"People empty me. I have to get away to refill." - Charles Bukowski
Does dealing with a large number of people leave you physically and emotionally drained? Yep, that's me in a nutshell. I've shared this a number of times before.
However, some people are much worse than others. Interestingly, I have just learnt that there's a term for these people. They call them 'energy vampires'...
They take - and take - and never give. They'll drain you of energy (introvert or extrovert, alike) much faster than normal. You know the type. They're the serial complainers of this world. Nothing makes them happier than having something to moan about. To them, life is full of problems - their problems - and everyone is expected to show up to wallow at their regular pity parties.
However, I know that God loves them - and it becomes a real challenge to care for them. Sure, they are draining, but that's no reason to shun them. Sorry, it's not that easy. These folk are clearly in need and I certainly wouldn't abandon them without trying. However, I am aware that I may not be able to do this on my own - it may take several of you working together to talk to them.
I know that when I deal with these people, I need to have well-defined boundaries. If I've had a tough day, I need to be willing to say "no" if I really can't handle dealing with these people at the moment.
I know that it's important to identify those situations where you've had your energy sucked away. Afterwards, I can then prayerfully regroup, putting my life back into perspective and doing something that brings my energy back - like spending time with people who do energise me.