Are you being drained by leeches?

As human beings, we only have so much blood in our bodies (about 5 and half liters, actually.) So we can only withstand so many leeches sucking the blood out of us until we are completely drained of our life force. We can’t live if we don’t have blood. We can’t make art, or be happy, or be productive.

Illustration by K. Dempsey

Now: substitute “blood” for “energy” and “leeches” for friends and family who drain us of that energy, often for nothing in return.

Who are the leeches in your life?

It’s generally not very difficult to identify the blood-suckers. They are the people who you only hear from when they need something from you. They are the family members who make bad mistakes because they know you’ll step in to help them fix everything afterwards. They are the friends who love to gossip about others, including you, behind their backs. They are the creators and lovers of drama, and the complainers of everything under the sun. Leeches love attention, are greedy for help from others, and will never learn their lesson.

You can’t afford to keep giving the leeches your energy.

In order to have the energy to live happily, work towards your dreams, and enjoy quality relationships with the non-leeches in your life, you need to minimize the power the leeches have over you. This is easier said than done, as these people usually do consist of individuals you genuinely care a lot about and really wish you could help. The truth of the matter is, however, only the leeches can help themselves.

It’s tempting to do the favors for the leeches who only contact you when they want something. You miss them, after all. It’s probably been awhile since the last time they wanted something, and maybe, just maybe, if you did this favor for them again they might contact you simply to talk next time. Sorry darling, no they won’t. The next time they contact you it will simply be for another favor, or, because they didn’t learn their lesson last time and need you to help fix it… again.

Remove the drama-inducing friends from your life.
They need you, you don’t need them. You are only providing a crutch for them to lean on by letting them use you. Some people will never, ever learn, and they will continue to make mistakes and create drama because they are only happy when they have something to complain about. These sorts of negative people will impact your life and work in a negative way, and you owe it to yourself to not allow them in.

The personal anthem of a misery-loving leech (I’m Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage):

The leeches you are related to can be a little harder to rid yourself of. (You will be seeing them at the next family reunion, after all.) However, you can still minimize the negative impact they have over your life, and set limits to the free favors they have grown accustomed to you performing for them. Be straight and firm the next time one of them asks you for yet another favor. No, you are simply too busy (it’s not even a lie – you ARE too busy!) Time for them to find someone else, or better yet, learn to help themselves.

As you gradually pull off the leeches that have been draining your life-force, you will begin to feel the positive impact. You don’t have to worry about what bad things So-and-So is spreading about you, because you don’t even talk to her anymore. You don’t have to cringe when Uncle So-and-So calls you, because you can allow yourself to not answer. There are so many other people of quality, who genuinely care you, who deserve your time so much more than the leeches do. And best of all, they will return the favor.

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10 thoughts on “Are you being drained by leeches?

  1. alikibags February 6, 2013 at 7:13 am Reply

    Megan, you must have been looking right into my heart and mind ! Been thinking about the leeches in my life and how I must be mindful not to be a leech myself…..Thank you for this ! x

  2. Debi February 6, 2013 at 9:55 am Reply

    Megan,
    As you can see, I have not commented under your post for a long while now…. and I think you are Physic…. lol… as for the last 18 months, we have had to deal with family trauma…. and LEECHES is a very good name for over all most of it…. or you could see it like that…
    Of course, some were the death of an adopted sister… broke my heart of course, but then you have to deal with GROWN kids… neices n nephews… sister’s kids… who I know were devistated as we were, but the leecheing goes on….
    But there is many more things going on…. and you wonder when that TV reality show showed up at your house and how come you can’t turn it off….
    But anyway….. your touched my heart this morning…. as I was sitting here crying and patting myself on the back, wondering how I would ever get my sales back up in my store, and I READ your post…..
    I did the add a piece of new jewelry everyday like I said I would to my store, and have had 1 sale, but I now know I need to blog more and work harder…
    SORRY for the long pitty party I just threw for myself on here…. but THANK YOU for opening my eyes to some stuff…. I see what I have got to do on some DE-LEECHEING….
    hugs to ya Megan

    • MegansBeadedDesigns February 6, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

      I am so glad I have been able to help you Debi. You are DOING GREAT! Good luck with the de-leeching process, it can certainly be an emotional one. All of us in the crafting community are rooting for you! ♥

      • Debi February 6, 2013 at 11:33 am Reply

        Thanks Megan…. I am soooo very serious about you being a big help…Infact, I started with a phone call right after I wrote to you… and of course I have done nothing but cry…. BUT…. I feel so much better about what I did, even tho I have this nagging guilt feel.
        I have to live on my widows pension, and what I make and sell…. so, the only person who can be incharge of getting things done ..(.and of course I know this)…. is me…..
        So again, thanks….

  3. Heather Everson Design February 6, 2013 at 9:57 am Reply

    I had a friend once that was such a drama addicted gossip and went through friends like water, I quickly learned why. When I stopped talking to her she hardly noticed (I was dreading her noticing) and I felt sooooooo much better not being a part of the soap opera any more! You’re very right, we all need to rid or at least limit our exposure or we’ll always be a part of the problem and hang onto unnecessary stress.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns February 6, 2013 at 10:25 am Reply

      So very true Heather. I had several friends like that back in high school. After I decided that, enough is enough, life has been such a better place to hang out in. :-)

  4. Silvia February 12, 2013 at 11:49 am Reply

    I should print this and pin it on my wall!!!
    Leeches are really difficult to get rid of and sometimes even hard to recognize.
    I had one of them who used to say “I can’t waist my energy on negative people”, and I didn’t understand what she meant. Now I do. In fact she’s out of my life :)
    She and many more.
    Thanks for reminding me the effort to resist is always worthy!

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