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Welcome to my island of sanity and serenity. I'm Sandra Pawula - writer, mindfulness teacher and advocate of ease. I help deep thinking, heart-centered people find greater ease — emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curious? Read On!

What To Do When Someone Robs Your Joy and Deflates Your Energy

What To Do When Your Energy Is Deflated

Does your energy suddenly deflate when you interact with a particular person? If so what would you do?

Recently, I asked this question on Facebook after an interaction left me feeling deflated.  I’d been joyful, confident, and excited as I described a new idea.  After a colleague's response, especially the tone, I felt like a crumpled beach ballon. Long before a thought actually formed about the reply, every single molecule of positive energy drained from my being.

This wasn’t the first time with this person.  All started out well, but somehow our interactions degraded over time.  I appreciated the person's expertise, so in the past I would silently take the punch or become slightly disagreeable.  I always learned something valuable in the knowledge arena, but the interactions progressively felt worse and worse. Each time, my immediate instinct was to retreat. That inclination grew stronger over time. But I also felt uncertain since I valued this individual’s knowledge and advice.

I wondered, "Do I follow my heart or do I follow my head?"

How to Respond When You Feel Deflated

So after the last incident, I asked the above question to my Facebook friends:

Does your energy suddenly deflate when you interact with a particular person? If so what would you do?

Here's a selection of their responses:

  • "Beware: Energy vampire; step away from it!"
  • "I agree with the above. I just disentangled myself from one of those."
  • "I pay attention to the chakra that the energy left from (mine is usually the 3rd chakra).  You can learn something about your wounds by paying attention, at least I think so. And then you can heal them."
  • "Take note. And regroup. And reassess how I will prepare for the next interaction with that person. A smudging may be in order!  I have an iridescent bubble that goes up automatically to protect me from this energy too - it makes me smile because it's a tool I use and it's become automatic. I think if you feel the need to proceed, proceed with caution and know you can always step away when you need to. Or, say no thank you to this energy, but ask the universe for another resource that has this knowledge you seek from a safer more comfortable energy."  Sera Bishop
  • "Follow your instinct and retreat - being sensitive is who you are and that is okay. Me too! There are certain people I have to retreat from, even though I could benefit from their knowledge. I trust that the knowledge I need will come to me from another source."  - Sharon Harding
  • "Yes, follow your instinct, always. If you would like that specific knowledge there are joyful, delightful ways to obtain it.  Honor your sensitivity (I believe and practice it's a gift).  ...If my energy deflates, I check to see if I'm centered. I take a cleansing breath. That shifts me out of reactive mode. If it's a case of non-resonance, I honor my boundary. If it's a case of feeling triggered, I do inner work around it (not in that moment, but later in the day). I do the work to open to the lesson." - Joy Holland
  • "For me: Retreat a bit; love, love and love from afar. Try again…  Every time I need to do this (numerous times frankly) I get a bit better at it. My greatest teachers, yes.  Yes!"
  • "Watch my own energy and see where it's going, what it's doing. Establish a more luminous and clearly defined/embodied energetic boundary." - Satya Colombo
  • "Gently move away Sandra. Life is too short to be dragged down." - Vidya Sury
  • "Another suffering human being..."

I think every single one of these responses is perfect in its own way.

Know Yourself:  8 Ways to Honor Your Inner Wisdom

The key is to know yourself so you can respond to an uncomfortable interaction in a way that is appropriate for you, your needs, and your capacity at this point in your life.  It might be different in the future.

For example, you may be at a stage in your life when you need protection, or you might feel ready to receive the lesson, or you might be able to elevate yourself into compassion for the other person.  Or, all three.

It's not about one way or the right way, it's about a way that works for you.

If you suddenly feel deflated around another person, feel into yourself to see what the resonant response would be.  These suggestions are like a magical tool box always at your disposal.  But it's important to use the right tool for you.

Here are some further thoughts and tips on working with discordant interactions like this:

  1. You need to cultivate your ability to notice your own feelings and energy in the moment.  This takes practice.
  2. Notice any doubts or self-questioning that arises after the experience.  This is a sign you’ve jumped out of your body and into your head.  There’s a danger you’ll start following a “should” instead of your heart or your intuition.
  3. If you feel unsure, talk it out with a clear-minded friend.  They can serve like a mirror, showing you what you’re really saying and really want, as scary as it might be to take that next step.
  4. Listening to your heart can evoke fear, when you’re not used to it.  So far, I’ve always felt better as a result.  And the sky didn’t fall down either.
  5. Watch for projections.  If you stay too long in a situation when your heart says to go, it’s easy to develop projections towards the other person.  For example, you suddenly feel irritated by everything they say, although they were once up on a pedestal.
  6. Know that change is natural and healthy.  Many times, you’re not meant to stay with the same health care provider, or in the same program, group, or activity for eons.  Sometimes, you truly need a new perspective or a fresh approach.
  7. When a karma is finished with a particular person, it’s also time to move on and circumstances will illustrate this quite well.  There’s no point in lingering.
  8. Surround yourself with a protective bubble or center in love so you can distinguish between your own emotions and the emotions of others.

On one level, I know no one can permanently rob my joy or deflate my energy.  I know I’m responsible for my feelings.  If they suddenly shift, it’s up to me to get them back on track rather than blaming someone else.

At the same time, energetic interactions do happen on the subtle body level. We all know there are people who wittingly or unwittingly suck the energy out of others. Though it’s a handy phrase in a way, I don’t like the word “energy vampire."  It implies a victim and a perpetrator, a good person and a bad person.  It implies that you have no control over yourself and your response when you feel deflated.

Our interactions are always more complex than this.

They usually come about due to past karma, meaning we’ve both created the situation at hand.  So there’s no point blaming the “energy vampire.”  They could be showing you something you need to learn for your next stage of personal growth.  So in that way they are serving you like a friend as uncomfortable as it may seem in the moment.  Or they may be stuck in this energetic style of interaction due to their own karma or childhood wounds and in need of love and compassion.

So how did my story end?  I didn't feel anger or blame.  I felt pulled to move on although I also felt unsure. After talking it through with friends and letting it all process within for a few days, I lovingly said good-bye to this individual.  Amazingly, a new door opened providing exactly what I wished for, without the harsh quality.

I’ve been experiencing  boundary issues off and on all year long.  Sometimes it feels difficult and impossible to extricate myself due to my own childhood programming. I'm also a highly sensitive person (HSP) and an INFJ on the Myers Briggs Assessment, who has more to learn about taking care of myself energetically.  But, each time I set and honor a boundary, I become stronger, clearer, and the tendency to blame lightens up more and more.

What do you do when an interaction leaves you feeling joyless and deflated?

P. S. If you would like to increase your capacity for transforming emotions, please join us in the Joyful Wisdom Letter and Circle for deep exploration, illuminating conversation, and joyful transformation.  CONNECTION will be our theme in December.

May you be well, happy, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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