Are You Drained by an Energy Vampire?


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Are You Drained by an Energy Vampire? Take Dr. Orloff’s Quiz

Energy vampires are people who sap your energy. They can have a serious effect on your well-being and self-esteem. Energy vampires can include narcissists, chronic talkers, the victim mentality, the passive aggressive person, the drama queen, the guilt tripper and more. Anyone who has ever shared an office, car pool, or attended a family dinner with an energy vampire has experienced some common reactions. Even after a brief contact, you feel worse, and they feel better. Take this quiz to determine if you’re being drained by an energy vampire.



1. Do your eyelids get heavy and you feel like you’re ready for a nap?YesNo
2. Do you ever feel put down or like the rug has been pulled out from under you?YesNo
3. Does your mood take a nose-dive?YesNo
4. Do you suddenly feel physical pain? YesNo
5. Do you want to binge on carbs or comfort food?YesNo
6. Do you feel toxic or agitated?YesNo
7. Does the person corner you to tell you their life story?YesNo
8. Does the person like to gossip and bad-mouth other people?YesNo
9. Is the person critical, controlling, or punishing?YesNo
10. Is the person negative and self-obsessed?YesNo

To calculate your results:

  • If you’ve answered 9-10 yeses: You have encountered a full-blown energy vampire. You need to either eliminate this person from your life, limit the time you spend with him or her, and/or set healthy boundaries.
  • If you’ve answered 7-8 yeses: You are in a relationship with someone who has strong s energy vampire traits. Take precautions to stay grounded and protect your energy.
  • If you answered 5–6 yeses: You are in a relationship with someone who is a moderate energy vampire. This can result in a depletion of your energy and self-esteem.
  • If you answered 1-4 yeses: You are involved with a person with some energy vampire tendencies. Check to ensure that your confidence isn’t being shaken.
  • If you had 0 yeses: It’s unlikely that you’ve met an energy vampire.

Learn practical strategies to deal with specific types of energy vampires in “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People” by Judith Orloff MD. More information at                         


Additional Information on Energy Vampires and Emotional Vampires

Energy vampires and emotional vampires (those who particularly deplete your emotions) are attracted to the openness and loving hearts of empaths and all sensitive people. Sensitive people need to be prepared for them.

In life, I’ve found that some relationships are positive and energizing for my empath patients, but others are draining. In fact, certain people can suck the positivity and peacefulness right out of you. I call these drainers “energy vampires” and “emotional vampires.” At work, at home, or in the world, energy vampires sap your physical and emotional energy. The super toxic ones can make you believe you’re flawed and unlovable. You may tiptoe around them for fear of an explosion. Some attack with put-downs, blame, or shame. They might say, “Dear, you’re looking really tired and old today,” or “You’re too sensitive.” Suddenly they make you feel as if something is wrong with you.

An essential action step in The Empath’s Survival Guide is to identify the energy vampires in your life and develop strategies to effectively deal with them. Doing so will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your relationships and prevent you from being sapped by them. Don’t let energy vampires take you by surprise. Create a plan. Try not to take their barbs personally, even when they are intentional. The effort to do this, though often strenuous, is necessary to take back your power and protect your sensitivities. Remember, these drainers are motivated by fear and insecurity. They annoy and deplete many people, not just you.

Your goal is to conquer energy vampires and protect yourself so you can experience maximal wellness. Along with this chapter’s strategies from The Empath’s Survival Guide, I strongly recommend that you continue your own emotional healing work. The Law of Attraction states that we attract what we give off, both positive and negative. As a result, you can attract and absorb negative emotions from others that you haven’t resolved in yourself. That’s why you may be extra sensitive to some people’s energy compared to others. The more you heal your fears, anger, and anxieties, the less likely you will be to take those on. As an empath, my emotional healing is a priority. I don’t want to be weighed down by other people’s issues. The ongoing progress I’ve made feels truly liberating.

Special note: Narcissists are one of the most dangerous kinds of energy vampires. Why? Scientific research on narcissists (sociopaths and psychopaths) has shown that they have a “empathy deficient disorder.” Full-blown narcissists use what seems like empathy as a ploy to get what they want when you begin to distance yourself. But their empathy is neither reliable or real. Narcissists are persuasive charmers who know exactly what to say to emotionally seduce you. If you try to leave, they will sweet talk you to get you back. But their “empathy” will last only as long as they need it to. There are always strings attached to the favors they bestow. Once you’ve returned, they’ll revert to being self-absorbed again.

I consider every emotion and every person in our lives (including energy vampires) to be spiritual teachers or “noble adversaries.” They teach us to overcome negativity. They teach us to heal ourselves. They teach us how to set boundaries. They teach us how to learn to love ourselves more. Of course, no one would wish for toxic parents or childhoods, or toxic relationships or work environments. But if you have them, do everything possible to protect yourself and also try to be the bigger person. Learn to forgive the part of others that has forgotten how to love.

Affirmation to Combat Energy Vampires

I will protect my energy around draining people. I will learn how to set healthy boundaries. I will learn to say “no” at the right times. I will listen to my intuition about which relationships are nurturing for me.


Judith Orloff, MD is a New York Times bestselling author with the upcoming book The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Yourself, Your Relationships and the World (Foreword by the Dalai Lama). She has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at

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