snide digs and hapless jibes no longer. It’s time for boundary boss (another term I borrowed from a close friend who is reading a book with the same title).

Why is this all relevant for a blog? This little article is for the people pleasers out there, those of us who have taken too long to put a plug in a destructive drain. This is the magic of menopause and middle age; an inner shield you’ve carried but failed to use. It’s the self-propelled strength needed to shut out those vampires who feed on belittling.

The boss who can’t see your value, the partner who shuts down your voice, the so-called friend who questions your integrity, the family member who can’t let you shine, the list goes on, but you get the picture.

I urge fellow people pleasers, grab your shield and put it into action. Change takes time and remember to reward small steps. Give others a chance to see and hear your boundaries and believe it’s okay to walk away to protect your wellbeing and self-esteem.

Here’s few pointers to get you started.

  • Know yourself, create and uphold boundaries. It’s easy for them to be discounted by others if you haven’t put them up in the first place.

  • Don’t take things personally, different opinions make the world go round, just because you can’t agree doesn’t make either of you wrong.

  • Communicate your feelings and don’t let things fester to the point where resolution seems impossible.

  • Speak up or walk away. Toxic voices can’t be heard if you don’t entertain them.

  • Take ownership for your own behavior, we all want to be treated with respect.

  • Avoid shame, everyone makes mistakes so guilt and constantly reliving negative self-talk only causes further distress and harm.

  • Listen to your inner voice, if something doesn’t feel right, that feeling is there for a reason; it’s called self-preservation.

  • Noone is perfect and sometimes we need advice on our actions or behaviors, just make sure you are hearing it from someone with well-meaning intent.

  • Learn to say no when you need to.

  • Surround yourself with those who give you strength, inspire you and most of all, accept you for the person you are.




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