We’ve all encountered them – the people who just sap your energy and leave you feeling drained after spending time with them. As much as you try, you can’t quite put your finger on why they have this effect.

Whenever they’re around, you find yourself yawning like crazy, getting a toothache or headache, or just feeling totally off. Sounds familiar? You may have encountered an energy vampire! Here are some signs to watch out for with those types.

What Are Energy Vampires?

Energy vampires are people who take all your motivation and enthusiasm away with their bad attitudes. They are overly negative, critical people who sap your motivation and enthusiasm. We all know someone like this – the friend who constantly complains but never actually does anything to improve their situation, the family member who criticizes your every move, the coworker who always has something negative to say.

They Have Little Self-Awareness

They don’t realize how their words and actions impact others. Not that I’m trying make excuses for them – it’s like they only feel comfortable when everything’s negative or when they can put themselves down. And lord knows they’ll point the finger at anything else when things don’t go their way, instead of taking the reins and owning their happiness and success. All that negativity and refusal to look inward just gets heavier and heavier on you the longer it drags on.

Constant Complaining

Energy vampires are always complaining about their lives but never want actually to do anything different. No matter how much you try and help or give them advice, they always have an excuse for why they can’t get their stuff together. It’s frustrating because no matter what you do, they just stay stuck. After a while of that, it just wears you down and takes the wind out of your sails.

Criticism And Judgment

Another hallmark of the energy vampire is excessive criticism and judgment of others. These people always have an opinion about what you’re doing wrong or could be doing better. Their constant judgment and advice that nobody even asked for can really hurt your self-esteem and confidence, especially if it’s coming from someone close to you.

The sad thing is you can’t make these people change. All you can do is control how you react and set clear boundaries to limit how much their behavior affects you.

Signs And Symptoms of Energy Vampires

Dealing with energy vampires all the time really isn’t good for you. Not only does it bring you down mentally and make you feel drained, but it can actually make you feel physically sick, too, sometimes. They literally suck the life right out of you.

Physical Symptoms

Energy vampires just drain all your juice when they’re around, and it can really do a number on you. For instance, your teeth might start hurting even though they’re totally fine. Or you’ll get a pounding headache, usually around your eyes or ears. And forget it if you try to hold back a yawn – they’ll have you stretching your jaws like nobody’s business.

But worst of all, you just feel wiped out. We’re talking exhaustion to the maximum – they literally came along and slurped up all your energy right in front of you. Some people simply drain your energy because they feed off bringing others down, and being around them will zap you of all your energy in no time.

You Can’t Focus

Sometimes, it’s not just that you feel drained, but you can’t stop thinking about why they choose to live that way. Perhaps they’ve been given chances to change and opportunities to do better, but they just keep making the same bad decisions. You don’t get why someone would willingly live like that when they have options and can’t stop thinking about it.

They’re Manipulative

Some vampires are really good at manipulating you without you even realizing it. Keep an eye out for anyone who tries to get you to buy stuff you really don’t need or tells stories meant to make you feel bad for them that aren’t even true.

Energy vampires want you to feel drained, so you don’t notice how they’re using you. If someone leaves you feeling worse after talking to them or pushes products that ended up being a rip-off, just be careful around that person going forward. Watch out for people trying to take advantage – it never ends well when you let the energy vampires in.


Another sign you’re dealing with an energy vampire is that they really exaggerate everything. That coffee you’re drinking? It isn’t just bad to them, it’s absolutely disgusting. And that lady walking down the street doesn’t just look ugly to them; she looks totally repulsive. They literally blow everything way out of proportion just to put others down and make themselves feel better.

How to Protect Yourself From Energy Vampires

My advice? You should really try to avoid those kinds of people if you can. But I know it’s not always that easy. If you do find yourself dealing with it, maybe just try this approach instead:

Limit Contact When Possible

If you’re trying to distance yourself from them, don’t go out of your way to contact them unless you really have to – work, family, you name it. Otherwise, it’s probably best to just let things be for now. I wouldn’t react to anything they post on social media or try to start a conversation either. Simply ignore them or pretend you’re busy.

Don’t Make Excuses For Them

Don’t make excuses for how others act or try to figure out what’s really going on with them. You have to accept people for who they are and look out for yourself. At the end of the day, you can’t change the vampires; you can only change how you react to what they do.

Stay Detached

Do not let energy vampires manipulate you emotionally. Stay removed from their nonsense and crazy situations. Don’t get dragged into fights or long talks about their problems. Feel for them, but don’t take their baggage as your own. Say something like “That’s rough, I hope it gets better for you.” Then, excuse yourself and keep it moving.

Take A Timeout When Needed

If an interaction with an energy vampire leaves you feeling depleted,make sure to take a step back and do something fun to regain your mojo. Go for a run, head to the park, crack open a good book, or dive into your hobby—anything that you personally find energizing. Just like a car can’t drive nonstop or it’ll burn out, you have to recharge your batteries, too.

Don’t Let Them Suck You Dry

We all have those Debbie Downers in our lives who zap our energy, but we can take back control. Maybe talk to them less or find other folks who don’t act like energy vampires. Spend time with your real friends who build you up instead of tearing you down. If you cut back on the negative Nancys, pretty soon, they’ll get the hint and leave you alone.