How to Deal With Energy Vampires in the Workplace

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Energy Bus" by Jon Gordon. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is an energy vampire? Can knowing how to deal with energy vampires improve your success in the workplace? 

An energy vampire is someone who drains the positive energy from people around them. In the workplace, an energy vampire can be very disruptive, damaging team morale and the success of projects. Knowing how to deal with energy vampires can help you focus on the right thing and increase positivity in the workplace. 

Read on to find out how to deal with energy vampires.

How to Deal With Energy Vampires 

What is an energy vampire? Simply put, an energy vampire is someone who drains the energy of people around them. Knowing how to deal with energy vampires is crucial for building a successful team. 

The people we surround ourselves with have a big impact on whether we succeed. Some people increase your energy and your team’s, and some people drain it. The latter are energy vampires, who will suck the life out of you and your projects if you allow them to. They’ll make your time miserable and might even sabotage your project. This is why it’s so important to know how to deal with energy vampires. 

Energy vampires aren’t the problem, as much as the negativity they represent. Negativity surrounds us.

The research firm Gallup estimated in 2004 that there are 22 million negative workers in the U.S., costing around $300 billion in productivity a year. Negativity doesn’t just cost companies money—it’s bad for your well-being: doubt, fear, and negative energy drain and sabotage you. 

When it comes to energy vampires, you should not waste energy worrying about them or trying to change their minds. There will always be people who don’t want to be positive. Try not to take it personally. 

The more energy you expend on naysayers, the less you have for those who joined your team and for inviting new people. Successful salespeople understand this—they shrug off rejection and focus their energy on getting new customers.

You need to eliminate any negativity—including negative people—standing between you/your team and your goals. That means you must refuse to tolerate negativity on your team: make clear to everyone where you’re going, that you need a positive team, and that anyone who’s negative is off the project.

Try This Exercise

If you want to know how to deal with energy vampires, this exercise might help. Some people increase your energy and your team’s, while others drain it. You need to eliminate the energy vampires standing between you and your goals.

  • Think about the people you work with. Which ones are energy vampires?
  • How do they act? How do they affect the work environment and what gets accomplished?
  • Have there been instances where you yourself thought or behaved like an energy vampire? What were they?
  • What can you do to neutralize or eliminate those who keep you or your team from succeeding?

The above advice can help you understand how to deal with energy vampires and eliminate negativity in the workplace. 

How to Deal With Energy Vampires in the Workplace

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Energy Bus summary :

  • How to turn things around when you feel unmotivated and discouraged
  • The 10 rules for reenergizing your life through positive thinking
  • How to build successful teams at work and improve your relationships

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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