Ever had one of those days when you come home and collapse on your sofa?
Your partner is becoming a Pilates widow/er and your children Pilates orphans?
Your business seems to be thriving, the money is coming in but at a cost and that cost is you.
What can possibly be wrong?
On paper you are doing all the right things; no caffeine, sugar, wheat, drinking water and herb teas, eating well and getting your right allocation of sleep. Yet you are wiped out. Your clients are gaily skipping out of the studio, singing your praises to leave you in a quivering wreck in the corner wondering where your energy went.
Could it be....could it be...could it possibly be..... you have a case of the Vampire clients ?
It’s ok I’m not going to go all woo woo on you and sell you the latest range in crucifixes and garlic room spray. I’m talking about a particular set of people with a particular skill set who can quite easily drain you of emotional, physical or even spiritual energy.
Einstein said “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it...”. The mass of atoms that makes up your human form is just that ....energy vibrating at a frequency. So when an energy vampire enters your space they come in many guises and aren’t always easy to spot. They all have one thing in common...YOU.
Pilates teachers on the whole are usually empathetic, caring people and we do tend to attract people who consciously or unconsciously see you as the person to resolve their particular issue. This issue can come in the guise of a physical problem but underlying this there is often a hidden agenda or unresolved story that they see you as the solution to.
So how can you spot a vampire? They tend to have similar traits and repeat the same behaviour patterns. Sometimes you can even have hybrid vampires who morph between energy sucking traits.
The Drama Queen Vampire. Flounces in to your teaching space, usually late with some domestic drama in tow which the rest of the class has to listen to and sympathise with before you can commence. They are the ones who have terrible back problems, only for you to discover they tweaked a muscle gardening on Saturday. Should they be feeling it here? It is meant to hurt like this? Oh my word they will NEVER get this breathing. They love to create both minor and major dramas and very good at taking up your time. You could even be working on the same problem with them for years when other clients have long recovered. Or you even resolve their issue, for them to create a new one...especially for you...with love...and drama.
The I love me who do you love vampire can come across as being very charming at first and woo you with their praises but at the core is selfishness. Similar to the Drama Queen they will vie for your attention but they will quickly overtake drama with a steel mantra of “Me first, you second”. You are desperately trying to get off the phone to attend to your waiting clients but they keep you talking about what your opinion is on this or that, all in relation to them. Of course. They do value your opinion but demand more than what they have paid for. Be aware of the manipulation and time stealing. It comes at a price to you and they are not adverse to singing your praises then stabbing you in the back.
The Critical Vampire. This is my least favourite of the coven and often have low self esteem. They don’t realise that whilst they are busy pointing the finger, three fingers are pointing back at them. They will complain and criticise everything, even trying to get you to join them. Or you can find yourself on the receiving end of their sharp tongue. They will point out the spiders cobweb in the corner of your space or have you rush off to the loo to scrub it with a toothbrush as it didn’t meet their acceptable standards.
" By the way" said the vamp " Jaine Smith was just marvellous! That cover session she did for you the other week helped me understand so many things I just never got before!!" These are the exact same teaching points you have been saying for years. Grrrrrrrr.
The Controller really dislikes being wrong and will usually try to dominate by telling you what they are going to work on as soon as they walk through the door, without even so much as a postural analysis. They can be the client who “advises” other clients and will even go as far as to try to intimidate or control you from anything to music choice, making personal comments or intimidating other clients.
They know it all.
The Poor Me Vampire bravely soldiers on in the face of adversity yet again mysteriously you can never get to the bottom of their issue. They reel off their problems like a shopping list and can usually cite exactly what the doctor said. They can have a victim or martyr approach to their mentality and can easily guilt people out into doing things for them. The carer in you responds very easily to these people but we aren’t serving them by rescuing them we are only helping them stay trapped in their place of dis-empowerment.
The Accidental Vampire is the person who can slip in and out of vampire role. Perhaps it was a client that you went out of your way to help them through a particularly sticky patch and now they have come to expect that service from you every time which is above and beyond what you would normally offer. They rely on you and your classes and “don’t know what they would do without you”.
So, now you have met the coven. Take a few moments to think about who came to mind and why. You know who I’m talking about don’t you? So how do we combat these draining forces in our lives?
All hail the Virgins!!
Virgins are those people who have you gaily skipping out of the studio. They give as much as they receive and they help you in the good fight. They love themselves in a healthy way, and appreciate you too. They respect your boundaries, have boundaries themselves and are often very humanitarian.
We often attract vampires because they are a signpost for us to work on our own “ Inner Virgin”. We develop our Inner Virgin by sticking to clear, set boundaries, being assertive, not allowing ourselves to be drawn into drama or being involved in others self – pity, nurturing and loving ourselves and ultimately saying NO when we know those lines are crossed again and again.
With empathy, compassion and love for both ourselves and others we can keep the vampires at bay. Creating a thriving business that is healthy as well as wealthy.
Failing that I have Van Helsing’s number if you need it.