UNITY OF VANCOUVER
“How to Recognize and Protect Yourself from Energy Vampires”
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
October 26 & November 1, 2008
All Rights Reserved
Each millisecond of our relationships is governed by a give and take of energy. Interaction
with some people makes us more energized and at ease and others suck the life right out of
us. Energy Vampires roam the world sapping the exuberance of the uninformed and
unprotected. Many people are walking Zombies enduring a preventable fatigue. Everyone
The first question to ask yourself is: “How do I know if I’ve encountered an Energy Vampire?” The dominant tip-off is that even after a brief contact he or she seems more alive and you feel worse. In fact, you may want to sleep, overeat, or crawl into some hole and vanish for at least a week.
Have you ever notice that in a horror movie there are always scenes where someone is walking down a dark street or alley or entering a decrepit, deserted house on a hill and
innocently or ignorantly walking to their doom? As you watch you may even yell at the
screen “Don’t go there!” or “How can you be so stupid!” You may even tell yourself “I
would never do that!” or “I wouldn’t get out of the car if there were Zombies all around it!”
or “If I heard the sound of a chainsaw or knew someone was waiting to do me in, I would
never open the door & invite them in!” Yet most likely you’ve ignored one or more of the
Here are a few of them:
Does your chest tighten every time a certain person enters the room
or a conversation?
1. OBSERVE how your energy responds to particular people.
2. KEEP A JOURNAL of any significant Vampire assaults, especially with people that you
3. MAKE A LIST with 6 columns:
EVERYONE is susceptible to Vampires, but there are things that put you at higher risk. For example: Not enough sleep, Poor diet, Lack of exercise, No spiritual replenishment, Excessive work, Emotional stress, Illness, Substance abuse, and if your Intuitive empathy is on overdrive. Notate any personal additions to this list in your Journal.
Protecting yourself from Energy Vampires requires diligently taking care of yourself in order to maintain the integrity of your Energy Field. You may be surprised to discover that in some relationships or situations that you are a ‘Drainer’ while in others you are a ‘Target’. Either way, you can learn to Red-Flag behaviors in others or yourself. As you learn to identify the different species of Vampires and the appropriate action to take, you will no longer be fair game. In addition, you will discover healthier ways to get energy,
THERE ARE 9 COMMON TYPES OF ENERGY VAMPIRES
#1. THE SOB SISTER: Whenever you talk to her, she is whining, complaining and casting herself in the role of victim. The world is always against her and blaming her for her own unhappiness. This may stem from a childhood feeling of total helplessness or from modeling after whiner-parents. Her posture may be as droopy as her energy field. You start to droop too as she recounts the gruesome details of her misadventures, wallowing in each perceived slight. You find yourself listening for hours, hearing the same complaints over and over. She ends up renewed. You end up exhausted. When you present a solution ‘SOB SISTER’, says, “Yes, but.” (Yes, there are also ‘SOB BROTHERS.’)
MAKE CHANGES NOW: You may want to scream, “You are selfish and self-obsessed and I
can’t take you anymore,” but resist it. Instead take a deep breath and shift the focus of your
attention to your Heart Center and say, “I really value our relationship, but when you keep
rehashing the same things over and over, it wears me out. I can listen for 10 minutes but
that’s my limit. When you want to talk solutions, I’m here for you.” With a co-worker, take a
less direct approach. Keep emphasizing that you have work to do and can only listen for 5
minutes. If after that time, the co-worker is still complaining, redirect the conversation or
politely end it and walk away. If she ignores your request, reduce contact. If she pushes
your buttons, decide not to react and set clear boundaries. Not doing so sends out the
signal, “Take my energy. It’s yours!” By setting consistent limits and saying the same
statement each time (Using the Broken Record technique) the relationship can find the
proper balance of giving energy and receiving energy again, maybe even for the first time.
MAKE CHANGES NOW: Some BLAMERS can be deleted from your life and should be; for those that can’t, establish clear boundaries of acceptable behavior and hold to them. To deflect a BLAMER’S negative vibes use your own energy field as a SHIELD of WHITE LIGHT.
HOW TO: Imagine yourself enveloped in a cocoon of white light. Picture it as a SHIELD
forming a safe barrier around every inch of you, a covering that stops you from being
harmed. It is semi-permeable, allowing all that’s Positive to come in and all Positive Energy
you want to send out to pass through, while keeping all negativity and darkness out.
Musician Kenny Loggins uses this technique and calls it ‘putting on my invisibility cloak.’
He says, “When I’m around a ’BLAMER’ I’ll ask for White Light to surround me. I also use it
to prevent unwanted intrusions, like when I’m at Disneyland with my kids and I want to be
WHITE LIGHT SHIELDING is intended to be a Buffer Zone of energy so that negative vibes can’t disable you. You may still hear the Blamer ranting, but he won’t be able to cut the large chunks out of your energy field that leave you feeling disabled and bruised anymore. This a DELIBERATE DEFENSE to insulate your energy and create psychological distance.
Here’s a little quiz. Answering ‘yes’ to at least 2 questions is suggestive. 3 or more indicate a sure thing. (Yes, there are DRAMA KINGS too!)
DRAMA QUEEN QUIZ:
How did you do? Have some fun and add some the statements you’ve heard a ‘DRAMA
1. Staying Calm
2. Setting Clear Boundaries
3. Shielding yourself with White Light
4. Not doing or saying anything to fuel her hysteria.
This Vampire only sucks you dry if she succeeds in ‘rattling your cage’. The moment you
HOW TO: Calm yourself by taking a slow, deep breath to center yourself in your spine. Breathing is a wonderful way to quickly reconnect with your Life Force so her in-your-face
intensity won’t sear into your Energy Field & cause burnout. Keep concentrating on your
breath as you imagine yourself enveloped in a cocoon of White Light. Picture it as a
SHIELD forming a safe barrier around every inch of you, a covering that stops you from
being harmed. It is semi-permeable, allowing all that’s Positive to come in and all the
Positive Energy you want to send out to pass through, while keeping all negativity and
#4 CONSTANT TALKER or JOKE-TELLER: This chronically perky Motor Mouth has absolutely no interest in what you’re thinking or feeling and demands center stage. He’s only concerned with himself, his stories, his opinions, and his jokes. At first he may seem entertaining, but when the jokes just don’t stop, you begin to fade. Addicted to the sound of his own voice, he over talks either because he’s nervous, a narcissist, a control freak, passive-aggressively hostile, or is unconsciously mimicking gabby parents. Often, his constant talking overcompensates for ‘feeling emotionally abandoned’ or ‘not heard’ as a child, a condition to empathize with but not to feed into.
Constant talkers can be very irritating noise polluters. They can grind your Energy Field down like a relentlessly yippy Chihuahua who badly needs a walk. Even worse, lips flapping, he can physically move in so close he’s practically doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as your eyes glaze over and you gulp down your 2nd expresso. You may think your lethargy is from stress or lack of sleep, but an Energy Vampire is draining you dry. Locales where there is no escape are his forte: airplanes, cars, busses, trains and while you are on the treadmill in the gym.
MAKE CHANGES NOW: The SECRET to handling this species of Vampire is KNOWING that they DO NOT RESPOND TO NONVERBAL CUES. With this species of Vampire, you must MAKE YOUR NEEDS AUDIBLE AND USE SHIELDING as previously described.
The TONE of your voice is also critical because they are hypersensitive to rejection, which provokes them to amp up their verbage. So with a constant talker, try to be caring – these are wounded people—but stay definite and neutral. The vibes they pick up from you can determine their reaction. Silently sizzling or snapping back only costs you energy and makes them retaliate.
Inhale deeply and slowly and feel your feet solidly planted in the ground. Don’t let the irritation you are feeling to override the calm you’re striving for.
STRANGERS are the easiest to fend off. Take a deep centering breath and say, “I hope you can appreciate this is my time to relax. I’d rather be quiet and read.”
NEIGHBORS: Don’t try to dodge them or say, “Shut up, you jerk!” Listen for a few moments, then politely say, ‘I’m a very quiet person, so excuse me for not talking for a long time.” Use the same low-key approach with COWORKERS, emphasize that you must return to your job. If this Energy Vampire ends up resenting you, so be it, it’s not your responsibility or problem.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Wanting to please our loved ones, we often and lose our neutral center and lapse into victim or child mode. Should this happen, recognize you’ve regressed–and shift back into to your adult self by saying “I feel left out when you dominate the conversation. I’d really appreciate a few minutes to talk too.” The problem is that because the chattering is compulsive, it’s hard for the offending person to control.
#5 The FIXER-UPPER is like a fixer-upper house that requires endless repairs. You, the FIXER tries to do all the work.
There are 2 types of FIXER-UPPERS:
The 1st type makes you into their Therapist and takes you for all the energy you’re worth.
2nd type of FIXER-UPPER is someone who you perceive needs an over hall and so you take them on as a project. This Vampire is especially seductive because he doesn’t put up any resistance to you trying to change him, yet he’s not interested in change. You may hear yourself saying things like: “He has so much going for him. I just have to bring it out. If I love him enough, he won’t be afraid of commitment,” “If only I can get her to stop drinking, she’ll be a part of our family again.” We must learn to accept ‘what is in the moment, the current reality’ and not get lost in the limbo of unrequited longing. If you are a FIXER, you must learn to see and accept people as they really are not as you would like them to be. The unspoken message is “If I help___ change, our relationship will be happy.” The outcome of such a story most often is: “Years go by. He doesn’t budge. You’re tired, depressed and broken hearted.”
MAKE CHANGES NOW:
2. Disengage from Codependency Relationships by reminding yourself of these truths:
3. Ask yourself “What is motivating my behavior?”: “Am I motivated by the desire to be
4. When a FIXER-UPPER appears set firm boundaries.
Keeping your Heart open and loving like this without compulsively intervening is by far a healthier stance than being a ‘FIXER’ for both of you.
#6 THE OUTWARDLY NICE SOCIALIZER - There isn’t anything obvious to give this energydrainer away. He or she may look and sound perfectly fine but within minutes of contact, your energy dims. You can see his mouth moving, but you’re fading fast and feeling a little sea sick. You may think that you’re coming down with the flu or that you’re being neurotic because he doesn’t appear to be ‘a drainer.’
This is because this Energy Vampire’s instincts are unconscious. Most often he was an emotionally starved child who learned to grab subtle energy from any human being nearby when energy fields overlap. You often meet these ‘nice’ types at social gatherings like parties, church and the kind of situations in which you are relaxed, open and ready for fun.
Relaxing your conscious awareness makes you prime pickings for this Vampire. Your encounter may be brief. He closes in for some innocent small talk and wham! He zaps you with a hit-and-run style of draining.
MAKE CHANGES NOW: Don’t think twice about politely and tactfully removing yourself from this killing interchange. Protect your energy by giving yourself permission to walk away. A foolproof line is, “Excuse me, I really have to go to the bathroom.” Move at least 20 feet away and out of his energy field. If you get immediate relief, there’s your answer.
#7 THE GO-FOR-THE-JUGULAR FIEND – This is the most malevolent of all the bloodsuckers. She is vindictive and cuts you down with no consideration for your feelings. Driven by envy, competition, or severe insecurity, she deflates your energy with just the right insult. Her jabs can be so devastatingly hurtful; it’s hard to get them out of your head.
For example: You’ve just gotten your hair styled and in front of all your friends she says, “Darling, gray hair is so unattractive. More killer lines are: “Forget him, he was way out of your league anyway; don’t be ridiculous, you aren’t smart enough for that job! Or these words I recently heard at a baby shower, “I’ll never get pregnant because I couldn’t tolerate getting a fat butt and I don’t want to be such an old mother.” This Vampire uses her own inner darkness to hurt and deeply wound you and insinuates that the darkness is really in you, a maneuver she probably learned from her parents.
Excessive exposure to this go-for-the-jugular Vampire can cause illnesses from chronic fatigue to depression and is most damaging when she has you cornered like at a family dinner. The place you least want to be stuck is in a car. Research has shown that a common form of spousal abuse is for one partner to verbally incinerate the other in a car driving erratically. If you suspect someone belongs to this Vampire species, don’t even consider getting into a vehicle. Move Heaven and Earth to eliminate her from your life. There’s no gain to being exposed to such venom. If she must stay in your life, never stoop to her level by countering meanness with meanness that only inflames their power.
MAKE CHANGES NOW:
2. Pray for her. She’s an injured person who sadly can’t do any better in the moment.
3. In a temporary situation, “Shield yourself and refuse to take the bait.”
4. If we’re talking about your mother or someone else who’s in your life to stay, say
5. Don’t cave. Limit contact. Enforce consequences if she persists.
6. Protect your energy by removing negative vibes from your system.
#8: CROWDS THAT DRAIN - Kenny Loggins said, “A responsive audience is a high. But when we’re out of sync I get exhausted – in the industry we say the room has gone ‘gun cold.” Vampires often roam in busy places. Being compressed in a mall, sports arena, or airport can leech your energy. Being surrounded by strangers elbowing to get by, talking on cell phones, smoking, or nuking you with perfume may deplete you. Busy places often feel like ‘a feeding frenzy to me.’ Wherever there is close contact, our energy fields merge, Intuitive information is transferred and you may sense a passerby’s aggravation, loneliness, anxiety, depression, mental disturbance or physical pain. Most people don’t know what happened, just that they suddenly feel over loaded, drained or a little crazy and out of sorts. Many people who are empaths are diagnosed with Panic Attacks and prescribed Valium but there are other ways you can learn to cope.
MAKE CHANGES NOW:
1. If you know that you are going into a crowded place, always bring an apple or other
2. Never attempt to go among the masses if you’re tired, troubled or ill. You need to be in
3. If this has been a problem for you or if you have taken medication and are weaning
#9: UNINTENTIONAL SAPPERS - The people we love most can sometimes drain us the most. Our children, our mates, or other intimates who aren’t trying to do us in, but life’s demands add up and someone has to tend to them; and often that somebody is you. After a long day at work you come home to your child’s temper tantrum; your sister calls with a fever and asks you to pick up her prescriptions; your husband’s had a bad day at work and needs to vent how terribly he feels. You are already pedaling as fast as you can but there comes a point when you are about ready to keel over too.
Other Unintentional Sappers are people in Psychic or Physical Pain. You leave stricken after visiting your brother who’s in agony from a back surgery; a friend’s loneliness about her divorce threatens to tow you under. You need to guard your energy within your immediate circle too. Don’t feel guilty about using any of the suggestions I’ve given you to combat Energy Vampires for the Close-to-Home Unintentional Zapper Vampires, particularly useful is: Shielding and breathing discomfort from your body. Securing your vital force is the opposite of being selfish; it will increase your energy, stamina and capacity to love.
MAKE CHANGES NOW BY STAKING OUT YOUR PERSONAL SPACE
1. INTUITIVELY MAP OUT YOUR PHYSICAL COMFORT ZONE. Pair off with a friend and
start by standing 20 ft. apart. Then slowly move closer to each other- 19, 18, 17, 15….notice
at each increment know it feels. Ask yourself: “Do I feel comfortable or closed in?” The
point at which YOU FEEL UNEASY is the ENERGY BORDER of your personal space. You
2. NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR FAMILY. Plan regular mini breaks from your children and mate and them from you. If your spouse spends an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic, he or she may need time to decompress before engaging the family. Many people feel guilty about taking 20 minutes to decompress, but even 5 minutes in the bathroom, a stroll around the block, or even a quick shower or even exercise can save a marriage and a family. Of course with babies there is less flexibility, but as children get older, help them to learn about their personal boundaries through healthy modeling.
First thing in the morning I give myself 20 minutes over a cup of hot tea to center myself and wake up to the blessings of a new day before engaging in a conversation, including answering the phone or emails. I do the same in the evening when I return home.
Early in my career, I discovered that I needed ‘time’ to shift the ‘focus of my attention and adjust my Personal Space Boundaries’ from one area of life and local to another. For example: From ‘work’ to ‘husband, children and home.’ I have counseled hundreds of people over the years who have never even thought about the various roles they play in their earthly life. Most people never learn how to consciously ‘shift’ gears like this and so their boundaries are not set appropriately for the ‘place they are in at the moment.’ In fact, many people actually reverse their boundaries. They ‘think’ about family and worry about family issues while at work and then disclose intimate information best saved for family or a close friend in the work place and take things ‘personally.’ Then when they go home, they can’t stop ‘thinking’ about their job and everything they didn’t get done while they were at work because they we worrying about spouse or family. They fail to adjust their Personal Space Boundary and hold loved ones at arm length and feel distant and uncaring. This is a very, very common theme in couples that I have counseled over the years and sadly it extends into the bedroom “he or she’ even brings his/her ‘work’ to bed and it is killing our sex life.”
3. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to explore your Personal Space Requirements and design a life that makes sense to your energy needs and include your mate in the process so that you can get on the same page. This will do wonders for your relationship.
4. TAKE SPECIAL CARE OF YOURSELF AROUND PEOPLE IN NEED. You can be compassionate without maxing out on empathy. If you’re likely to adopt other people’s mood and troubles, it’s more than ok to fortify your strength in those situations by using Shielding, Breathing, and Imaging. Also, be well fed and rested when you arrive to maintain the integrity of your Energy Field.
5. KEEP A DISTANCE THAT RESPECTS YOUR PERSONAL-SPACE NEEDS
NOTE: As Energy Beings, we energetically attract what we haven’t worked out in ourselves, so if you keep getting swarmed by a particular type of Vampire, honestly examine why. For example, if you keep linking up with ‘FIXER-UPPER’, boyfriends who can’t or won’t commit, don’t just dismiss this by saying, “there are no good men out there.” Instead, make sure you’re not unconsciously playing out, “I’m going to get Daddy to love me” or “I’ll make this miserable family better” themes from your childhood.
Also, when people evoke intensely judgmental reactions from you, it could be that they are mirroring aspects of your personality that you don’t like or completely understand. If you point you finger at someone and say, “He’s so angry and abrupt.” Maybe he is, but still the questions to ask are, “Why do I have such a charge on that? Could it be that I am denying or intolerant of those traits in myself? If this wasn’t true on some level, would he, or any Vampire, have the capacity to get to me so much?” Someone once said to me as I was pointing a finger of blame at another, “When you are pointing that finger at someone, notice also that you are pointing four others at yourself.” Obviously, I’m still thinking about it!
Coming clean within yourself about your shortcomings stops you from growing as irked
and as sapped by others with similar qualities. As Buddha said, “You are not upset
because of your children or your partner, you are upset because you are upsetable.”
Remember to keep up your ‘List’ in your Journal. Record your successes and celebrate every victory over an Energy Vampire. Celebrate your success at staking your personal boundaries as well: maybe you will exorcise a mean-spirited ‘friend’ from your life or set limits with a relative who relentlessly tries to provoke you. Take time to rejoice in how you held your own and reclaimed your energy and power and share your achievement with a like-minded friend.
I sincerely hope that this lesson will give you the gumption to protect yourself from the Energy Vampires who are lurking about seeking to drain your energy. As you become the Master of your own energy, you will just have to learn to deal with success & feeling triumphant instead of tread on.
Sit or lie comfortably and relax your body and mind. Now take a deep perfect breath. Hold it for a moment and then as you let it all out, see all the tension leave you as a fine grey mist. Take a second deep perfect breath, hold it for a moment & let it all out, all out, see and feel the tension going. Take a third and final perfect deep breath, hold it and let it all out. All tension gone now, you are perfectly relaxed.
In your mind’s eye, see a white light moving towards you. As it reaches you, it flows over and around you, until it encompasses you completely. Your body continues to let go and relax into the light. From the tips of your toes, to the top of your head you feel wave after wave of white light relaxing you until every muscle and nerve in your body lets go and relaxes; lets go and relaxes.
Your toes tingle, your calf muscles become limp, loose and relaxed. Your thigh muscles let go, moving up, your hip muscles relax, letting go. Your stomach muscles let go, your solar plexus, the center of nervous energy in you, lets go now enveloped in calming white light.
Your chest and back muscles let go, those heavy muscles that work so hard, become loose, limp and lazy. Your arms begin to relax. They are light, floating now on clouds of white light. Your fingertips tingle with the release of tension. Your neck muscles and shoulder muscles sag loosely now, barely able to hold your head straight. Your mind is clearing now. Your forehead & cheeks relax, every wrinkle in them smoothes out. Relaxed, your jaw muscles sag, and your mouth opens slightly and your tongue rests on the floor of your mouth, lightly touching the back of your lower front teeth.
You are surrounded by a bright, beautiful protective shield of White Light that symbolizes the strongest force in the entire universe, that of love. As you accept the White Light into your Inner Self you know you are a source of Love, for this White Light symbolizes both the love of God for you and the love of God moving through you as your love for others. This White Light protects you from all harm, from all invasions of outside influences, and forms a wall of protective love around you. It is your armor.
As you see or sense this bright, shinning, white armor protecting you, repeat these words to become an even greater expression of God’s love: “I accept the White Light of Protection.” Affirm and claim God’s protection for yourself: “I accept the White Light of Protection.” And the protection springs into action covering you with an armor of love, covering you with the light of purity, covering you with Divine protection.
From this moment on, whenever you say, “I accept the White Light of Protection,” you will
invoke the Shield of White Light and instantly feel centered, calm, safe and protected by
God. Now visualize your loved ones, see them in your mind’s eye. Now surround all those
whom you love and wish to protect with the same White Light that surrounds you.
Extend the boundary of White Light that surrounds you to include them and know that
you are sheltering them under the wings of the Most High and protecting them from harm at
all times. The Love of God is the mightiest force in the entire universe and it flows through
Now hold in your imagination and visualize a specific person that you would like to heal or protect. Surround them with White Light. See the glow of white light encompassing them, the Light that is the Life and Love of God. This White Light now cancels out all negativity emanating from inside or out, protecting, healing, and revealing oneness.
This relationship is now healed of any apparent negativity. The Love of God now shines through. Only love remains. Send love, love is received. Only one party to a relationship is necessary for healing.
Now forgive that person. Now forgive yourself and thereby heal. The shield of White Light now protects them as well as it protects you.
Now, slowly, calmly, easily begin to return to awareness. You feel perfect in every way,
physically, mentally and emotionally. Every muscle and nerve in your body is loose, limp
and relaxed. Your eyes feel refreshed, as though washing in sparkling, cool spring water.
Open your eyes, knowing you are protected, healed and loved. Thank you God, Amen.
© Unity of Vancouver, 2004 All Rights Reserved.