Recently a friend of mine described some of the people in his life as vampires. “All they want to do is suck you dry of your life’s blood, of everything you have.” We all have these kinds of people in our lives; be they certain relatives, workmates, or people that simply leech onto us and never let go. They suck us dry of strength, time, and energy until we have
had enough; then follows a period of being polite…, but terse. These are not easy relationships to maintain; and it may come to a point when the tie must be severed.
Dealing with vampires is a complex matter. One can be gruff, and directly inform them you have no time for such a draining person. Another approach is to rebuff them with the silent treatment; no returned tweets, messages, or voice mails. (This, of course, may result by them sending you an “I’m sorry.” card, further complicating the relationship.) Being polite can only take you so far before it wears out; some people just do not get the hint. More directly, graciously telling them that they are draining your time and strength will undoubtedly hurt them. This action might also draw you into more responsibility to address their demanding nature. Offering a vampire more blood will not satiate them.
The actions required are twofold. First, each of us needs to plug-in afresh to our own resource for strength. Do not look askance the symbiotic relationship established when God created us. He never meant for us to live outside of a strengthening relationship with Him. Draw on His strength: He is the source for all strength. Second, direct your vampire to other resources of strength— groups of people with similar blood types (vampire clubs?), physical exercise (sweat blood), anti-depressants (use caution here), and, of course, direct them to establishing a relationship with the God who created them. If strong people need God in their strength, how much more do the weak need Him in their weaknesses.
None of us have it completely together. We will all be weak at one time or another in our lives. We will also each rise-to-the-occasion and surprise even ourselves. Some of us will indeed remain in our vampire state until challenged to get out of our self-absorption, to serve, to care about something or someone other than ourselves. And to those who are stronger, remember to be gracious, kind; but do not lose sight of the reality that you cannot save everyone. That task belongs to Someone else. It’s OK to say NO.
And, oh yes, vampires do suck…, really.
Have a nice week,