Have you ever been struck by an energy vampire? You know the sort: The person whose life seems comprised of one issue after another? They either thrive on, or seem to attract, drama. They make bad choices. Sometimes, they're just damn unlucky. Regardless, they're someone that you know, someone that you care about, yet time spent with them is simply draining.
I've just described an energy vampire, and I've known a few. Conversely, you have energy givers. These are folks who, through their sheer presence of being are enough to re-invigorate you. Perhaps it's their demeanor, or their choice of words, or a cornucopia of interests and/or talents that they have, but being around one of these people is an energizing experience.
Then you've got your energy neutral people. Most of us probably fall into this category, neither draining or inspiring. We're just... us. Nothing wrong with that, per se. We tend to bring and take from the table in equal measure, making our way in the world, sharing it with others whose company we enjoy. Who knows, at times we may also have dipped into the vampiric or energetic realms.
This whole idea of people exhibiting (and subtracting) different kinds of energy isn't a new one. But it's one worth keeping in mind. At our lowest moments, we often look to others for help. But it's good not to overstep the line in that regard. And though we may be inclined to always 'be there' for our friends and loved ones, it's wise to be wary of the effects someone else's troubles may have on our own lives and mental/emotional well-being.
Age has withered my capacity for this somewhat. During my college-age years, when there was an explosion of meeting new people and trying different things, I had the willpower and the urge to get involved with nearly anyone and everyone. Yes, sometimes it was overwhelming, but when you're young, you often seek out new people and experiences in order to feel stimulated.
In recent years, dear reader, I simply don't have the energy. My circle of friends is smaller and, alas, so is my level of energy. Time and devotion to others has to be used more thoughtfully. I like to surround myself with good people. The definition of "good" can vary, but I prefer them to be energy neutral or energy givers. Is that wrong? It feels kind of selfish, but, also a method for self-preservation. Who said life was easy, eh?