Practical Advice Blog # 2: Beware of Power Pirates
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
August 2011
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
August 2011

It is of great importance to beware of “power pirates” in your life. Power pirates move about in the general public, often without notice, and can crop up anywhere or anytime. The havoc they create can be slow and steady, or it can spread quickly with might…like a wildfire that is almost impossible to quell. There are varying degrees of energy theft these pirates engage in, falling anywhere along a continuum-it may be undetectable to the human eye, or just barely enough to notice, like an irritating gnat buzzing around, but it can also hit you over the head like a two-by-four, knocking you to your knees as you scramble for a quick exit. Power pirates leave you with little reserves to face the day, while they skip away full of vim and vigor, even becoming content, happy and energetic. The cause and effect can be likened to your body armor being slowly chipped away- you become too exposed, which in time can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety that is hard to shake.


You see, power pirates need others’ energy to survive. The important thing to realize is that it always takes a toll-which can be immediate, or in some cases the damage isn’t noticeable for weeks, months or even years, but by then making a powerful punch, a dangerous cocktail with a cumulative effect. If you’ve got a lot of dysfunction going on around you, things seem to be way too chaotic, and the toxicity in the air is tangible at home, work, or when hanging around certain folk, think long and hard about what you are being exposed to. It would be advantageous to take an objective look at yourself and reevaluate your relationships. With whom are you spending your precious time and life? Heck, you could be one and not even know it! 


So ask yourself…are certain others feeding your soul? Are they nourishing important aspects of your being? Is their existence in your life pleasing, making it easier and more enjoyable, and are reciprocating support? When others pull the energy out of you, think of it as second hand smoke, or like breathing in asbestos…just as insidious and life threatening. These pirates may easily be disguised as a friend, family member or work colleague. They can also be skulking around in the background of your life, adept at being chameleons. Pirates can be your spouse, best friend, receptionist at work, the boy bagging your weekly groceries. But to be fair, some don’t even know they are taking your energy…it is their way of surviving, a coping mechanism of sorts they’ve adopted to deal with life’s stressors-a coat of protection against the harsh elements of the world. 


So my practical advice is to take a hard look around. Are you always giving a certain person counsel, trying to fix their problems, smoothing down feathers because they are angry at the world once again? Is this person never happy about life, are you often assisting in protecting them against life’s misfortunes? If so, it is time to reconfigure your relationship…sometimes this whole drama is nothing more than good old codependency. So start making changes now…some people you can simply avoid, or you can limit your amount of exposure. Other adjustments will be trickier and harder to enforce. Know this: altering the expectations and expressing your needs is mandatory. Setting stricter personal boundaries and time limits is crucial. If this power pirate (aka: energy vampire) is an important person in your life, exposing your feelings and concerns in full daylight can produce miraculous change. The vast majority of people have good seeds within…help them discover these so they can be replanted, douse with plenty of love and light, then step back and watch them grow…from a distance, but together in spirit.


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