Beware of the Bite: Coping with Energy Vampires at Work

Do you work with any energy vampires? They can be THEE WORST.

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Some of us spend more time with our co-workers than our own families. So it can be really frustrating to leave the comfort of your homes and loved ones to have to interact with people who are passive aggressive, overly aggressive, critical, spreading rumors, constantly complaining or a number of other really negative and draining behaviors that can have a significant impact on the well-being and psychological safety of your work environment.

We NEED Psychological Safety at work because that’s what allows employees to be themselves, express ideas, and make mistakes they can learn from without judgment. When employees can do that, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and innovative on the job.

But when energy vampires are present, they can erode this sense of safety and cause a lot of stress in the work environment. I’ve seen energy vampires create so much tension and hostility that morale and productivity plummeted. I’ve seen them create environments where people are literally afraid to speak up because they don’t want to be criticized or ostracized. It really sucks.

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So here’s a few tips for dealing with energy vampires at work ⬇️

⚠️Watch for Warning Signs ⚠️

Of course you want to be aware of the behavior of your colleagues and any negative patterns that are surfacing. But I would also look out for how that’s impacting you physically and mentally. Do you always feel overwhelmed before you have to meet with a certain person? Do you feel uncomfortable after a gossip-filled meeting? This is good information to know. Because you can be proactive and put a plan in place.

🙅🏽 Set Clear Boundaries 🙅🏽

Whether that’s communicating a boundary with them or putting one in place for yourself like, “I will not linger at the end of meetings while they trash my colleagues”, you need to set them and stand firm in them.

🧘🏽 Practice Self-Care 🧘🏽

Make sure you are putting things in place to take care of you. Whether that’s mindfulness practices, exercise, spending time with friends and family, etc. Don’t let the energy vampire be the only thing you have to discuss at the dinner table.

I’ll leave you with a prompt I believe is important for any of us to consider, but especially if you think you *may* be in an energy vampire season yourself.

✍🏽How does my behavior affect the psychological safety of my workplace and the well-being of my colleagues? How can I take responsibility for my actions and make changes to improve the overall atmosphere and morale of the workplace?

Need help increasing self-awareness and creating new norms around what it means to take care of yourselves and be psychologically safe at work? We have resources over here! Use the link below to see if our training is a good fit and give you access to our resource guides!