Is your energy being drained beyond belief by a relationship you’re working on? Are you trying hard to talk, but you feel like you’re spinning your wheels on ice? Do you feel like a dog chasing its tail in a circle? Do you feel like you work hard (and harder), and still you’re told that you’re not doing enough for your partner? If you’re screaming inside, “I’ve done everything I can…but it’s still not enough for you!” then you’re in an energy-draining relationship swamp with a Negatalker who stings like a scorpion.
THE EMOTIONAL HOOK
An Empathizer woman shared this with me, about the energy-depleting transactions of her nega-talker Instigator spouse:
I admit to being impatient and cold sometimes, but he’s denied me so much, then claimed, “I feel like a dog on a leash!” The fact is, I’m the one who’s on a leash, and I feel like a fish on a hook. “You’re doing this for revenge!” he says, when in fact I feel like an empty shell of a person who’s given up my life to take care of him. When I dare to speak up, he gets this look like I’ve yelled at a defenseless puppy. When I have a healthy sense of anger toward the unfairness of the lack of equality in the relationship, I feel guilty. He just doesn’t care. Enormous amounts of energy are required just to talk to him. He just blanks out. I know I need to quit expecting so much of myself….You’d think I would be done crying, done feeling upset. I know it’s never going to happen…he’s never going to change. I keep grieving over and over for something that isn’t going to change. It’s nuts!
ENERGY MANIPULATION: YOUR FULL-TIME JOB IS TO TAKE CARE OF ME…AND YOU COULD DO THAT BETTER
Negatalkers scratch the paint on your blue Empathizer car or your burnt orange Instigator car while kissing up to your face. Here are road signs that you’re working harder than your energy-draining partner, who
- Gives you the evil eye or cold shoulder.
- Scans your mood to make moves on you.
- Acts like nothing’s wrong.
- Implies or acts like you’re being mean.
- Looks for any signs of detachment or distress.
- Expects a kiss or smile to make everything in the world O.K. again.
- Acts as though she or he has been cut to the quick by your actions or words, or lack thereof.
- Asks, “Are you mad at me?” like he or she has been completely cordial and above reproach.
- Escalates emotions and psychodrama over logical thinking.
- Drills holes in the team canoe and pits crew members against one another.
- Feels bigger when people are divided on separate sides of a resentment wall.
- Laziness: “The older I get the less I want to work.”
- Gossips: Talks behind backs instead of speaking in front of others at the Communicator Table.
- Requires external pressures to motivate.
- Prefers to make rules and break rules.
- Energy Draining: You feel like you’re walking knee-high through wet concrete.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR ENERGY UP AROUND AN ENERGY VAMPIRE?
1. DISSOCIATE. Accept that whatever you do it won’t ever be good enough.
2. CALM YOURSELF DOWN, AS BEST YOU CAN. Accept you will feel like there’s “crazymaking” going on all over the place.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR WORK. Accept that you have to be physically and psychologically separate, and do your own thing again.
4. TAKE CARE OF YOU. Accept that you need to recharge your energy battery by taking solitary contemplation time and scheduling time to enjoy your friends.
5. GROW YOUR DREAM. Accept that only you can stay focused on your passionate goals, during good and bad times.
6. DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU. Accept that you have one life to live and that your life choices are just that — your choices to make.
7. ENJOY FANTASIES OF RELIEF. Accept that you will revel in fantasies of running away and escaping from the emotional drain which tries to pull you under.
SOMETIMES TALKING ISN’T ENOUGH AROUND NEGATALKERS
Talking about issues isn’t always enough. Realistically, talking should lead to positive results that benefit everyone. When the positive outcomes of your efforts do not equal the energy you’ve expended, chances are, it’s time for a change.
WHO IS DENNIS E. O’GRADY, PSY.D.?
“Talk Doc” Dr. Dennis O’Grady has 30+ years experience as a Relationship Communication Coach, Enlightening Speaker, Organizational Communications Psychologist and developer of the Talk2Me© Communication Roadmap. Talk with Dennis at (937) 428-0724.