How To Deal With Energy Vampires and One-Uppers


Although we try to keep things positive here at Where the Light Plays, it is worth admitting life isn't all peaches and cream.

Many types of people will come our way in life, but here's two I personally have trouble dealing with - the energy vampire (aka the drainer) and the one-upper. 

Energy vampires

I can feel them right now! These people seem to cross your path just to suck the life out of you and leave you feeling exhausted. They constantly mope and bemoan their own lives.

Now, I'm completely up for listening to and helping friends (and they do the same for me), but these people take, take and take some more, and never give much at all.

The one-upper

I'm sure you've crossed paths with a one-upper in your time. They seem to pop up at many stages of life - high school, work, mother's group. If you did this, they did that. If you went there in 2004, they were there in 1989.

I used to think people like this thought they were better than everyone else. Upon closer examination, I truly think they are either insecure OR they are trying to impress you, which is essentially a compliment.

So how do we deal with these people?

Don't play the game

It's extremely easy to get caught in the trap of an energy vampire or one-upper.

For energy sappers, we either try and make them see the bright side of life or provide advice that they'll never take. One-uppers we might try and compete with or talk over the top of during conversation.

Neither work. Step away from the conversation.


Get yourself a mantra

When we're seeing red or feeling overwhelmed, it can be hard to step back and have perspective. Here's where a handy mantra can come in.

One of my ex co-workers was a total drainer - I would leave conversations feeling completely deflated. So I got a mantra from Gabby Bernstein: 

"I choose to see peace instead of this."

It worked brilliantly before, during and after conversations to repeat it in my head as needed.

 Gabby has some great ideas and videos on how to deal with these types of people.

Spend time with the right people

You may not always be able to but, when you can, hang out with friends and coworkers who are like-minded.

Don't use that as an excuse to gossip about the energy vampire or one-upper who's getting you down - that won't bring you any joy.

Just appreciate those who truly get you and let them fill your energy up. They will listen to your stories, without the need to interrupt with a 'better' one.


If you've tried everything, it's time to take the obvious path. If it's a friend or coworker, see if you can bring other people along as buffer, or only catch up in positive circumstances, like at a group celebration or for a quick coffee when you're following it up with a fun-filled day.

Try and see a movie with the one-upper so they can't spend the entire time trying to outdo you (ha!). Or share your family weekend snaps with the energy vampire at work to instill positivity. 

And for your own sanity, choose 'less about' these people on social media.

Do bear in mind that most people won't change, so look out for yourself and remember, life's too short to let people irritate you.