Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Energy Vampires Walk Among Us

Thanks to the marvel that is Facebook, I've learned that another Twilight movie is opening tonight.  I actually had to double check this because it seems like a new Twilight movie comes out every few months and I was sure that one just opened like a month or two ago.  Well, I was wrong. 

I'm not exactly sure what the buzz is all about, but I kinda feel like I might be missing something important.  However, based on the movie trailers, I have a feeling that I'm not missing anything.  You haven't seen a commercial for these movies?  Here's what I think they're about (just based on the commercial):  This sullen teenaged couple are vampires and I guess they're fighting with a pack of werewolves.  Take the teenagers out of it and it actually sounds like something I'd be willing to geek out on since I'm fond of superhero or monster-movie mashups.  Of course, I've given some thought to this concept and I think vampires would totally win in a fight with werewolves in like two minutes.  So I guess the teen angst is necessary to make the movie long enough to warrant a few bucks for theater admission.

Anyway, all this vampire stuff got me thinking that we all have vampires in our life.  No, I'm not saying that people are literally bloodsuckers.  And I will not check the internet to find out if there are!  But some people definitely are bloodsuckers in a figurative sense and they drain every bit of energy and optimism right out of you.  Those in the mental health community might call them "toxic people."

I'm pretty sure that we all have a relationship with at least one toxic person.  It might be a family member, a close friend, a co-worker, or some other associate.  They are negative, critical, and you usually feel emotionally worse (exhausted, angry, pessimistic) after having spent any length of time with them.  They are often domineering and manipulative to boot.  Sadly, they can even be people who you really and truly love.

I don't have a lot of patience for negativity and I'm not generally a fan of remaining in a relationship with a toxic person.  It's not that they're bad people, but I find that their attitude problems tend to transfer over to me.  Over time, I stop seeing the glass as half-full.  I lose my rose-colored glasses and I'm suddenly just as ugly to be around as they are.  For me, personally, I like to keep my positive energy and I try very hard to guard myself against the Energy Vampires of the world.

It's not easy to cut someone completely out of your life and I don't think it should be done lightly.  Not surprisingly enough, it can be quite difficult to terminate a relationship with a toxic person.  Again, they aren't necessarily bad people (though some certainly are!) and they will likely never understand (on their own anyway) why your emotional health demands that you need to end the relationship.

It never would happen in an ideal world, but I've had to cut toxic people from my life.  I have a blood relation who I haven't seen or spoken to in well over 25 years.  Closer to 30 actually.  Based on this individual's actions, I'm happy to go another 30 with zero contact and I don't lose a moment of sleep over my decision.  Once I left my ex-husband, he was completely out of my life.  His behavior demanded that I run away and stay away.  Once I realized that the marriage was beyond repair (because, as my counselor said, one person can't do all the repair-work to heal a marriage!), I never second-guessed my decision to completely cut him from my life either.  Toxic co-workers are pretty easy to deal with - once you or they are no longer with the same employer. 

I went to school with someone who was such a sourpuss that it became nearly unbearable to be around them.  This individual would find something to b*tch about no matter what.  It's almost like they were compelled to be a grouch.  In my naivete, I thought that I could turn their frown upside down and I made it my mission (behind finishing school) to get them to see the sunny side of life.  I'd like to say that I was successful, but I think I witnessed only a handful of smiles from this person over a 1 1/2 year period.  Looking back, I wonder if it's at all possible that they were successful in their chosen profession.  I haven't seen any studies, but I would think that most women prefer hairdressers who are peppy and upbeat rather than dour and sour.

I don't know why some people seem to take such delight in dragging down everyone around them. Why is negativity so enticing to some?  I really don't get it. If you're dragging everyone down, that means you're down in it too. Whatever "it" is, "it" sucks. 

It takes a lot less energy to build people up; why not do that instead?  It takes just a moment to offer a sincere compliment.  It takes even less time to give a smile.  One spark starts a fire - let's start a positive movement in our friends and families!  Who have you built up today?  Who will you build up tomorrow?


  1. Awesome post! This too, is why I left my ex-husband. He wanted me to work things out, with myself. WE didn't need to go to counseling, I did. Umm...no, I kept telling myself, we need to, he needed to. It was no fun when he got mad at me that he always yelled and threatened to kill himself. I finally said one day, go ahead, do it, I don't care. Then maybe I won't have to hear you threaten to do something that you'll never do. Today would have been our 14 year anniversary, and we probably still wouldn't of had any children because I didn't want him to be the father of my kids.

  2. Oh, Heather, I had no idea! I know how very difficult it is to muster up the courage to leave. I never wanted to be divorced (who does, right?), but it took something (a few things actually) really beyond the pale to make me finally walk away and start living without fear once again. Once I left, I realized how much of myself that I had let disappear in effort to please someone who couldn't ever be pleased with me. And he could never be pleased with me because (among other things) he wasn't pleased with himself.

    I, too, never would consider having children while in my first marriage. I am so thankful that modern medicine made it possible to avoid a pregnancy. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to still need to maintain some sort of relationship with my former spouse.

    I'm so glad that you have such a happy family life now, complete with the young 'uns. Well, I'm glad that we both have such a happy family life now. HUGS! :-)

  3. I loved your post I totally agree with you.

    But now back to Twilight. If you read the book it will be better than the movie. My daughter and many friends have read all 4 books.

  4. Thanks Stacey! I appreciate the positive feedback! :-)

    I'll eventually break down and pick up a copy of the first Twilight book. I keep seeing the movie is on cable, but I just don't really have an interest whenever I see it's on. Is it just a bunch of whiny teenagers? Or is there more depth to the story? Romeo & Juliet with vampires & werewolves??

  5. I think they all so far have been good movies. Tthe second one is about the slowest but it is still good. I guess you could say so far what I have seen is kinda like Romeo & Juliet without the fact that the parents dont want them dating each other. I really suggest reading the books first and then watching the movies. The books are more detailed.