Wolves in sheep’s clothing, the villains of everyday life

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By: Daniela Nino

Have you ever felt that you arrive at a place and you run out of energy? You feel as if you wanted to run away, tired and without desire for anything. If so, you can feel identified with these words.

I recently heard about the ‘energy vampires’, the term caught my attention and I decided to investigate in depth what it is about. Within their definitions, I found that they are ‘vacuum cleaners that sweep everything in their path’, in short, people who take the energy of others for their own benefit. Upon discovering its meaning, I associated it with that feeling when spending more than five minutes with some people, where the atmosphere becomes heavy and no matter how hard you try, the conversation does not flow. Have you had such a situation?

According to Tessa West, associate professor of psychology at New York University, energy vampires are toxic people who drain your life force, leaving you emotionally drained, whether they are selfish, manipulative, or just plain overly talkative. One of their favorite hunting spots is the office, so employees need to be careful who they hang out with at their work sites.

Those who present this ‘pathology’ are considered predators, possibly they are finding a victim who makes them satisfy those needs that they are not capable of supplying on their own and they have no other choice but to ruin the day or the lives of those around them. Incredible as it may seem, they are more common than they seem, what’s more, some do it voluntarily and with the intention of harming, which makes them more dangerous.

It seems incredible, the people who appear to be sheep turn out to be ferocious wolves who are looking for the perfect moment to attack; And worst of all, no one notices. Tessa West says they often dress up as extroverts, contributing at meetings and volunteering to sit on committees, be seen and recognized, all in order to stand out by overshadowing the other. A good move?

Additionally, Álvaro Arias, managing partner of Neumann International, warns that “These manipulative beings produce in the rest of the colleagues a state of alert, of insecurity that can destroy collective work.” It is worth clarifying that in this case the vampire can be a boss, employee or a partner.

What can best define an energy vampire in the workplace (although it is not the only thing) is envy. It is very common to meet envious and spiteful people, who minimize the work of others just to have a leading role. These symptoms are not only manifested in the tangible, but also in the intangible, they feel jealousy towards the personality, the desire to fight, the way of seeing life, the good energies, the desires…, anything that stands out in the team and be applauded by someone.

“What more and better characterizes true envy is the desire that the other, the envied one, does not have what he has, that it is not true that he has it, that his success is not certain or not as much as it seems. their material wealth”, affirmed Ignacio Morgado in El País. If you feel annoyed because a colleague stands out better than you, if you are jealous that they raise their salary, if you suffer because they always do well, you want to supervise their work in a persecutory way or minimize it, you test positive for envious.

Are there reasons to be envious? The answer is complicated. The truth is that you have to understand that nobody is perfect, that we all have our strengths and weaknesses and the best way to combat it is to transform it into admiration. ‘Envy is, in essence, malicious admiration’, in this case the best thing to do is recognize the good in the other person and admire their qualities; in this way the energy changes from negative to positive.

On the other hand, if you feel the presence of an energy vampire in your environment, the ideal is to fight them. According to Weekly magazine, warning signs must be recognized, limits established and good communication established; if there is no apparent solution, distance is the last option, a new air can make you feel better.

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Wolves in sheep’s clothing, the villains of everyday life