There are several mechanisms through which people charge and drain themselves: breathing, grounding, moving, sun gazing, drinking, eating and more. However people can also take energy from other people, both with the other party’s consent and without it. The mechanism through which this exchange takes place can be described in one word: attention.
A healthy relationship is a balanced one. You give a person your energy and they reciprocate. You give a person your attention and they give back theirs.
Neither one of you consistently oversteps boundaries and takes attention when it was not freely given. Neither one of you manipulates the other and leaves them feeling drained or ignored.
Forging such relationships is hard, as we do not live in a perfect world. Maintaining them is even harder. Here is a list of five questions you can ask to see if you (and those around you) are energy thieves.
1. Are you happy when you are alone?
A person who is content in their own company and generally does not require others in order to be happy is much more likely to be balanced. This person is less likely to engage in manipulative or abusive behavior towards others, as they are not lacking energy.
2. Do you know how to replenish your energy reserves?
Exercising, focusing on your breath, being out in nature, reading positive literature, cleaning, organising, creating art are all examples of things you can do in order to restore your inner balance. People who do these things frequently know how to replenish their energy without draining those around them. People who do these things rarely are likely to be creating an energy deficit.
3. Do you have a large support network?
We all become unbalanced from time to time. We all occasionally need the support of others. This is normal, so long as it is not our default behaviour every day. If we are surrounded by a large family or large group of friends who support us, we are much more likely to regain our balance quickly during hard times. Like a plant with many roots, we are better grounded and more adapted for survival. However, like a plant, we need to make sure that we find ourselves in good soil and are far away from weeds.
4. Are you productive?
How much do you accomplish on a daily basis? Do you often feel like you are lacking focus and direction? Do you need the help of others in order to get things done?
5. How nurturing are you towards yourself?
What you reap is what you sow. You cannot have a healthy generous spirit in a sick body. If you are not nurturing toward yourself you will need to steal energy from others in order to survive.
6. How loving of a person are you?
Do you give love and attention eagerly and generously? Do you seek to be surrounded by people you love or only electronics and entertainment? Are you interested in learning about what your loved ones are doing, in encouraging them and expressing your feelings? Loving is not the same as being loved. Do you love those around you or just their feelings for you? Can you name ten great qualities about each person you think you love?
It is important to keep in mind that emotionally unbalanced people are unlikely to find themselves in the company of emotionally balanced individuals for long. If you feel like you are surrounded by people who drain you on every front in your life, then you yourself are likely unbalanced. You need to try to restore your own inner balance rather than expecting someone else to make you whole.
If you feel like you are surrounded by chronically unbalanced people in only some areas of your life, then you need to see if you can create some distance between yourself and these individuals. Energy is the currency of life, so value yours the way you would like it to be valued by others.