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What To Do When Someone Robs Your Joy and Deflates Your Energy

What To Do When Your Energy Is Deflated

Does your energy suddenly deflate when you interact with a particular person? If so what would you do?

Recently, I asked this question on Facebook after an interaction left me feeling deflated.  I’d been joyful, confident, and excited as I described a new idea.  After a colleague’s response, especially the tone, I felt like a crumpled beach ballon. Long before a thought actually formed about the reply, every single molecule of positive energy drained from my being.

This wasn’t the first time with this person.  All started out well, but somehow our interactions degraded over time.  I appreciated the person’s expertise, so in the past I would silently take the punch or become slightly disagreeable.  I always learned something valuable in the knowledge arena, but the interactions progressively felt worse and worse. Each time, my immediate instinct was to retreat. That inclination grew stronger over time. But I also felt uncertain since I valued this individual’s knowledge and advice.

I wondered, “Do I follow my heart or do I follow my head?”

How to Respond When You Feel Deflated

So after the last incident, I asked the above question to my Facebook friends:

Does your energy suddenly deflate when you interact with a particular person? If so what would you do?

Here’s a selection of their responses:

  • “Beware: Energy vampire; step away from it!”
  • “I agree with the above. I just disentangled myself from one of those.”
  • “I pay attention to the chakra that the energy left from (mine is usually the 3rd chakra).  You can learn something about your wounds by paying attention, at least I think so. And then you can heal them.”
  • “Take note. And regroup. And reassess how I will prepare for the next interaction with that person. A smudging may be in order!  I have an iridescent bubble that goes up automatically to protect me from this energy too – it makes me smile because it’s a tool I use and it’s become automatic. I think if you feel the need to proceed, proceed with caution and know you can always step away when you need to. Or, say no thank you to this energy, but ask the universe for another resource that has this knowledge you seek from a safer more comfortable energy.”  Sera Bishop
  • “Follow your instinct and retreat – being sensitive is who you are and that is okay. Me too! There are certain people I have to retreat from, even though I could benefit from their knowledge. I trust that the knowledge I need will come to me from another source.”  – Sharon Harding
  • “Yes, follow your instinct, always. If you would like that specific knowledge there are joyful, delightful ways to obtain it.  Honor your sensitivity (I believe and practice it’s a gift).  …If my energy deflates, I check to see if I’m centered. I take a cleansing breath. That shifts me out of reactive mode. If it’s a case of non-resonance, I honor my boundary. If it’s a case of feeling triggered, I do inner work around it (not in that moment, but later in the day). I do the work to open to the lesson.” – Joy Holland
  • “For me: Retreat a bit; love, love and love from afar. Try again…  Every time I need to do this (numerous times frankly) I get a bit better at it. My greatest teachers, yes.  Yes!”
  • “Watch my own energy and see where it’s going, what it’s doing. Establish a more luminous and clearly defined/embodied energetic boundary.” – Satya Colombo
  • “Gently move away Sandra. Life is too short to be dragged down.” – Vidya Sury
  • “Another suffering human being…”

I think every single one of these responses is perfect in its own way.

Know Yourself:  8 Ways to Honor Your Inner Wisdom

The key is to know yourself so you can respond to an uncomfortable interaction in a way that is appropriate for you, your needs, and your capacity at this point in your life.  It might be different in the future.

For example, you may be at a stage in your life when you need protection, or you might feel ready to receive the lesson, or you might be able to elevate yourself into compassion for the other person.  Or, all three.

It’s not about one way or the right way, it’s about a way that works for you.

If you suddenly feel deflated around another person, feel into yourself to see what the resonant response would be.  These suggestions are like a magical tool box always at your disposal.  But it’s important to use the right tool for you.

Here are some further thoughts and tips on working with discordant interactions like this:

  1. You need to cultivate your ability to notice your own feelings and energy in the moment.  This takes practice.
  2. Notice any doubts or self-questioning that arises after the experience.  This is a sign you’ve jumped out of your body and into your head.  There’s a danger you’ll start following a “should” instead of your heart or your intuition.
  3. If you feel unsure, talk it out with a clear-minded friend.  They can serve like a mirror, showing you what you’re really saying and really want, as scary as it might be to take that next step.
  4. Listening to your heart can evoke fear, when you’re not used to it.  So far, I’ve always felt better as a result.  And the sky didn’t fall down either.
  5. Watch for projections.  If you stay too long in a situation when your heart says to go, it’s easy to develop projections towards the other person.  For example, you suddenly feel irritated by everything they say, although they were once up on a pedestal.
  6. Know that change is natural and healthy.  Many times, you’re not meant to stay with the same health care provider, or in the same program, group, or activity for eons.  Sometimes, you truly need a new perspective or a fresh approach.
  7. When a karma is finished with a particular person, it’s also time to move on and circumstances will illustrate this quite well.  There’s no point in lingering.
  8. Surround yourself with a protective bubble or center in love so you can distinguish between your own emotions and the emotions of others.

On one level, I know no one can permanently rob my joy or deflate my energy.  I know I’m responsible for my feelings.  If they suddenly shift, it’s up to me to get them back on track rather than blaming someone else.

At the same time, energetic interactions do happen on the subtle body level. We all know there are people who wittingly or unwittingly suck the energy out of others. Though it’s a handy phrase in a way, I don’t like the word “energy vampire.”  It implies a victim and a perpetrator, a good person and a bad person.  It implies that you have no control over yourself and your response when you feel deflated.

Our interactions are always more complex than this.

They usually come about due to past karma, meaning we’ve both created the situation at hand.  So there’s no point blaming the “energy vampire.”  They could be showing you something you need to learn for your next stage of personal growth.  So in that way they are serving you like a friend as uncomfortable as it may seem in the moment.  Or they may be stuck in this energetic style of interaction due to their own karma or childhood wounds and in need of love and compassion.

So how did my story end?  I didn’t feel anger or blame.  I felt pulled to move on although I also felt unsure. After talking it through with friends and letting it all process within for a few days, I lovingly said good-bye to this individual.  Amazingly, a new door opened providing exactly what I wished for, without the harsh quality.

I’ve been experiencing  boundary issues off and on all year long.  Sometimes it feels difficult and impossible to extricate myself due to my own childhood programming. I’m also a highly sensitive person (HSP) and an INFJ on the Myers Briggs Assessment, who has more to learn about taking care of myself energetically.  But, each time I set and honor a boundary, I become stronger, clearer, and the tendency to blame lightens up more and more.

What do you do when an interaction leaves you feeling joyless and deflated?

P. S. If you would like to increase your capacity for transforming emotions, please join us in the Joyful Wisdom Letter and Circle for deep exploration, illuminating conversation, and joyful transformation.  CONNECTION will be our theme in December.

May you be well, happy, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


How to Take Care of Your Heart in Brutal Times


The Best of Always Well Within 2015


  1. Hi Sandra,

    I am Jocelyn from Malaysia, who came across your blog via google.

    Thank you for this post on deflated energy.
    I am an INFP and have been going through some issues lately. This post opens my eyes and mind.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      Nice to see you here! Thanks for taking a moment to say hello and leave a comment. I’m glad the post resonates for you. I’m sure we have much in common having those three letter – INF – in our personality style. Be well!

  2. Great post, Sandra, and a wonderful example of closing one door only to have another open that has just what you need without the harshness—-such a good lesson! Thanks for sharing all of the excellent information you learned! Love to you!

  3. I’ve had the pleasure of reading for some months, and very little time to respond. I’m glad this one came up when I have an unexpected day off.

    At work, many of the patients are grumpy upon arrival, and it assaults our equilibrium all day long. They very often express their displeasure as if we did something to them to cause their distress. We do have the advantage of knowing that because they came to see the doctor, they have a complaint and are unhappy.

    In my situation, we can’t really leave them alone to restore our own energy, though that is exactly what we WANT to do, and probably should do in life away from work. My personal mental trick is to say to myself “This is the face of (name the disease or injury), covering the true face of the person.” It helps me get back to sympathetic listening, so I can move the one with the problem toward relief, even if that relief consists only of conveying to them that I AM listening, and that I want to help.

    It’s remarkable how often this strategy converts complaint into alliance. People who are hurting want to know you are on their side, even if you can give them nothing more than that assurance.

    • So nice to see you, Mike! This is such a moving example. It’s true, we could be in a depleting situation all day long like this. You have a great approach, which I feel comes from your intention to have a good heart, whatever the circumstances. This is so inspiring for all of us. I love this insight in particular > “It’s remarkable how often this strategy converts complaint into alliance. People who are hurting want to know you are on their side, even if you can give them nothing more than that assurance.” Thank you!

  4. Sandra, I know that feeling, sometimes it can be best to follow your heart and not ask? i loved this : The sky didn’t fall down either 🙂 Love conquers fear. Your post I thank you for as I can see how far I have come and I love that a new door opened up for you,
    Suzie xxoo

    • What a great option, Suzie – not to ask, but to just follow your heart! So simple. And that’s a great reminder that love conquers fear. You have come a long way!

  5. I am so delighted to read this as I am INFJ, highly sensitive and sorting through boundary issues this past year.

    I have learned a few lessons the hard way. What you write about here, resonates so strongly with me. It helps soothe me.

    Currently, I am in a much better place to respond and recognise those alarm bells when my energy slumps or I get triggered. Thank you for writing this post. Lisa x

    • Hi Lisa,

      It’s so encouraging to hear that you’ve been working with your boundary issues and moving past them. Sorry you learned some of them the hard way. I know that isn’t easy, but I’m glad you’ve come this far to recognize the alarm bells when your energy slumps or you get triggered. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. Sandra,
    You hit the nail on the head. Even the most enlightened person can be affected by this. I love your further thoughts and tips. I, too, try to remind myself that change is good. I also like to surround myself with that positive bubble.
    Thank you for your continued inspiration!

    • I appreciate your perspective, Betsy! I don’t want to become over-vigilant, but it does make sense to pay attention in the moment. I love hearing what works for you. Many thanks!

  7. This used to happen to me all the time Sandra…#1 is what made all the difference to me and I’ve practiced it a lot. Though there are still times when I get caught ‘off guard’…it’s that perfectly imperfect thing in action I think! 🙂

    • It’s so helpful to know what has worked for you, Elle. You know, I’m so keen on mindfulness and I think it’s essential to be in touch with ourself so we can move forward and make positive changes. I appreciate how you’ve perfected your ability to listen to yourself even if you get caught off guard every now and then. This is still a huge inspiration. We can do this!

  8. Dearest Sandra, This is the first thing I read yesterday and it turned out to be such a great start to my day, following my prayer (and coffee, of course). Your observations/suggestions are very astute and wise. The truth is, sometimes we do need an energy shift – and listen to our heart without stressing over it. I love your analogies in point no.6. In the end, it is good to embrace change lovingly than shrink into a shell and wallow in the sadness.

    Love and hugs – and honored that you mentioned me.


    • Hi Vidya,

      I’m so glad my post resonated with you so much! I love how you highlight the way change is natural and if we just listen to our heart we don’t have to go stressing over it. We can feel joy for what we are leaving and joy for what we’re entering. I so appreciated your advice in the article because it was so to the point! Here’s to seamless change!

  9. So many of us – including me – have trouble with healthy boundaries, I am sure this will help a lot of people. I continue to work on recognising and then owning my own feelings – and then making a more conscious decision about how to act on them. And sometimes that definitely involves me removing myself from the situation. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Ellen, I also think establish healthy boundaries is challenging for many people! As you suggest, it’s an ongoing process of recognizing and owning my own feelings too. I’m glad you have the confidence to remove yourself when a situation doesn’t feel right! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ellen.

  10. Enjoyed reading this post. We need to move away from what it is to toxic and stay away from such people.

    • Hi Vishal,

      Yes, I think that’s one option we have when we find our energy isn’t resonating with another person’s. I’ve come to see though that what doesn’t resonate for me, might be absolutely perfect for another. Take care!

  11. Sandra,
    There are parts of this post when I went “wow” and then there were other parts when I went “aha!”. Really resonates with me on so many levels.
    I have suffered the consequences of being “too nice”. I always thought I needed to defend my niceness by being more nice and then eventually the energy was zapped cause I was surrounded by people I needed to be nice with. Such hard work!
    Now though, I’m much better. I have learnt to say “no, I am just unable to do that.” politely and firmly.
    And other times when the “no” wont go through, I distract my mind with happier thoughts and just make a move for it 😉 A change in scenery always works for me.
    Thank you for this insightful post.
    Much Love,

    • I’m delighted this post resonate with you so strongly, Zeenat. I’m glad you are much better now and that it’s easier to express your boundaries. Distracted yourself with happier thoughts – what a cute way to stay out of the much! Great ideas. Thank you and love to you too.

  12. Hey Sandra, you really are a gifted writer. Just before this, I read your other article “How to Take Care of Your Heart in Brutal Times” and even this one, there were so many points I would never have considered. I am really interested in the area of self-awareness and people being able to make decisions based on one’s ability to know one’s self. I think it’s the most powerful information a human can possess.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Bruno. I too think awareness is essential to making best decisions and having a genuine happy life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Wishing you well.

  13. mahesh prabhu

    Namaste Sandra,
    !!!Greetings !!!
    I am Mahesh & I am from India.
    I read Regular information from “Wishing Well Coach /Jessica Sweet.
    Today I found your Article,its very informative & supportive.
    To be honest “I forgive,and start my any Art work,basically I am self taught wood I follow my work how to do best,so I think bad things automatically cut-off.
    See you Soon.
    Best Regards,

    • Namaste Mahesh, This is a very inspiring and a noble approach. If we can forgive like this and move our attention away, it’s such a blessing. Thank you for sharing this. I wish you the very best with your wood carving.

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