Although I was posting about black hair, I recently wrote about emotionally draining people, who suck your energy like a sponge. I said:
…such ‘drainage’ shows up in life not as a relevance to who they are, but to who you are; as an opportunity to create a relationship with how you react to situations.
I received a few comments and emails concerning that particular element of the post so I thought I’d develop on that.
First of all folks, it is impossible to completely eliminate emotional drainage from our lives and any self-help book that claims the opposite is lying. However, what is possible is to take control of the situations that cause it.
OK, picture yourself waking up refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Think of it as waking up with a full set of bars on your battery. Now sticking to the battery analogy, compare yourself to a mobile phone that needs a certain amount of battery to last through a day.
Even before you leave your house that same morning you might use up a bar: You might reach for your lint roller and simultaneously spill your unreasonably expensive ecological washing powder on the floor when rushing to your first school lecture. You might be pedantic to the unhealthy extent that although you are running late, you just have to sweep it up before leaving. As soon as you start sweeping though, you might discover that brooms and washing powder don’t mix, so you might bring out your vacuum cleaner and your mop, all the while stressing about the time.
Or you might have smoother mornings than me 😉
Point is, I was loosing battery bars and I knew it. Luckily they were replaced by an almost empty bus arriving right as I stepped outside my front door. So with a full bar restored I went on about my day, loosing and replacing battery power, or energy, in equal measures. Most days are like that, and then we go to sleep and recharge.
However, this post is about those days when something or someone uses up so many bars that you have to cope with the rest of the day with a low battery, ie feeling tired, angry, sad, irritated…
As stated, such situations are inevitable; we all have me-me-me friends that drain us out, or bosses that seem not to have had sex in years, or a dentist that doesn’t understand that your toothache is the most important thing in his or her life if they want to keep it.
In order to take control of the situation you need to come to the realisation that only you can pre-serve your battery power. So when you meet up with that me-me-me friend and tell him or her about how you’ve landed a job as the vice president of the MI5 and they reply, ‘cool’, before carrying on to tell you about how their ex colleague’s dog’s got lice, then instead of getting mad, or disappointed, or feeling that your pride has been hurt, think of your battery. Ask yourself if it’s worth loosing any bars over someone who acts like that? I’m not saying be indifferent by the way, but just realise that noone but you allows yourself to be drained.
When I googled this topic I found out that there are tons of articles about energy vampires, here’s one
How do you cope with energy-draining situations?—
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Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.