Some people can suck the energy right out of you with every interaction. These people are what I call, “very draining people.” Maybe they are overly cynical, self-centered, or use more colorful language than the rainbow. Whatever the reason may be, by the time you end one conversation with them, you’re drained. Learn more about these 6 ways to deal with draining people…

You probably have an image of a person in your head right now. Maybe it is a colleague, friend, or family member. No matter who it is, you can slow the flow when you are in the presence of very draining people.

Here are a few great ways you can protect your sanity, soul, and spirit:  

1. Create Boundaries

You need healthy boundaries in all relationships. But, with someone who drains your energy, it is even more critical.

Create boundaries before you encounter draining people when possible. If you know you will be spending time with them, work hard to follow a few general rules:

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  • Set a time limit on conversations. If you know you can handle about 30 minutes, start wrapping things up after 20 minutes to give yourself time to end the conversation naturally.
  • Stand a few feet away from the person when you carry on the conversation. Allowing people into your personal space can shift your energy levels. Be sure to keep a safe distance.

By setting healthy boundaries, you protect your own mind and spirit from being too overwhelmed by negativity.

2. Practice Self-Care

Creating daily self-care practices is vital to your overall health. Practice self-care by focusing on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. If you are in a healthy mindset, you are better equipped to deal with people who are negative and draining. Self-care helps ward off exhaustion, decreases stress, and helps you focus.

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3. Be Direct

Very draining people don’t understand ambiguity. Be direct.

Tell them exactly what they need to hear. Don’t sugar-coat the truth as it may only feed their ability to become a victim and foster negativity. This does not give you the right to be mean. Be kind. Use gentle words, an even tone, and soft volume in voice while delivering your direct communication.

4. Compliment Them

Sometimes, very draining people need to be told good things about themselves by others. You can help them become more optimistic by complimenting them and decreasing the overall level of negativity in the conversation.

If you are willing to build into them and speak positive affirmations about their character, you may see them blossom in new ways you did not think was possible.

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5. Stay Private

One of the best ways to protect yourself from very draining people is to not share too much with them. If you share with a very draining person, they will likely pass judgment and criticism, which can leave you feeling bad about your decisions. Don’t let them take away your joy.

6. Recuperate

After an encounter with a very draining person, get some rest. You will need to recuperate. Take some time away from others to nap, meditate, or practice mindfulness. Read motivational quotes or a devotional. By giving yourself time to recover, you can minimize the effects of the negativity on your mind and spirit.

Very draining people often don’t realize they drain the life-blood out of you. Be kind to them while ensuring you are providing the love and care you need to yourself to be healthy.

Post submitted by: Melissa Mills, MHA, BSN, RN, CCM

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Written by Chief Health

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