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I have been meeting people in the flesh and boy doesn't it feel
great? And also... really tiring!
I've now been to a few outdoor events with more than 6 people not wearing
masks. The excitement has been high. The anticipation has been energising.
Being at these events has been joyful. Coming home from these events has left
me feeling quite exhausted. I'm not surprised as I think our lurching foray
into face-to-face socialising will be energising and draining in equal measure.
This has got me thinking about the energy we derive from other
people and the concept that some people in our lives are radiators and some are drains. So, I
thought that it would be a good topic to explore today.
Radiators and Drains
concept of energy Radiators and Drains is well known but, for me, little
explored. It is the idea that people in your life either radiate energy which
you absorb, or they drain the energy from you.
make you feel energised and valued. Feeling the benefit of their energy can
make you more productive, motivated and engaged. It can also make you feel
calm, serene and cared for. They don't need to be bouncy and enthusiastic
(although they might be). Sometimes we can get energy from quietly supportive
Drains are those people in your life who leave you feeling
diminished after you’ve been with them. Even if your general mood is upbeat, a
conversation with a Drain can leave you feeling dull, negative and frustrated,
or maybe unexplainably cranky and irritable.
The concept is simple. Clearly, we should be trying to surround
ourselves with Radiators and not Drains. But is this what we do?
Audit your relationships
The first thing to do is to work out who are the Radiators and who
are the Drains in your circle. Quite simply write down everyone you know,
starting with your closest relationships and then work out whether they're a
Radiator or a Drain. If you can't decide, think about how you feel when you are
planning to see them. Is it someone that you can't wait to see or is it someone
who, quite frankly, you'd rather postpone?
The next step is obvious. Minimise contact with Drains and
maximise contact with Radiators. Easy!
But ... what if some of your Drains are beloved family members or
people that you can't easily minimise contact with? You need a coping strategy.
Coping with Drains
If you really can't minimise your contact with a Drain in your
life, then you need to ask yourself a good coaching question which is
"What is within my control in this situation?". Now, any coach will
tell you that a common response to this open question about any situation is
"How I react / feel / am impacted". We can all control how we respond
to situations and how we allow them to affect us. This is how you can cope with
Here are a few ideas:
What other ideas do you have?
Once you have your list, it would be a lovely idea to celebrate your
Radiators. We all know that gratitude is a positive mental state that impacts
our emotional and physical wellbeing. Look at the Radiators on your list. Why
not write a note to some of your Radiators telling them how you appreciate
their warmth and energy? You, reciprocally, will be their Radiator.
Be more Radiator
And this leads me to my final point. Being a Radiator yourself is
hugely beneficial to your happiness and energy. And, as you radiate, you will
attract Radiators to you. How warm and cosy could life be if we all radiate
towards each other!
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