Everyone knows one.
They suck the joy out of others.
They suck the life out of others.
They just plain suck.
No one wants to be around a vacuum person. If you know one, you probably find yourself walking around on eggshells when they’re around. One false move may result in seriously uncomfortable consequences.
Like a tick must live off the blood of its host in order to survive, these parasites live off the positivity they suck out of those around them.
So how do we combat the life sucking nature of these leaches?
Is it as simple as a real vacuum? Can we just pull their plug?
Unfortunately, no. The human equivalent to pulling the plug would be death and, as offensive as their behavior may be, it’s not enough to justify the death penalty.
We also can’t step on them or kill them with pesticides (although pepper spray might be useful at some point).
Instead, you need to remember that they don’t get to decide how you feel. That’s your choice. You can simply decide that their perceived powers of suction have no effect on you.
You can ignore their dismal attitude and their attempts to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse.
In other words, you can stop letting them get to you.
So when that coworker criticizes how you do your job, ignore them. When your parent is overly critical of your parenting decisions, ignore them. When that stranger says something bad about your kids, ignore them.
You can’t solve most problems by ignoring them, however, this is an exception to the rule. You take away all their power if you refuse to allow it to have power over your life.
It always helps to remember that these people must be incredibly miserable if they have to resort to making others miserable in order to feel better.
Stop feeding them. You may not be able to pull the plug on the vacuum but you can change what it’s trying to suck up. Instead of crumbs in the carpet, be that one string that won’t be sucked up no matter which direction you vacuum.
Be the string.