Stress and Energy Vampires

Dr. Andy McCabe

Stress and Energy Vampires

By Dr. Andy McCabe

First, I’d like to qualify you to read this article!

If you answer “Yes!” to any of the following three questions, this article about stress and “energy vampires” is for you. If your answers were all “No!” don’t bother. You don’t have enough pain and you’re among the few fortunate ones.

  • Do you dread going to work, especially on Monday, and find little or no satisfaction in what you do?
  • Do you worry about losing your job or… not getting the pay raise, or  recognition, you feel you deserve?
  • Do you work with people who might be described as “difficult”?

If you’re still with me, let’s take each of the three questions and see if we can come up with some helpful hints that could make your life happier, healthier and more financially fulfilling.

If you dread going to your job, write down exactly what it is that turns you off. Is it the traveling to and from work, a task or specific tasks, the salary, the type of work, the managers or co-workers? Or is it possibly… you? Yes, sometimes it’s others who make our life difficult and sometimes it’s just…us!

In order to fix something, first you have to identify whatever is wrong and… be as honest as you can about it. I say, “…as you can” because, if you’re the problem, you may not want to admit it. If you have a mother or father who loves you and is recognized by family and friends as being pretty together, ask them. They’ll probably be more honest than your shrink! If you don’t have a mother or father who fit into that category, ask a friend who really loves you and definitely not someone you used to date.

As you continue your evaluation, you might have fun with the following process and, at the same time, learn something valuable. If you wish, get yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite beverage, kick back and write down your thoughts about your job. Ben Franklin advised folks when making a decision about a problem to make two columns on a sheet of paper and write in one column… the positives and the other… the negatives about the area of concern. In this case, your job! You may be surprised at what flows out. In completing this process, you might also wish to follow it by asking yourself some questions: Do you procrastinate? Are you habitually late? Do you gossip? Do you leave early? Do you not me have difficulty focusing or meeting deadlines. Do you have ongoing disputes with supervisors or, problems getting along with co-workers? Ask yourself what you think you need to do to become better at your job. Write it down! You can review it later.

One woman while completing this exercise discussed it with her best girlfriend who enlightened her with, “Marge, and you know I love you. You expect everyone to do things just like you. If folks don’t follow Marge’s book of rules, you don’t like them. Your life would be much easier if you could accept that all of us are different, for a variety of reasons, and there are lots of ways to achieve the same goal!” Her admonition is appropriate for both men and women!

If you’re worried about losing your job, or not getting the rewards you deserve, the thoughts can become obsessive and take control of your life on and off the job. So, what can you do about it? Dale Carnegie, the legendary self help guru, said, “If you can accept the worst possible scenario and realize you can cope with it, you take the pressure off and can work mindfully and energetically to make it not happen. Also, if the job just doesn’t seem to be what you want, need or expect, what actions can you take to bring about desired change? Sometimes, men and women forget they have the power to make changes because they convince themselves there are no other possibilities. Asking a job coach for their guidance can make a difference with job related issues and may help you get the raise you want. It’s impossible for any of us to see ourselves through the eyes of others! A great job coach can literally worth his or her weight in gold.

Also, are you positive you know what’s best for you? Maybe you don’t belong where you are, doing whatever you do? If you’d like to access information related to what you’re interested in and suited for, you may wish to contact a program like Kolbe.com. They specialize in helping job seekers find the career that fits their professional passion. A friend I knew took the assessment and found out why he disliked his job as a school administrator. He learned that his interests and personality characteristics were far better suited for a job that allowed him to be more creative, self directive and entrepreneurial. Kolbe is also Oprah approved! Dr. Kolbe had been a guest on her show.

If you work with people who make your life miserable, I’m going to tell you a secret.

They’re usually not happy campers and many of them enjoy wreaking havoc because it gives them a sense of power and control. Some of these folks should dress up on Halloween because they are what I like to call energy vampires. If you’re interested in some specifics for dealing with the vampires, Robert M. Bramson, Ph.D. in his book Coping with Difficult People identifies seven different types: hostile aggressives, complainers, the silent unresponsive, super agreeables, the always negative, know it all experts and stallers. I’ve successfully used his techniques many times with a wide variety of clients.

An example of one of the energy depleting types, hostile aggressives, will give you an idea of how his system works. This category includes three distinct types: Exploders, Sherman Tanks and Snipers. The Exploders pound the table and scare folks with their outbursts. The Sherman Tanks just roll right over you and behave as if whatever you say doesn’t matter. The Snipers act friendly to your face and talk about you behind your back. For the Exploders and Tanks, you can loudly say, “Stop” Wait a second or two and if they keep going say it again, “Stop!” or, if you choose, you can let them do their thing and then …calmly say why you disagree and about what. It’s important to remember when interacting with Exploders and Sherman Tanks that if you don’t stand up to them, they will not respect you. With Snipers, you have to meet with them face to face and tell them what you heard they said about you. They’re going to deny it because they’re usually cowards; however, they’ll think twice about doing it again.

For me, the universal antidote for the really crazy ones, those that nothing seems to work with, is to disconnect and pull out the plug by avoiding them as often as you can. If you can’t avoid them, make sure you make eye contact and say what you think needs to be said in a calm and direct manner. Regardless of how they respond, stay happy and professional and, after you stick up for yourself, be nice. Kindness is the silver bullet energy vampires dread because it showers sunlight on their darkness and takes away their energy!

If you’d like to learn more about coping with difficult people or, schedule a life coaching session or seminar, workshop or keynote, email Dr. McCabe at dramccabe@hotmail.com or phone, 201-401-4227.

Tags: , ,

Leave A Reply (261 comments So Far)


  1. David
    2 years ago

    I answer with an astounding awsome’ to your clever reference to energy vampires. I must commend the writer for using such a catchy headline. First rule of article writing accomplished: you got my attention simply by using catch phrase, vampires. I suspect your blog is also getting added traffic because that is such a popular search phrase these days. Besides that, I found your words to be very inspirational and educational. Thanks for your contribution.


  2. Ralph
    2 years ago

    This was a very interesting article I fall into all three of those questions. I have never sat down and wrote down anything that bothered me about it but now that I have read this article I will just to see what comes of it. I very well could be the problem because I want to work from home so much that the people around me at work, I don’t like.


  3. Deborah
    2 years ago

    I have often thought about my job this way and I am worried all the time that I will lose my job because I am not very good at it. Or that is how I feel anyway. Thank you for the advice because I had heard of the pros and cons list before but I haven’t done it for this case. All I needed was a reminder and a little nudge thanks again.


  4. Jay
    2 years ago

    I’m worried all the time that I will lose my job because I am not very good at it. Or that is how I feel anyway. Thank you for the advice because I had heard of the pros and cons list before but I haven’t done it for this case. All I needed was a reminder and a little nudge thanks again. I will set down and make a list as soon as I can.


  5. Erica
    2 years ago

    I have never sat down and wrote down anything that bothered me about it but now that I have read this article I will just to see what comes of it. I very well could be the problem because I want to work from home so much that the people around me at work, I don’t like. I refer to stress as a vampire because it sucks the life right out of you.

  6. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/yQoadZac

  7. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/Uq4Dvbg5


  8. Kimberly
    2 years ago

    No one is without problems; problems are a part of living. But it’s amazing how much time we waste in worrying about the wrong problems. I saw an estimate of the things people worry about: things that never happen, 40 percent; things over and past that can’t be changed by all the worry in the world, 30 percent; needless worries about our health, 12 percent; petty miscellaneous worries, 10 percent; real, legitimate worries, 8 percent.


  9. Maria
    2 years ago

    It is funny that I ran across your blog here, I have often thought about my job this way and I am worried all the time that I will lose my job. Thank you for the advice because I had not heard of the pros and cons list before. So all I need to do is set down and write down the goods and bads of the job to figure out what is stressing me?


  10. Edward
    2 years ago

    I consider stress to be vampire like because it does in fact suck the life right out of you. You have put together a lot of information in this blog that was very interesting and you have a very unique perspective on things. Thank you for posting this I really do appreciate it and I have learned a lot from it. Great job keep up the good work.

  11. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/abQhI3e6

  12. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/xL0lrRRC

  13. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/duNwiV6J

  14. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/19R12jY0


  15. Shawn
    2 years ago

    I find it interesting that I ran across this blog on today of all days. I was having one heck of a day at work and I was really feeling the stress in my neck and head so I was relaxing and browsing the internet when I ran across this. Thank you for posting this and letting me know that I am not alone when it comes to feeling this way.


  16. David
    2 years ago

    I answered yes to all those questions so I guess that means I’m stressed right? I know that stress can cause a bunch of problems in your health and everything but I don’t know how to get out of stress mode. I like the analogy of the vampire because that is true, stress just sucks it out of you. You have some good advice, I will read this again and see what I can do.


  17. James
    2 years ago

    Your coping with people tips really did help me, I work with some pretty miserable people so I can relate to all of this. I will have to try some of this and see what happens. You have done a really great job on this blog and the part about accepting the worst possible scenario helping you feel less stress about the job was really helpful as well.

  18. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/c8szNWR3

  19. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/3kKfIXMQ

  20. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/4y1zYcAR

  21. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/fGNsCVJY


  22. Ladonna
    2 years ago

    I think we all have to live with some sort of pain and anguish about life. No matter how successful you may be, it is inevitable to not have experienced some sort of disappointment, heartbreak and even failure. In fact, it has been said, if you are not failing, you simply are not trying. I myself have many disappointments associated with unfulfilled hopes and dreams and career aspirations and one relationship break up which I wear as a scar.


  23. Tamika
    2 years ago

    I was having one heck of a day at work and I was really feeling the stress in my neck and head so I was relaxing and browsing the internet when I ran across this post. Now I don’t believe in karma or luck so I think I was supposed to run across this. Thank you for posting it and letting me know that I am not alone when it comes to feeling this way.


  24. Madeline
    2 years ago

    I have found not only do I dread getting up and going to work especially on Monday’s but I almost can’t do it anymore. When you get up to get ready and the more you think about it the more you want to cry then there is a stress level there that is not good for the human body to deal with. You have a very interesting blog here and a very interesting approach.

  25. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/pxPccdD6

  26. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/3zqMm0XE

  27. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/wfu4epTB

  28. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/6gJBegCj

  29. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/0Tz9fayj

  30. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/HRnWPjjL

  31. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/os76UkEA

  32. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/4Idkn1Py

  33. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/ey9FlBPS

  34. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/Rnxrnoi9


  35. Virgil
    2 years ago

    It is so fitting that you call those people energy vampires’ because negative people or cynics are indeed purposely or unwittingly draining others of their positive life force. They may as well dig their fangs into the neck of others and suck the blood out of them because that is how you can feel after you spend even a few minutes listening to their negative outlook on life, their complaints and their quest for self pity.

  36. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/Szi04zJp

  37. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/h96fX3YW

  38. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/dlVvtmF6

  39. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/g1THB13z

  40. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/y6NflSsP

  41. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/0l0GvR07

  42. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/csTTI6KR

  43. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/CWcRC1hd

  44. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/ixBvnLFl

  45. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/rzmOxR6E


  46. Tim Moss (@tim549)
    2 years ago

    Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/odzDLjJx

  47. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/c45j7t0r

  48. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/GOllPaxk

  49. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/IMCHbxhu

  50. Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/zSO5fvQW


  51. @SearchMktTools
    2 years ago

    Stress and Workplace Energy Vampires. A really good article! http://t.co/5zthgUuc

Latest Tweets From CardioLogix Magazine

View more tweets