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Beware of Leeches

Have you ever met a person that drained you? A person so powerful in their ability to suck the life blood out of you that you felt like you couldn't fight back? A person with such a heavy presence that you could actually feel the tension when they enter the room? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have met a leech.

A leech is defined as, "an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends. Many species are bloodsucking parasites, and others are predators. 2.a person who sponges on others" 

Traditionally a leech was a worm that would inhale the blood of their prey.  The interesting part about their feeding was that they would draw blood until they died.  Medieval doctors even used leeches to suck the blood of humans because it was believed that they purified the blood of disease.  

Regardless of the definition leeches aren't attractive things.  What can be attractive about something that gorges to the point of death.  

Some examples of leeches in contemporary life are:

  • that aggressive sales person speaks so closely that you can smell what he ate that afternoon
  • that intrusive relative who takes an uncanny interest in all of your daily activities
  • that manipulative family member that asks you a thousand questions and is ready to pounce when they sense a whiff of inconsistency in your answers
  • that lazy co worker who always asks for your help instead of fixing the problem themselves
  • that bone chillingly irritating relative who keeps on talking about themselves without asking about you
  • that frustrating customer who changes their order three times only to cancel the entire order in the end
In all of these examples the leeches have a draining effect on the person.  They take take take without giving back.  So what is the antidote?

To avoid them as much as possible probably, but that is unlikely. So the real answer is in loving- confrontation.  Sadly, many people are genuinely clueless that their actions are egregious. It's uncomfortable to tell a leech that their behavior is inappropriate or causing distress. But even a leech deserves to be schooled.  Now if your leech continues his/her lecherous behavior after you've called them onto it, then it is up to you to "detach with love". A leech can only suck your blood if you let them by not "pulling them off you"  You don't have to allow the leech to steal your time, resources, and energy. But the key is confronting them in love,  Remember:  confrontation without love is brutality.

Time is precious.  Life is short.  Be leech free.


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