How to Handle Energy Vampires at Work

Anyone who has worked in an office has most likely come across a negative nelly or an energy vampire. Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom, describes energy vampires as those who exude negative energy that drains you. You know that coworker that constantly complains about your boss, or the one that belittles you to feel better about themselves. Heck, it could even be your controlling boss! These people are outright toxic and you should consider if it’s even worth working with them or having them on your team regardless of how skilled they may be.

Workplace vampires range in how they suck your energy, productivity, positivity, and motivation. Yes, they can be that powerful so it pays to understand the different types you may cross paths with.

Drama Queen/King

The melodramatic colleague creates unnecessary problems. Drama feeds their soul so they may stir up issues with work, between people, or just simply complain about their life. The best way to deal with these people is to ignore the drama and not give in to it.


The one with the big ego loves to control and expects you to always do what they say. They also love to brag about themselves and their accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to speak up to these people and show that you and your ideas are just as important and valuable.


Do you know those people who love to blame and never accept fault? The good old victim makes everyone else look like the bad guy so they get pitied. Don’t give in!


Similar to the egomaniac, the dominator overpowers, but this is due to their insecurities. They constantly belittle and intimidate others to boost their confidence. Try to limit your contact and interactions with these people and always remember, they’re just insecure.


The needy colleagues do a great job at dragging productivity because they need so much attention and assurance. Learn to set boundaries and empower them to handle things on their own.

While these vampires affect you in different ways in the workplace, they all do one thing really well…they create tension. With such strong energy sucking personalities, they push us away from shining and from being our best self. They do not allow us to speak and act freely because we’re always on edge of what they will say or do next. From intimidating to blaming, it is only natural that we shy away from negativity. This is why it is so crucial to determine just how beneficial one is to an organisation.

The key is to look for the intentions behind the behaviour. If someone’s behaviour is due to their passion and dedication to the success of the organisation then it’s probably just worth having a chat with that person to discuss how others feel around them. If they really care about the business, they will change their attitude. If they are self-absorbed and are only in it for themselves, they probably won’t ever change so it might be best to let them go.

People issues are definitely not easy to deal with, but your company culture is important and must be maintained. Sometimes it’s just not worth having one downer – they can do more harm than good. Remember to always keep your shield up and protect yourself from these vampires in order to thrive and grow!