Have you ever met one of those people who just make you feel exhausted after being around them?
I bet you have. After all, these draining individuals are worryingly common in life.
But what is it that makes someone an exhausting presence to be around?
There are a few different traits that can show you a person is an energy pit.
And often, people who display these traits are best avoided.
1) They love drama
Some people just can’t get enough drama. And I’m not talking about the theater.
You know those people who seem to create drama and conflict wherever they go? The people who are always involved in a feud with someone at any given time?
These are people who are very exhausting to be around, because they become uneasy when things are peaceful. They prefer conflict and drama and are uncomfortable when things are quiet.
Unfortunately, for the rest of us, constant drama is exhausting. And people who create it are some of the most exhausting people to be around.
2) They seek attention
People who create drama are often doing it because they want attention. For these people, the attention of others means validation of themselves.
And because they lack that internal self-validation that comes from a well-developed sense of self, they instead seek it from those around them.
Unfortunately, that makes them extremely draining to be around.
Attention seekers often don’t care whether the attention they get is positive or negative. As long as people are paying attention to them, that’s all that matters.
This can lead them to engage in some very toxic behaviors as they do everything they can to make sure people notice them.
3) They are neurotic
Neuroticism is one of the big five personality traits.
- worry excessively about things
- have frequent mood swings
- are easily irritated
- often suffer from depression
- are easily disturbed by relatively minor events
Now, it’s important to note that neuroticism isn’t something that people choose, and being neurotic doesn’t make someone a bad person. Often, the neurotic can’t help the way they feel.
At the same time, the constant worries and fears of a neurotic can make them exhausting people to be around.
4) They are not self-aware
One of the most frustrating types of people to encounter is the person who lacks self-awareness.
Psychologists Shelley Duvall and Robert Wicklund define self-awareness as “the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards.”
In other words, people who lack self-awareness don’t realize when they are falling short of their own ideals.
If you don’t have self-awareness, you are unaware of your own patterns of behavior and emotional responses. And most of the time, that means you are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again.
This can make people without self-awareness draining to be around, because you may have a better understanding of them than they do themselves.
Not many things are more exhausting than watching somebody make the same mistakes over and over again and learning absolutely nothing from them.
5) They don’t admit faults
Another thing that makes someone emotionally draining to be around is a lack of responsibility.
We are all fallible humans, and we all make mistakes sometimes. But part of being a mature and responsible adult is admitting those mistakes and doing what you can to make up for them.
Of course, that’s not possible if you won’t admit you made a mistake in the first place.
Someone who won’t admit their mistakes can be exhausting to be around. And often, these people are best avoided.
6) They stir your emotions negatively
As I already mentioned, some people love to create drama. And one of the ways they do this is by appealing to the emotions of those around them.
Think about it. When someone affects you emotionally, it bypasses your reasoning brain and taps into a more primitive part of you.
Whether they realize that’s what they’re doing or not, emotionally draining people use your emotions against you to create drama and make themselves the center of attention.
These people will say things just to upset you. Or sometimes, it’s not so much the things they say but the way they say them.
They may use an accusatory tone or condescend to you in a way they know you hate.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter exactly what method they use. What matters is that they know exactly how to push your buttons and get an emotional response out of you to create more drama and make themselves the center of attention.
Unfortunately, being emotional all the time is exhausting, and these people are very draining to be around.
7) They ignore advice
Do you know someone who asks for your advice all the time and then completely ignores it?
Frustrating, isn’t it?
You want to help and give the person the benefit of your experience. But they don’t want to listen. And what’s worse, they will actually ask for your advice on a subject, then completely ignore it.
Giving someone advice means making the effort to understand the situation, practice empathy, and put yourself in their shoes.
All of these things take mental effort. To then have the person ignore all of that and do what they wanted to do in the first place is emotionally draining.
8) They constantly complain
There’s nothing wrong with venting occasionally, especially to the people who care about us.
But there’s a difference between the occasional vent and constant negative complaints.
That’s even more true if the person doing the complaining doesn’t take any steps to change the thing they are complaining about.
Philosophical counselor Elliot D. Cohen points out that people who constantly complain make those around them feel trapped in an endless stream of negativity.
This creates anger and resentment, and can be intensely draining.
9) They are selfish
We all know those people who seem to think everything is about them.
Often, this shows itself as a constant conversational focus on them, not you.
They talk all the time about their own problems, but hardly ever ask you about your own life. They forget things you told them, as though the things you say don’t matter at all.
This kind of emotional selfishness can quickly wear you down. When someone treats you like this, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that they really don’t care about you at all.
10) They see themselves as victims
Some people love to play the victim.
In fact, this is often the case with people who loved create drama and then act as though they were completely innocent in everything that happens.
Often, a victim mentality also goes along with the constant complaining I mentioned above. People with a victim mentality don’t take responsibility for anything that happens in their lives, and instead blame everyone else for all their troubles.
Clinical psychologist Julie Landry identifies a victim mindset as a method of coping with past trauma. It can be a psychological response to situations where the person had no control, or a result of betrayal by people close to them.
But whatever the cause, it’s the responsibility of the person with the issue to get help dealing with it.
Listening to someone paint themselves as the victim in every situation can be extremely draining for everyone around them.
11) They are demanding
It goes like this:
A person asks you for something. You refuse, giving a reasonable cause for why you can’t give them what they want.
They refuse to accept no for an answer and continue to hassle you to get what they want.
That’s just one way people can be demanding.
Another example is someone who always requires tons of your time, but isn’t as generous with their time when it comes to helping you.
People who make these constant demands on your time are exhausting to be around, and spending even a little time with them can be hugely draining.
12) They are manipulative
Finally, there are the manipulators.
These are people who use your emotions against you, trying to get you to do what they want.
Often, these can be extremely intelligent and calculating people, and defending yourself against their manipulations can be incredibly draining.
Worst of all, they will try to make you feel bad for being exhausted by them.
Emotionally draining people
Life is hard enough without making it more difficult for each other. And yet, lots of people in the world drain your energy instead of adding to it.
Keep an eye out for the signs of someone who is draining to be around. Often, people who behave like this are best avoided wherever possible.
And if you can’t avoid them, at least you now know why you feel so tired and drained of energy whenever you spend time with them.