How to Thwart the Networking Energy Draining Vampires

Business networking for introverts, even extroverts, can make us the victim of energy drain faster than almost any event. Why, because there are people who attend these events who don’t understand networking etiquette. In the process, because of our energy sensitivity, they can suck the like out of us. Have an exit plan for at least these four popular energy vampires:

• Complainer or whiner: People like this are toxic to anyone but for introverts in particular, meeting this person too early on can take the life blood out of all our good intentions of action during our event!
• The center of attention: it’s not that they necessarily are the center of attention but that they want to be.
• Know it all: The topic or event is irrelevant, they know about it. They talk as if they know everything and information or advice that anyone else might add is rejected, wrong or – irrelevant.
• Gossipers: They either have intimate details, true or not, about someone that they want to talk about or want to drag it out of you.

Set boundaries for yourself to get out from the life sucking sound of each of these types.

The economy is bad. Business is bad. People are bad. Pulleez! With a complainer, you may have a set time before you move on to another group you see or a corner in the room – maybe 5 minutes. Just don’t stay with it long.

You know how to listen and how not to listen. In particular with the center of attention type, if you appear not to be listening, that’s often enough to have them walk away.

The know-it-all. This is a tough one for me. Why? Because sometimes, I am one! My mother has told me this. When I go into this mode she gets really quiet and asks me, “And how do you know this?” Try it if you like because it will have the know-it-all stop to clarify and then stop or change the conversation!

Proverbs 18:8, The Message says: ” Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?” Behind your back has once set of choices and, when it’s in conversation it’s another. What would you do with cheap candy in either situation?

None of these energy vampires are bad people, they are just not conversations or behaviors helpful for your energy in any setting. Be conscious of the vampires in your next business or social setting. Protect your personal energy.

Anyone have other energy draining vampires that you have a way of protecting yourself from them?

Do you have other ideas for dealing with the four mentioned here?

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  1. Very helpful post. Next week, I plan to apply these tips. Thanks for putting it together.

    I like the following quote and your post is filled with tactics to position yourself well. I also like any analogy to chess. 🙂

    In life as well as chess, It’s really what you make of it and where you position yourself.-Laura Sherman

  2. Aahh! Position yourself to thwart these vampires. Thanks for that quote Jim.

  3. bonniedubrow says

    Thanks for your suggestions, Pat.

    I also appreciate you acknowledging that extroverts can also experience their energy being drained by energy vampires. We may lose less energy less quickly and recharge more quickly. Still, too many vampires coupled with lack of meaningful connections and conversations have caused me to leave more than one event early instead of being one of the last to leave.

    Here’s a strategy I often use. I look around and find someone else I know. I excuse myself and go talk to them.

  4. Bonnie, vampires don’t have preferences in whose energy they steal. I believe they just want to drain you of yours because that’s what fills them of theirs!

  5. I have actually made the mistake (often) in the past of using one of these vampires as a crutch when I first get to an event where I don’t know anyone. After all, the know it all and the center of attention will talk and take care of keeping the conversation going, since it’s all about them. But yep – it’s usually not long before I’m totally exhausted and can’t stay another minute. Great post – I’ll look for these and protect my energy from them from now on!

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