Dealing with Energy Vultures

You're reading:

Blog Icon Image

Dealing with Energy Vultures


This section of the blog is just for teens and young adults who want to know more about the Spark. Search ‘Tips for Teens’ on the blog to find practical advice, simple tools and inspiration to help you stay connected to your Spark and let your inner light shine.

Today we’re talking all about energy, and how other people’s energy can affect us. When we’re around someone really positive and uplifting, that energy tends to rub off on us and we leave their company feeling pretty good. When we’re around someone who’s miserable…well it works the same way. Sometimes it can feel like people are stealing our energy, like a big preying bird snatching away our good mood: the lesser-spotted energy vulture.

I used to have a friend who was an energy vulture. Now let me get this straight, she was a really nice person who had a lot going for her, and we often had fun together. I liked her, but man, she drained my energy like she was a vampire sucking the life out of me.

It wasn’t totally her fault – I don’t think it was something she did on purpose, in fact I’m 99% sure she wasn’t even aware she was doing it. She probably grew up in a house where everyone did it.  What am I talking about? Well, this:

The kind of people who constantly…

  • Complain about EVERYTHING.
  • Don’t see the positives in life
  • Are quick to say ‘I told you so’
  • Focus on how bad their life is (although it’s probably not)
  • Have a massive ‘poor me’ thing going on (that one’s a killer)

Sound familiar? We all feel like this from time to time, that’s natural, and sometimes we have crappy things going on our lives that it’s OK to complain about them. But some people kind of get stuck like it, a bit like a broken record, and their whole lives become one big complaint / sympathy mission that literally leaves you feeling a bit depressed and worn out just from being near them.

No amount of crystal-holding, sage-smudging or spell-casting can rid you of an energy vulture hangover

The first time I’d really noticed someone actively doing this to me was with a friend, and thanks to that person I’m now much more aware of when it’s happening and can (with all kindness) avoid those people if I need to. It was difficult to pinpoint at first – I just felt a bit miserable after I’d spent a lot of time with her, and could feel myself niggling about things and complaining way too much after being with her. Soon, all I could focus on was how negative she seemed about EVERYTHING and how much she complained, which made me complain about her in my head and turned into a vicious complaining cycle – stupid or what!

You know you’re with an energy vulture when…

  • You feel grouchy and miserable yourself
  • You have less energy
  • You start complaining and doing the ‘poor me my life is terrible’ thing, too
  • You snap at people
  • You realise you’ve just spent the last twenty minutes ranting about cheese, or something equally daft
  • Being with someone positive feels so different – like night and day

Here’s the thing: energy vultures suck all your positivity, without even meaning to. And they love company – it makes them feel better about their complaining when you’re doing it too! Don’t fall into the trap of synchronising (matching) their energy and mood. The best thing you can do for an energy vulture or a serial complainer is to be upbeat and positive. It’ll either take the wind out of their sails, or they’ll join in with you!

Vulture incoming! HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Limit the amount of time you spend with that person – you don’t have to cut them out of your life, just keep it to a minimum until you’re better able to deal with them
  • Sensitively point out to the person that they’re complaining a lot – make a joke of it
  • Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people
  • Only focus on the positive – that’s catching, too! You can change an energy vulture slowly but surely by NOT complaining and by being upbeat, full of life and being positive, but remember it’s not your responsibility to make them feel better
  • Be light, have fun and laugh. Let’s not take life too seriously

Lurking Vultures

Awareness here is key, and so is compassion. We can feel compassion towards people who are stuck in negative energy spirals, but that doesn’t mean we have to join them there. We can feel compassion for ourselves when we realise we’ve been feeding our addiction to feeling negative by hanging around with people who and pessimistic and love drama. Be aware of it, forgive yourself or others, and move on, choosing more empowering and positive people, places and things that boost your mood.

When we get to know your energy vultures we take back our power over how we feel, and that’s pretty cool. Why don’t you tell us how you deal with the vultures over on our Instagram page?

Niki screenshot from Figma


the author

Hi, I'm Nikki

I created The Spark when I realised I’d lost touch with my own inner light, buried under years of over-work and overwhelm. After witnessing far too many children becoming smaller versions of themselves, shrinking back, disconnecting and becoming disillusioned, I’m on a mission to ignite my Spark to help children to find theirs, changing the way we nurture small humans into being.

What started as a journey of self-discovery is growing into a global movement to create a better childhood for all children and young people. Will you join me?

Follow Nikki:

NG - Landing Page Build V02-11

Need help to reignite your

child’s Spark?

Get our free guide to spot the telltale signs of Spark disconnection and learn how to reconnect your child to their inner light and joy.

Tell me more!

Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our tips, tools and training that will change the world for children.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

more from

this category
NG - Brand Handover Files - Style Elements-04
Homepage illustration 05

Keep reading

previous post