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Highly Sensitive People: Beware of energy leaks!

Drained? Irritated ? Not only do you feel like you're never *really* progressing, but you're also constantly tired? What if you had an… energy leak! Have you heard of it ? It's like having a small puncture in a tire. The little puncture can be things, people, or situations that drain your energy, subtly depleting you over time, to the point where you always feel exhausted.

But that little hole... you don't see it, because it doesn't allow the air to come out completely. However, it lets enough air escape so that the tire will gradually deflate if you don't repair it.

Energy leaks are the same. These are things that exhaust you if you don't plug them.

energy leaks

Now you know what an energy leak is, so how do you find it? What are the signs ? And above all, how to plug the breach? So even if you don't feel concerned by the subject, know that in one way or another, we all have energy leaks in our lives, with more or less visible, or more or less significant consequences. It is therefore important that we are aware of this before letting our energy escape completely and reaching “burnout” without knowing why.

If you recognize yourself in the following scenarios, there is a good chance that you have undetected energy leaks:

  • You procrastinate even to do things that please you and are important to you, as for those that need to be done, it's total paralysis.

  • You feel completely overwhelmed by everything and anything.

  • You struggle with chronic fatigue without lacking sleep.

  • All tasks seem difficult to you, even the simplest... Even using the word “task” exhausts you.

  • You have difficulty determining your priorities. It's a bit of a mess in your head and in your confusion, you tackle details when there is an elephant in the room.

  • For no apparent reason, you are always on the verge of explosion or implosion. You get irritated over details, you're constantly nervous and you cry over trifles... In short, you're not at your best emotionally.

Not a great picture, is it? So of course, behind these symptoms can hide lots of conditions, but if you dwell a little on the possibility that maybe you have a lot of energy leaks, you could have big surprises by discovering all the things that drain you without realizing it.

For highly sensitive people, it is even more important to plug energy leaks because we are more easily overwhelmed and overstimulated.

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Let's review the sneaky things that could be energy leaks in your life:


One of the greatest energy sappers is hidden and silent. It’s self-criticism. And oh how we know that highly sensitive people are champions in this area.

I won't tell you anything new by telling you that being in the presence of someone who only focuses on the negative is completely exhausting and demoralizing. When someone harps on to you about their problems, mistakes, or setbacks, it can be absolutely draining, and can make you, too, feel morose and down after having a discussion with that person.

So imagine that this negative, unwanted person… well, it’s you.

We (HSP) are particularly good at having a guest like this in our heads. It’s the little voice that points out our mistakes, the one that urges us to work harder and try to do better. It is also the one that becomes tyrannical if we fail in something. Do you see who I'm talking about?

How to fix the leak:

Above all, don't let this little voice invade your space, and what's more, to impose its rules to you. It's just an unwelcome intruder, even if you've invited them to stay with you too often, too long. Give it a name if it helps, like “Jack, the critic” or “Ann, the negative,” and ask them to lower the volume of their comments.

By personifying your intruder, it will help you separate the critical voice from yourself, and you will have an easier time silencing this voice that constantly drains you. And when your intruder tries to take over your thoughts again, think of someone close to you who is kind and optimistic by nature, and imagine what they would say to your intruder (and therefore to yourself).

Try this exercise and see the difference in your energy levels. What happens when you start listening to an optimistic perspective and turn down the volume on the criticism?

Leaving too many doors ajar

It's an analogy that I stick to and which will perhaps end up exasperating you by hearing me repeat it, but leaving doors ajar is one of the situations that creates a loss of energy. This causes harmful drafts. What is the concept of leaving doors ajar unnecessarily? These are all those seemingly insignificant things that we keep putting off and putting off, but which take up a lot of our mental space if we let them linger too long by not resolving them.

The doors ajar are that mail that you have had to respond to for several days, but which bores you. It’s the pile of laundry to put away that turns into a mountain, day after day, but that you always put off until the next day. It’s the bag of clothes to drop off at the donation center that’s been sitting in the bottom of your car trunk for weeks. This is the call you have to make to your Aunt Liz, but it annoys you just thinking about it.

Half-open doors are all those tasks or conversations, partially completed or left until later, that bother us day after day, without us really realizing it. They take up considerable space in our minds and become energy vampires!

Closing ajar doors allows us to be more present, organized and therefore productive, because we no longer have energy leaks and we can therefore concentrate on our real priorities.

How to fix the leak:

Make a list of your ajar doors, listing them in order of priority, from those that need to be closed as soon as possible to those that do not require your immediate attention. Then force yourself to close them one after the other. You can decide to do one task per day or allocate a day to get as much done as possible. By following this “protocol”, you will have a very satisfying and beneficial feeling of accomplishment, and less energy leakage.

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Overwork and dispersion

The overwork that often leads to dispersion is a considerable drain of energy. Overwork can take different forms, such as multitasking all day, and therefore not accomplishing priority tasks, much less completing them successfully. This means tackling too many projects at once, jumping from one to the next, without completing a single one.

Not only does this give the opportunity, inevitably, to add to the list of ajar doors, but above all to not accomplish in presence, your important and priority tasks which require your full attention. This overwork will also lead you to exceed your limits which are so important to your mental health.

Taking on things that you know fully well you are unable to accomplish, or not on time, is a huge drain of energy, and a step toward mental, physical, and emotional overwork.

When we overwork ourselves, we become so exhausted that we live in a fog where we experience life instead of being participants in it.

How to fix the leak:

In this configuration, the most obvious thing is the absence of healthy boundaries or the failure to respect them. So of course, I can’t stress enough the importance of setting limits and sticking to them, but life can throw us unforeseen situations with which we must adapt.

This adjustment could be a well-established compromise that would give a little more flexibility to our limits in the form of a range. Let me explain... You know your limits, so why not set up rules for lower and upper limits, for example: whatever the workload, I never work on Sunday; I work between 7 and 9 hours per day; I do not undertake more than 3 projects at the same time; I allow myself between 15 minutes and an hour of leisure per day.

By imposing this rule of lower-upper limits on yourself, you avoid compensating for unexpected situations by working all weekend, or entering into a cycle of irregular and exhausting hours. Overworking ourselves will result in poor quality, sloppy work, which will lead to guilt, self-criticism and reduced confidence.

This rule can not only apply to work, but also to all areas of your life, for example: Never go out to relax less than twice a month, but never more than four times either.

This requires a little discipline, but this rule is less rigid than imposing limits on yourself that you must never cross, because eventually, because of the vagaries of life, your limits cannot always be respected, and this will cause you distress, disappointment and a feeling of failure if you exceed them.

Our friends the vampires

We all have in our lives that friend, that family member for whom it always seems like something negative is happening or who always turns situations into negative experiences, even if they are not directly involved. Whether it's their health problems, their work situation, their romantic setbacks, the latest news in the news or their latest failed recipe, they always have a problem. It's as if the world is coming after them, in every detail and in every area. Talking with this person can be completely exhausting because, as an empathetic person, you cannot remain indifferent, and you cannot help but get involved in cheering them up, and listening to their complaints. When you arrive home, you are just a shadow of yourself, completely empty and unable to do anything.

Plugging the leaks that are up to you like a busy schedule, your little critical voice or ajar doors, is not easy, but at least it doesn't involve another person, and therefore a relationship. However, when the energy leak is a friend or a family member, it is much harder to plug it, because it has an emotional aspect. It's not as simple as putting away a pile of laundry or establishing a healthier work schedule. But I think that anything that drains our energy needs to be examined.

Energy vampires literally “suck” the energy from other human beings, very often they do not do it consciously. Attention-seeking can be a way that some people draw energy from others; they feed off our willingness to listen to them and care for them.

Energy vampires can be anywhere and anyone in your life.

Learning to identify and respond to their toxic behavior can help you preserve your energy and protect you from great emotional and physical distress.

How to fix the leak:

If you have someone in your life who is draining you, try setting boundaries with that person and/or reevaluating your relationship with them. Ask yourself if this is someone you really want in your life? Or are they someone you absolutely need to reduce interactions and time spent with? Can you open up to this person and make them understand that their negativity is having side effects on yourself? Is the game worth it?

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Clutter in the house, in our closets, around us, traps energy and blocks it. For highly sensitive people, who process everything around them deeply, when there is clutter in their space, they don't like it because it makes them feel like everything is very crowded. If, for example, their office space is not clean and bright, their attention will be distracted and they will find it difficult to immerse themselves in work.

It's the same thing if their kitchen is messy, with a pile of dishes in the sink. They may even be in another room, and therefore not see the mess, but knowing that there are dishes that are out of place or that the room is not tidy can really disturb them. Because highly sensitive people are very influenced by the space they are in, disorder can significantly affect them and create energy leaks.

How to fix the leak:

If you don't have time to tidy up as you go, set aside a day of the week to put everything back in place. However, I would advise you to try, as much as possible, not to leave your belongings, your dishes or anything lying around. Have you used something? Put it away immediately after use. It only takes a few seconds, instead of a few hours, to put everything away at the end of the week, and it will allow you to always live in an orderly and peaceful environment.

Also declutter your cupboards from time to time. Go through the things you no longer use, and donate them. Clothes, household linen, dishes, whatever it is, sort it out and make people happy by offering them. This will help energy flow easily through your home, attracting abundance and restoring your own vital energy. The movement of energy eliminates blockages.

Social media overload and watching the news

Scrolling through endless feeds, comparing ourselves to curated online personas, and trying to keep up with the digital influencers can lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and wasted time. Too much screen time and scrolling are well known contributors to anxious feelings. There are too many opportunities to compare ourselves and feel less than the people we follow, which can really impact our confidence. Low self-confidence diminishes happiness and creates energy leakage.

Along the same lines, watching the news is one of the best ways to sink into despair, frustration and anger... That alone is a huge energy drain, but one that could easily be fixed.

While some people feel it's important to keep tabs on the news, like social media, it can easily increase anxiety. If you are a news junkie and feeling stressed out, know this is where you are losing energy, as you take in all that often sensationalized negativity and fear-based information.

These huge "energy leaks" can leave us feeling drained and less focused, affecting our professional and personal lives.

How to fix the leak:

I'm assuming you already know the answer, so I won't make a whole paragraph about it.

Just stop!

How can you recognize energy leaks in your life?

After reading this post, I invite you to take out a paper and pencil and write a list of the elements in your life that are energy drains. Then think about how you can fix this energy leak. What changes can you make to help? Try the exercise below.

There are so many small changes you can make that will have a huge, lasting impact. I highly suggest if you are skeptical or this is brand new to you, try for a week making simple changes and then see how you feel.


Step 1: Write down everything you did this week. Be as detailed as possible. It’s probably not necessary to list everything you’ve done for work unless you work from home or for yourself.

Step 2: Now go through each item on the list and give it one of these categories and subcategories:

Time For Myself - enjoyment, self-care, needs, wants, or entertainment

Time With Others - I planned or others planned, and enjoyed myself or didn’t really enjoy myself

Step 3: Now go through the items marked as Time For Myself.

Are there any themes?

How much time are you spending on self-care?

How much are you spending on entertainment? Are you mindlessly watching TV or scrolling through social media?

Are you taking the time to enjoy yourself and address your wants and needs?

Step 4: Now go through the items marked as Time With Others.

Are there any themes here?

How much are you planning versus others?

When others planned things did you enjoy them, or did you just go along so you don’t rock the boat?

Get the point? You need to take a critical eye to your life and how you’re spending your time. I’m not saying you need to always get your way or that all your activities must always be productive or working towards some goal. But everything has its limits. You don’t spend all day Saturday working through a TV marathon. You must have balance. If you want to watch TV, for example, make sure you have other goals and items accomplished prior to and TV time will be a way you can rest and recover from the day.

When I became aware of energy leaks in life, it was a complete game changer for myself and other highly sensitive people I have worked with. I would be very curious what impact these changes have on your life and your energy level.

Tell me in the comments what energy leak you are going to plug! ⬇️


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What is your biggest struggle?

  • Feeling emotionally drained

  • Moving on and letting go

  • Criticism and conflict

  • Being under pressure

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