Do you have someone in your world that exhausts you simply by existing? We all know one or more energy suckers. Heck, you could be one of those people for all I know. This isn't about judging people as bad or good, it is about being aware of how you are reacting to someone and dealing with it in the way that makes the most sense for you and helps you feel energized and not drained. One of the things that makes a vampire a vampire is that they have very poor listening skills. When you speak to them they tend to take the conversation and make it about them. They often have drama that never ends and seem to never make any attempt to end it. They don't pick up on "subtle" cues to stop talking, leave, or make space for you during an interaction. They talk about themselves most of the time. They tend to see most things in a negative light and feel that the only way to be heard is to complain. They tend to 'rain on parades' without much effort.
Most of the time we want to blame the person for 'making' us feel exhausted or for 'draining' us. It is true, the energy that they send out isn't uplifting and energizing… however they haven't forced anything on us that we didn't allow in. After all you know the people in your world that you feel drained after being around… and you still end up hanging out with them. Now, don't begin making excuses. There is something to this. Why would you continually put yourself in a situation that you weren't getting anything out of, actually, you were having your soul sucked out of every pore. So, what is in it for you? It is important to ask yourself this question. Does it make you feel helpful to listen to the same issues over and over. How is that helping if the person complaining literally just wants to complain. Do you value your own time? Is this how you show love to yourself and others?
If you are someone who feels responsible for others (co-dependent) you may be using this person or people to make yourself feel worthy or worthwhile. You are in a little relationship that is mutually beneficial, both parties are needed in this dance. If you own that you are a wiling participant in the dance you can decide to change the steps or leave the dance altogether.
I have certainly had my share of these type of relationships. I have been the 'savior' for so many folks, let me tell you. I had to give myself away, over and over and live the same cycle of being exhausted, sometimes to the point of depression, after 'helping' someone in order to finally realize that it wasn't helping me. Over the years I had been told that I needed to stop giving my energy away in the way that I was giving it. Once I changed how I saw people, their concerns, and my urge to be of help in a different way I was able to shift my viewpoint. I set up boundaries within myself and haven't felt that same drain since.
What are proper boundaries? Well, those are up to you. But you have the right to set boundaries with people in your world, specifically with yourself. You are not responsible for how someone views, reacts or interacts with the world. However, you can change how you approach the world and in that way change the world you live in. You can limit your interactions with those who exhaust you. You can ground yourself so that you don't take on the other person's energy (I recommend doing this anyway). You can change the energy by lifting your own energy when you are around people who drain you. You can begin to see how someone else is allowing you to work on yourself by bringing up the things that need work in you.
"Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy." ~Chogyam Trungpa