I encourage people to avoid energy vampires, but I realized I didn’t have a quick explanation of what the opposite was, what makes for a decent human? I make no claims to original thinking on this topic, but think you can’t go wrong looking for these traits.
Do note, there’s a sliding scale for age, people in their twenties are just a step above honey badgers but even pumped full of hormones you should see the basics described below. Once you turn 30, it’s all on you.
NOTE: My apologies for the lame-ass clip art, it’s all I had!
They Got Some Empathy
Decent humans can dig where others are coming from, no matter how different their life circumstance, age or background. I think this is so vital because NOT having this faculty shows a kind of indifferent obliviousness and lack of curiosity about reality. The most obvious are the racists, homophobes, nationalists, etc., but they’re the low-hanging fruit in terms of who to banish from your life. But the real bummers are knuckleheads who can’t imagine poverty, or great self-doubt, or infirmity, mental illness or simply not living in a modern, western culture – these people are just, well, stupid is the best term I can think of and the longer you hang out with them the dumber you’ll get.
Some people are just weasels – they weasel out of things, they weasel into things and its always for some “reason” that may sound reasonable in the moment but falls apart when seen in context of previous weasel activity. Sometimes this manifests itself in not being able to answer a direct question. No matter how innocuous the question, like they’re afraid to “admit” what they think. This is what you call a “weak sister”, back away. What you want is a solid handshake, a steady look into your eyes when they’re talking to you – fully engaged, curious and present. (Just thought of this – the straight-shooter won’t necessarily volunteer opinion, but when asked a direct question they’ll answer the question asked.)
They’re Solid, Got Some Integrity
Basically, is the person internally consistent, do their actions and words match up? Or are they masters of self-serving hypocrisy, while decrying it in others? When they say something, promise something, it’s going to happen – they “keep their word”. Another way of thinking about this is are they “respectable”, are they worthy of respect? This is a little squishy, but use your gut, like Justice Stewart and pornography, you’ll know it when you see it. (Note – this tends to be a two-way street, people if high integrity tend to require it of those in their lives). Another quality of the “solid” person is they’re honest, they don’t pander, don’t flatter, they don’t blow smoke up your ass.
Clear Emotional Stability
Emotionally stable doesn’t mean “without emotion”, it just means appropriately emotional. Road rage, freaking out when somebody doesn’t call, falling into a foul mood for hours when your team doesn’t win, serious anger at presumed offence – just the tip of the iceberg of somebody you don’t want around. They’re like having well dressed monkeys in your life – amusing for awhile but sooner or later things are getting dark. Calm, cool collected, someone you can depend on to deal with any situation with humor and equanimity.
Have Their Act Together
Probably the easiest indicator of this is that they can “handle their money”, not about being rich, just knowing finances are an inescapable, critical part of life. Strippers are notorious for never having money, every night they’ve got a bag full of cash, then they spend more. Beyond how somebody handles money, do they have a realistic (ambitious or not) road map for their lives, or does it sound like the fever dreams of a 16 year old boy?
They Love Themselves
If people don’t love themselves, what the hell do you think they’re going to feel about you? I don’t care how good a martyr act somebody puts on, no inner love no outer love. A self-loving person is more likely to present the true “them”, and less likely to put on false personas. They don’t bend in the wind, not susceptible to peer pressure, they’re cool with themselves. To sincerely love themselves, they’ve got a good grip on what they want, and who they want to be. That makes ’em happy, and more fun to be around.
Self-loathing is weird juju, it doesn’t stop at the person, it infects like Ebola. We all have inner doubts, we don’t need a lot of fertilizer to make them grow.
Powerful Positive Attitude
Napoleon Hill ranks a “positive mental attitude” as the number one thing that make people rich, and I agree. Don’t need to belabor this point, we’ve all been around “Debbie Downers” and have felt how it sucks the energy from the room and from us. The opposite is true, people with a grounded positive attitude (as opposed to those who pretend to be positive – I run into this in the new age community a lot) lift us, help us see the upside, and encourage us.
Good God! This turned into a long screed, but I do think having a tactical awareness of the people in our lives is a vital thing – if this helps you to identify some great people to incorporate into your life, I’ve done my good deed for the day!
POST SCRIPT: I just realized something, if people do NOT possess the qualities described above, it’s a good bet they got that way from some dark, damaging experiences. Being an energy vampire doesn’t make somebody “bad”, but it doesn’t make them good to have around either!