How to Get Their Straw Out of Your Milkshake (Calling Out Energy Suckers)

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I wonder, do you know what your most basic needs are? Do you, really? You might have heard this one before: you can live without food for weeks, without water for days, and without oxygen for minutes, but you cannot live without energy; not even for a fraction of a second.

You operate from your personal power: your presence. And when you don’t feel seen or heard—when your presence is weak—you sometimes turn to anger, frustration, jealousy and all kinds of low thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Have you ever felt drained after visiting with a negative or frantic person? Of course you have. What about being left exhausted from a phone call with someone who is down and miserable? Yep, and often. That’s your light energy being drained by the denser energy around you. However, what it feels like is your energy being drained away. Your friend, co-worker, or relative might not mean to, but they’re being an energy sucker.

You see, when they stick their metaphorical straw in your “energy milkshake,” they unconsciously want to feed off of your light energy—they “suck” what was yours in order to fuel themselves. Sure, they feel a little bit better after unloading their low and uploading your high, but what does that leave for you? What kind of day are you now going to have when you’re operating from a depleted tank, poisoned with frustration and agitation? (And yet, you can be there for others without allowing their energy to drain yours.)


“Watch your viral energy” has become a euphemism between my husband Burt and me when we want to remind each other to be aware of time spent with a negative friend or family member, or even when monitoring our exposure to violence on television. While writing this book, Burt periodically reminded me to censor the deluge of messages and phone calls that I received from certain friends who far too often wanted to share every detail of their precarious relationships, daily problems at work, some sad thing that happened to their neighbor’s cousin, the things that angered them in the news, the thing they wanted to buy or do but can’t afford, or how they have too much to get done in too short of time. I mean, I pride myself in being a listening ear, but sometimes too much is too much! Burt would say, “I can tell when you have talked to so-and-so. Now, remember what you always say—watch your viral energy.”

So, this happened recently: Another close friend, let’s call her Britney, warned me that she had a number of issues building up—love life, decisions regarding marketing expenses for her business, the confusion of a guy friend who likes her (so, more love life), and what to wear for her upcoming birthday dinner. She had apparently been saving up a litany of topics and she needed my help to figure out everything. One of the issues involved her boyfriend whom she would be seeing again the next night, therefore putting a clock on her reception of my feedback and advice. She texted to give me the overview of what was coming and then sent nine voice memos totaling one hour and twenty-six minutes that I could listen and reply to when I had “time in the next twenty-four hours.” (Yes, this happened.) But this next part is where the mistake was made and I did it to myself.

The following morning was Saturday and the day of Britney’s scheduled date with the boyfriend that she had teetering on a fence. Burt and I had planned to decorate our Christmas tree early that day—it was Thanksgiving weekend—and while he was hauling all of the decorations in from the garage, I thought it would be a good time to get it over with and listen to all (yes, all) of Britney’s voice memos of concerns, complaints, guesswork, conjecture, anger, and fears. Um, big mistake.

I had opened the floodgates of heavy viral energy right into my day. I couldn’t shake it. I was beyond irritated by Britney’s messages and what I felt was a load of narcissism, making me mad at myself for taking it all on at once, or ever. Heavy viral energy had robbed both me and Burt of the peaceful morning that we had planned and to which we had looked forward. And needless to say, the Christmas tree didn’t get decorated that day. (Poor Burt! Thankfully he understands the power and magic of viral energy.)

I have come to know how important it is to watch and protect my viral energy. I know that the quality of my energy—that is, my presence—is the quality of my creation fuel for everything that I write, say, produce, and am. If my presence is polluted, so is my work, mood, happiness, physical health, and output in every way.

It took me nearly half the day to get back to a good place energetically. I did a meditation specifically to purge anger; it’s all about breathing out with force and purging negativity from the heart chakra. I then actively filled our home with pleasant music and built up the atmosphere with a lovely pumpkin-coconut scented candle. Oh, and I also did some shoulder blade squeezes to release tension. Yeah, it was no joke—I had to work on turning around my energy and replacing bad vibes with good ones.

Remember, dilution is the solution to pollution. Very true. But the key to preventing this in the future is the awareness that Britney didn’t do this to me; I should have limited my exposure or said: “I’m happy to help, however, no, don’t send me everything that’s been on your mind this week.” After all, I’m her friend, not her therapist.

Just by being aware of the nature of viral energy and limiting your exposure to heavy energy, you can protect your good vibes. So, don’t let others slurp and shoplift your presence. Get their straw out of your milkshake!


Want more soul-fuel? Pre-order my book, The Magic of Viral Energy, available now on Amazon — currently on sale for just $12.75 U.S. as a pre-release promotion.

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