17 signs of an emotionally draining person (and how to deal with them)

If you’re in a relationship with an emotionally draining person, it can be exhausting trying to figure out how to get them to stop dumping their problems on you and ruining your mood.

This is why you need to be aware of this person’s signs and determine what is within your power to do.

At the same time, you don’t want to pour all your emotions into this person, because they will see it as a weakness and try to take advantage of it

But the good news is that there are things you can do!

We’re here today to give you 17 signs of an emotionally draining person (and how to deal with them) so that next time they start bringing up their stresses, you’ll have some ideas of what could help them feel better.

17 signs of an emotionally draining person

1) They are quick to anger

An emotionally draining person is quick to anger and can get easily frustrated.

This is why you need to be prepared for them to suddenly blow up at you.

In addition, they may get angry at any comment you make. Of course, you shouldn’t respond to the anger this person shows towards you.

On the other hand:

You should also think about how and why they’re showing anger.

They may, for example, be angry because they want to feel better and are frustrated that you aren’t doing anything to help them.

Or they may be angry because they really need someone to talk to, but can’t find anyone else.

When you think about it this way, it can help you decide how to approach this person.

You might decide that it’s a good idea to just let the person get their anger out or that you should help them figure out who else they could talk to.

2) They have insomnia

An emotionally draining person might use insomnia as a way to deal with their problems.

After all, if they can’t sleep, they can’t think about the problems they’re having.

The problem is that insomnia may be caused by stress, anxiety or depression.

If this person is sleeping poorly because of these issues and you keep asking them to talk about the problems, it’s probably not going to help them feel better.


You might be able to get them to talk about what’s bothering them, since it will make them not think about it for a while.

Just make sure that you don’t ask too many questions, so they can work through their issues.

3) They have a lot of baggage

People who drain you emotionally need to face the things that have happened in their life before they can move forward.

This is usually because they’ve never been taught how to properly handle their emotions, and as a result, they come off as cold and distant.

The key with this is that you can’t expect them to just get over it. It’s probably going to take some time for them to learn how to deal with those issues.

You can help by providing encouragement and explaining the best way to deal with their problems.

It may take a few attempts, or it may just come out of nowhere – whatever works for this person is okay as long as you prove to be patient.

But I get it, dealing with emotionally draining person can be hard, especially if they have a lot of baggage .

If that’s the case, I highly recommend watching this free breathwork video, created by the shaman, Rudá Iandê.

Rudá isn’t another self-professed life coach. Through shamanism and his own life journey, he’s created a modern-day twist to ancient healing techniques.

The exercises in his invigorating video combine years of breathwork experience and ancient shamanic beliefs, designed to help them relax and check in with their body and soul.

After many years of suppressing my emotions, Rudá’s dynamic breathwork flow quite literally revived that connection.

And that’s what they need:

A spark to reconnect them with their feelings so that they can begin focusing on the most important relationship of all – the one they have with yourself.

So if you’re ready to take back control over their mind, body, and soul, if you’re ready to help them to say goodbye to anxiety and stress, show them his genuine advice below.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

4) They have no motivation or desire

Many of the people who are draining you emotionally are people who have no motivation or desire to do anything.

They might have some minor desires, like wanting to be more outgoing or attractive, but they don’t have any drive to take action towards these goals.

The problem is that this can cause them to withdraw from the world like a turtle into its shell, leading to low self-esteem and feeling helpless.

This is why you need to be careful about how you deal with this person.

Yes, it’s easy to get frustrated and tell them off for not getting over their problems. However, that’s not going to help them feel better about themselves.

Instead, you should look at the cause of their low motivation and give them some advice on how to deal with it.

5) They cry more often

Crying is a sign of someone’s emotional needs being met.

Usually, it means that they’re expressing their emotions and feeling comforted by this.

However, it can also be a sign that they’re having a difficult time coping with their issues.

If this person is crying more often than usual, it’s possible that they’re dealing with some major problems.

You should keep in mind that you’re not responsible for helping them deal with these problems.

For example, you can’t take away their depression or replace their loss of child.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should let them cry all the time. If they keep crying at any point in time when they’re around you, it means there’s something wrong.

After all:

They’re not going to feel better if you just let them get rid of their emotions in this way.

6) They are physically exhausted

People who drain you emotionally will feel emotionally drained by their issues.

However, their physical energy that normally goes into living is spent on these issues instead, leading to fatigue.

The problem is that this isn’t a normal thing for them to do.

It’s possible that they’ve been trying to ignore their problems and keep busy with other things so people won’t be able to see how much work they’re doing.

This can lead to overwork and burnout.

Nevertheless, it’s also possible that they’ve been having too much on their plate for a while.

If this is the case, they need to reduce the amount of work they have to do so they don’t get burnt out.

If this sounds like someone you know, consider talking to them about their workload and helping them to find a resolution for it.

7) They have feelings of hopelessness

People who feel hopeless about the problems in their life can become emotionally draining.

It’s possible that they have developed a negative outlook on life, caused by the problems they’ve been dealing with.

They may see no way out of the situation and believe that their problems won’t ever go away – or worse, think they don’t deserve to be happy.

They aren’t just sad – they feel as if there’s nothing left in the world for them anymore.

They may not want to socialize with people or go to work, and could even be feeling suicidal.

This is why it’s important to be there for them and let them know that you are okay with whatever their needs are.

It’s a big step to take, but they just might feel a lot better if you’re supportive of their feelings.


If you think this is a problem, you should be careful about how you approach them.

You want to give them some space and try not to criticize their behavior.

8) They have difficulty concentrating

People who are dealing with a lot of issues have difficulty concentrating.

They could be having difficulty focusing on work, socializing, or even their hobbies.

This is why their mind wanders anyway, causing them to get distracted easily.

Not only are they less productive, but they’re also more prone to experiencing mood swings – which you know can make you feel drained as well.

It’s possible that they’ve been dealing with their problems for a long time, and as a result, they’re exhausted and are unable to focus clearly.

Exhaustion takes a toll on the ability to concentrate, so it’s no wonder why some people dealing with emotional issues have an unclear head.

pexels rodnae productions 6669884 17 signs of an emotionally draining person (and how to deal with them)

They may forget things, have trouble focusing on work or even in school.

If they’re not living a normal life and they’re just coping with their problems, it can be difficult for them to pay attention to the world around them.

This is why you want to take things into your own hands and be there for them if you think this is a problem.

9) They have depression symptoms

Depression is a disease that is characterized by feeling sad, drained, and hopeless.

Their emotional needs, such as the need to be loved, understood and accepted, are not being met and it is making them feel bad about themselves.

It could be that they’re trying to cope with feelings of low self-worth that stem from childhood trauma or an abusive relationship.

People who have endured a lot of pain in the past may develop a negative mindset and accept negativity as part of their life.


It’s a serious problem that can cause its sufferers to feel as if they want to get away from the world and not care about anything.

It affects the mood and the way someone sees the world around them.

People who are depressed may have difficulty doing the normal things in their lives, like working or going to school.

They may not want to communicate with others or leave their house.

They can even feel physically sick, with symptoms like headaches or body aches. This can be draining for both you and them.

10) They are nervous

People dealing with stress can become emotionally draining as well.

People who have intense fears or worries can cause you to feel drained because of their anxiety.

This is why they may be prone to being easily intimidated, feel jittery and nervous, and have trouble acting normally in social situations.

It’s not that they want to act like this, but it’s just how their brain works when they’re under a lot of pressure.

They may feel as if they’re under too much pressure and can’t handle it.

It could be that someone has become anxious about something, like their job or a relationship.

They could have experienced severe stress in the past, and as a result, they have developed a difficult time dealing with life – especially stressful situations.

If a person is nervous within situations that aren’t normal for them to feel nervous within, it’s possible that something isn’t right in their life.

For the most part, nervousness is common for anyone who hasn’t dealt with a lot of deep emotional issues yet.

11) They have a change in appetite.

People who are dealing with an emotional crisis may also experience changes in their appetite.

They are unable to focus their energy on food or drink.

This is why they may be able to eat or have a lot of difficulty eating, or feel hungry all the time.

It’s true!

They may also have a difficult time digesting food and it could even make them feel sick.

It’s possible that someone is having a hard time coping with their problems, which can affect their appetite and digestion.

People who have a difficult time dealing with their problems could feel as if they don’t deserve to take care of themselves.

They may not think they have time, or they feel separated from everyone else.

As a result, these people may be having trouble eating and sleeping regularly and in the proper amounts.

12) They are apathetic

People who are suffering from emotions may also be apathetic.

Apathy is a person’s inability to care about anything or anyone, and it can cause them to be left alone.

This is why it may be difficult for them to get any help.

They are probably so caught up in their problems that they don’t have the ability to care about anything else.

They aren’t really sad or depressed, but they focus their energy on their problems more than usual.

This is why they could act as if nothing matters to them, even if they are working hard or sleeping just fine.

They could have something serious going on in their life and feel completely drained of all emotion and motivation because of what is going on with them.

They could feel “blah” and not care much about anything.

They can feel apathetic because they don’t want to talk about or discuss their problems.

13) They don’t compromise their time

One thing you may have noticed is that they are spending all of their time worrying or thinking about what is going on with them.

It’s possible that they are too busy trying to cope with their problems to get anything else done, or they have learned that if they don’t seem to care about things, nobody will bother them.

In fact:

Sometimes it may feel like there is no point in making much of a decision at all – as if there is nothing left in life.

You may notice that they’re not giving you as much of their attention as they used to, and now they want to be alone most of the time.

It’s clear that someone who isn’t dealing with their emotions could appear distracted, withdrawn or even depressed.

14) They avoid conversations that go deeper

They may have a difficult time understanding your concerns or listening to your problems.

It could be that they’re too caught up in their own problems to take the time to get caught up with yours.

You may have noticed that they begin conversations with you by saying something like, “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.”

They may not be able to see a solution to their problems or might not want to talk about their feelings at all.

At the same time, they seem more likely to drift away and avoid talking with other people.

This is often because of their emotional problems – they’re avoiding anything that will cause them to feel tense and uncomfortable.

They might not want to hear or talk about anything that is emotionally charged.

You may also find that they seem to be avoiding important conversations with you.

If they completely avoid talking about anything important with you, it’s likely that they don’t want you to worry about them and give them support.

15) They feel like they’re worthless

People who are emotionally drained can begin to feel as if they’re worthless because of what is going on in their lives.

This is because they become lost in their problems and can’t seem to find a way out.

They may feel as if they are not worthy of the love or attention of others, and they could even have a hard time loving themselves as well.

However, this does not mean that people who aren’t dealing with their emotions don’t value themselves!

It just means that something else has become a bigger priority than their self-esteem.

They may feel that they are not important or meaningful and that there is no point in living.

They might be thinking about suicide, but realize it’s too much of a risk to actually do it.

As a result, they might avoid suicide by remaining alive in order to take care of themselves.

When this happens, they begin to feel like there is no point in living.

16) They don’t want to make major decisions

People who are emotionally stressed out might not make any major decisions at all or make them with no understanding of the consequences.

This could be because they feel like their problems are too big for them to deal with, or because some of their problems seem to become overwhelming.

They might not be able to think about anything else but their problems.

What’s more?

They are less likely to plan ahead because they don’t want to think about it too much, and they may not realize how important it is to make good choices because they just aren’t thinking clearly.

They may be subconsciously avoiding making a decision because they’re afraid of being wrong or hurting someone.

17) They change their mood quickly

Someone who isn’t emotionally stable may go from being happy one day to feeling hopeless, depressed or anxious the next.

They could be eating and sleeping just fine, but they feel like they’re always moody or different on any given day.

They could feel like they are no longer in control of how they feel, or that their emotions are out of their hands.

You might even find that their mood could change in a matter of minutes!

In the same way:

They may have a hard time sitting still and relaxing because they seem nervous or edgy most of the time.

As a result, they could feel as if their mood changes every second of the day even though nothing of real importance has changed.

Here some tips to deal with those people

pexels andrea piacquadio 3880943 17 signs of an emotionally draining person (and how to deal with them)

1) Be patient

As I mentioned earlier, people who are emotionally draining and have a lot of baggage can be hard to deal with. They don’t want to hear about their problems, and they don’t want solutions either.

That’s right!

They just want someone to listen to them, which is usually why they approach you in the first place.

But being impatient will make them feel worse, so you have to be patient with them and keep working with them until they open up.

Don’t rush them and don’t push them either – give them space as well as time. The key here is patience and understanding.

2) Learn how to empathize

Empathizing can be a hard thing for some people to learn.

I’m all for being genuine, but sometimes people get so caught up in their own drama that they take it out on you instead.

The key with empathizing is learning how to put yourself in their shoes, and discover how your actions are affecting them and why.

Some people might not tell you how they feel, but their actions will. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing wrong and change how you interact with them.

It’s important to keep these things in mind!

Learning how to empathize with others can be tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, your relationships will drastically improve as well.

If you’ve been dealing with an emotionally draining person, this guide will teach you how to empathize with them so that they can open up and see the world from your perspective.

3) Be honest and direct

Try not to put them on the spot.

Emotionally drained people are just not doing well at the moment, so telling them that won’t help.

Instead, if you want to tell them something important, be direct about it and explain how your words will help them understand their situation better.

They’ll feel like you’re on their side and will be more likely to take your advice because they’ll see in your eyes that you truly care about them.

Sometimes people will come to you with issues that they feel uncomfortable talking about, but they will still want your feedback.

As long as you’re honest and direct enough, those people usually appreciate it.

Just remember this:

Being honest and direct doesn’t mean that you have to agree with their feelings or opinions, or that you have to take all their problems on (even if they ask).

4) Establish boundaries

This is one of the most important tips you can follow when dealing with a person that’s emotionally draining.

Make sure that you don’t take on too much, and that you’re open about how your time is spent.

It can be hard to decide what you can and cannot do when it comes to a person that’s emotionally drained.

They might have a lot of problems or have made mistakes in their life, so they might feel as if they have no right to ask you for help or demand your attention.

After all, they are going through a lot and they need someone to talk to. Boundaries are important because they allow each party to feel like they can do their own thing without being bothered.

Boundaries will allow you and the other person to have space, time, and privacy for both of you as well as give each party time to themselves when needed.

5) Empower them

One of the most effective ways to help someone who’s emotionally drained is by empowering them.

Tell them how amazing they are and how much you appreciate all that they do.

Show them that you truly care about them, and let them know that you understand what they’re going through and what they need.

Encourage them, motivate them, and give them your support.

This can be done in several ways, but the most simple thing you can do is just letting them know that you care about them and that you understand how tough things have been for them.

Let them know that you’ll still be there if they need anything, either professionally or personally.

Final thought

Emotionally draining people are prone to some bad habits such as making excuses or not taking responsibility for their actions, as well as constantly blaming others for their problems.

People who are emotionally drained might seem hard to deal with and they can often have a lot of baggage.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth helping or communicating with, or that they won’t open up to you once you give them some time.

Being understanding is a great way to help people, but you also have to realize that not everyone has it together even though they might seem like they do.

If you’ve been dealing with someone emotionally drained, try to stay as positive as you can. Talk to them, listen and understand them, and let them know that they are not alone.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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