Psychic Vampires

Got someone around who just sucks the energy right out of you?. Image (c) Photodisc/Getty Images; Licensed to

The term "psychic vampire" is one that is often applied to an individual who feeds off the energy of others. Some traditions use the phrase "energy vampire" to describe these individuals. While this is sometimes deliberate, some psychic vampires may not be aware that they are doing it.

Reader Taris says, "I found that after I spent any time in the Pagan community, a lot of times I just felt drained and exhausted afterwards. There was one individual in particular, and she was really nice, but if I spent any time with her at all I was just worn out. After a while, some other people said they felt the same way - and we figured she was just a psychic vampire, feeding off the rest of us. I don't think it was on purpose, but I learned the value of shielding from that experience."

Dr. Judith Orloff says that people who suck the life force out of everyone around them can be found in all walks of life - which means you may find them in more places than just your local Pagan gathering. She says that it's important to recognize the signs that you're around someone like this. According to Dr. Orloff, "One of the first things to do is to recognize when you're being drained, and that begins with tuning in to your physical reactions. Is there a tightening in your chest when a certain person enters the conversation? Do you feel tired when you hang up the phone after speaking with someone? Does your head ache ... when another guest at a cocktail party starts talking to you? The moment you feel zapped ... I recommend taking a breath. Breathing is a wonderful way to center yourself. Just follow the breath and tell yourself that you know what's happening and you can deal with it."

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One of the best ways to protect yourself is to know who these people are - if you typically feel exhausted or drained when you're around that one individual, then that's someone you need to be careful around. Although you don't necessarily have to avoid them completely, keep in mind that the best defense is a good offense - forewarned is forearmed.