Not everyone who drains your energy or downs your mood is mal-intentioned. In fact, more often than not, those we label as “energy vampires” are simply unaware of how important life force energy is, where it comes from, and how easy it is to replenish it from within. So, instead of tending to their own energetic alignment, they look to other human beings for soothing – not unlike some people reach for a piece of chocolate when they’re overwhelmed or have had a bad day. This article will help you to understand how energy vampires act, so you can clear them from your life. The most common characteristic of energy vampires is that they are almost exclusively focused on their own needs and desires. They don’t stop to consider what another person is doing, thinking or feeling before they set about dominating the airwaves. Some energy vampires are outgoing life-of-the-party types whose dramatic stories are often funny or entertaining. Others siphon energy by pouting, withdrawing, or even manifesting physical ailments that demand others’ attention or sympathy. Energy vampires exist in every conceivable setting – at work, in family structures, and in your intimate relationships. The following five tips will help you recognize how they act so you can clear these people from your life. Redefine the way you think about people who drain your energy. While the phrase “energy vampire” is now commonly batted around in the spiritual pop culture, it has undertones of victim consciousness that emphasize our powerlessness rather than our power. When you label someone an energy vampire, you place all the focus on that person’s behavior – which is something over which you have absolutely no control. So instead of thinking in terms who may or may not be an energy vampire, focus on the one thing that is always within your sphere of influence – how, where, and to whom you give your energy. Acknowledge that you are the only one who can affect your own energy flow and that you do this by virtue of how you focus your attention. In every moment and in every situation, you have the power to notice all that is going well and to appreciate the positive aspects of whatever is unfolding around you. Even if you’re in the middle of the unwanted or unpleasant experience, you have the ability to imagine it differently, to leave the situation altogether, or to give it only a small percentage of your attention. How you direct your moment by moment thoughts has everything to do with how much vitality and resourcefulness you have access to. And you absolutely have the power to focus in ways that replenish you rather than diminish you. Become sensitive to your own feelings of resistance. Anytime you feel your energy beginning to wane; if someone is “ pushing your buttons , or seemingly trying to dominate your attention, notice that the most uncomfortable aspect of this scenario is the inner resistance that you offer in reaction to it. We lose a tremendous amount of life force when we make other people or situations wrong, or conclude that in order for us to feel better, someone else must change. Realize that the true conflict you are experiencing is not the result of someone else’s behavior, but rather the internal resistance their behavior is bringing up within you. Mine your resistance for the wisdom that it holds. Every negative emotion that we feel holds vital information that, when received and applied, can lead us to greater resilience and balance. Anytime you find yourself resisting another person’s choices or actions, consider which of your values, desires, or boundaries are being tested by this person, and identify a couple of actions that you could take to restore your own integrity. You can do this by simply asking yourself, “What would feel better to me right now?” Give yourself permission to follow your own guidance. Once you identify the internal source of your resistance, make the decision to love yourself enough to soothe it. For example, if a conversation with a co-worker takes a turn for the negative, give yourself permission to change the subject or walk away. If a social engagement you agreed to months ago no longer feels like a nourishing choice, give yourself permission not to participate. If a friend or loved one asks for your help at a time when you are overwhelmed or run down, give yourself permission to tend to your own energy needs before theirs. Remember that you have the ability, the right, and the personal responsibility to honor your needs and desires above those of everyone else. And, if you don’t fill yourself up first, you will have nothing to give another anyway. To understand more about the art of energy mastery, we invite you to join the interactive community at www.ChristyWhitman.com and take advantage of 7 days of free meditations.