My husband's colleague says that people fall into two categories: Radiators and Drains.
Drains suck the life out of you. They are emotional vampires. They rarely have anything positive to say, always have someone to blame, and think that the world is 'being done to' them. They wallow in their martyr complexes and expect you to rescue them from whatever pickle they have got themselves into - which is of course someone else's fault because they are always the victim. Drains are black holes in human form. They suck the light from the world, and from everybody who comes into contact with them.
Radiators make you feel better about everything, especially yourself. They are positive, uplifting company. They make even your wildest dreams seem possible. They feed and nurture you, whilst feeding and nurturing themselves. They fill the world with light and hope. They always look for the bright side, have a glass half full, sort out their own issues, make an effort, move forward. They are Possibilitarians.
I was brought up to be a Drain, but thats not my instinctive state. Its taken some tough training and a lot of long, hard looks at myself when I am being victim-y, but I'm getting better at being a Radiator.
A few weeks ago, I emerged from a period of depression, the worst I've had for some years. I made the decision to flood my life with POSITIVITY.
These are the words I want to fill my life with from now on, the change I want to feel. So I am looking only to hang out with Radiators from now on. I have little enough energy as it is without letting a Drain leech it out of me.
I feel a bit bad about it. A bit guilty. There's a big OUGHT in there for me, that I OUGHT to be helping. But that's what Drains do, that is how they entrap you into their mesh of victimhood. So while I am acknowledging the OUGHT, I am not allowing myself to act on it. I need to do something for me right now, and that means letting go of being with people who sap me of my joy.
I am looking forward to possibility. I am reaching out for hope. And I am filling my life solely with people and things that are Radiators.