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.
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.