Energy consumers versus energy givers

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Do you sometimes feel tired and cranky? Like all your energy has been sucked out? Are there situations or people in your life that make you feel that way? These situations or people are probably energy consumers! Luckily on the opposite of energy consumers there are energy givers as well.

What are energy consumers?

This term is devised by the Swedish sociologist and psychotherapist Ingalill Roos. She describes energy consumers as people who vent their negative and unpleasant feelings in others to feel relief and thereby gain energy. You can compare them with vampires. A situation can also be an energy consumer. Energy consumers are thus situations or people that cost you energy and make you feel empty and exhausted. You deal with them reluctantly, only because you have no choice. Examples of energy consumers are doing your administration or that one friend that always talks about him/herself and never asks how you are doing. What you see as an energy consumer depends on your personality. These energy consuming situations or people can lead to miscommunication, loss of productive time, imbalance, loss of concentration and procrastination.

What are energy givers?

Energy givers are situations or people that give you energy and make you feel happy and bright. They evoke enthusiasm and give you vitality. These energy givers vary by person, some people get energy from reading a book and others for example from shopping. A friend whom you can always laugh with and completely be yourself with, is an energy giver as well. But even these situations and people who give you energy have a downside. There is a chance that you give these energy givers too much attention, because it is so much fun to do. You are simply postponing now! This is due to our ‘happy emotions’, which lead to exaggerating the situations and people that make you happy. However, energy givers are the best situations and people! So be one yourself, by making other people happy by helping them and listening to them.

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How do you deal with an energy consumer?

Some energy consumers are unavoidable, but there are some energy consumers that you can influence. The most important thing is that there is a balance between people and situations that make you happy and people and situations that consume your energy. But how do you achieve that balance? There’s one keyword to achievement: recognition. If you recognize what your energy consumers are, you will be able to deal with them. To recognize your energy consumers AND your energy givers, you can make a list of things that make you happy and things that do not make you happy. As I said, some energy consumers are unavoidable. Examples are doing the dishes (or if you like doing them, than this example does not refer to you), doing your administration, some school stuff or cleaning your room. Other energy consumers on your list which you can change, are for example the people who only talk about themselves and absorb your energy. There are two things you can do to deal with this kind of people: take some distance or say what’s on your mind to them! Maybe they will see that you are right and maybe they are willing now to change and listen more to what you have to say. You have then turned an energy consumer into an energy giver! You can turn some other energy consumers into energy givers as well, by making them more fun to do. If you don’t like sporting for example, and it costs you a lot of energy, try a different sport or go with a friend. Make it more fun and thereby gain energy of it!

Are you an energy consumer?

People who are energy consumers are people who received too little acknowledgement in their childhood. This leads to feelings of loneliness and uncertainty. As a child, you are too young to process these feelings, so you suppress them. Once they are mature, they still don’t know how to deal with problems and hard things, so they continue to deny those things. Their only way to deal with them, is to take them out on others. Do you feel like you deny hard stuff and problems? Are contacts with people difficult? Do you miss naturalness in your contacts? Well, maybe you are an energy consumer… But don’t be sad, once you know you are one you will be able to change yourself like I said!

By Lena van de Lande

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