Yesterday I had coffee with a terrific friend at a new-to-me cafe called Kava Diem. Jen and I met during a Dick Pond Saturday morning run almost five years ago. We are affectionately called the Wonder Twins. We have the same name. We run at the same pace. We are goal driven doers. We love helping people. We have big hearts. We are both writers. We are just about the same age and you can’t deny that we have the same stinking name. The universe threw us together at a time when I didn’t even know how badly I was craving a friend like Jen. From that day on we would have deep meaningful conversations about everything under the sun. The miles we shared together are some of my most cherished memories. As has been the case with many people, COVID interrupted our lives and our ability to run together. It has not stopped us from getting together for coffee and more of those deep conversations. 

We were catching up on life and the universe when she said something that stopped me in my tracks. She said people are either givers or takers and the extreme takers are energy vampires. She went on to say that she gravitates towards givers, but every once in a while she gets tangled with an energy vampire that sucks her soul dry. I almost fell out of my chair. In the split second after she had shared this idea, my brain had done a quick assessment of everyone in my life. It was perfectly clear who the givers were. I craved spending time with them and felt refreshed and renewed, invigorated and inspired by them. It was equally clear who the takers were— the people with whom it was SO hard to be in a relationship. They expected the world from you and gave nothing in return. Time spent with them frequently ended in an argument, judgment or a migraine. Alarms and bells and whistles and sirens went off in my head after her description of the energy vampire. 

At first my brain went straight for all the “Karens” in my life— the people who are so toxic that you can’t understand why you ever want to spend time with them, but at the same time you are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. But once my brain was able to reconcile that yes I do have some toxic relationships, it really hit me that the true energy vampire in my life is social media. Ugh! I hate wasting my time scrolling long after I have caught up on the lives of my friends and family scattered all over the world. I hate how divisive and full of hate my timeline is. I hate that we live in a world of highlight reels and not reality. Yet, day after day I am drawn to it. 

Looks like it is time for a detox…also a pillar of the creative mindset. Time for me to decide NOT to spend time with the toxic people in my world and time to step back from the social media cesspool. 

Are there energy vampires in your life?