It would seem fairly obvious to state what both of these are in terms of the actual physical objects. One radiates and the other drains. But in terms of personality in a human?
I know that in my time on earth I have been both – someone who drains other people (as well as myself so much!) and also someone who radiates a (hopefully) positive energy that is conductive to others as well as to myself. It is also perversely draining to be like a radiator all the time too and I become like an armadillo, coiling into myself, to preserve energy and for protection too. This is a skill I have only recently just learnt – to pace myself in interactions with others, probably aided somewhat by a pandemic which forcibly reduced real time interactions with others but it also has reduced my social skills and capabilities and I am building back to that.
It's a skill to identify in other people which one they might be because sometimes what is presented in front of you is not all it might seem.
Sometimes you might get a collective of lovely people (as I did recently on holiday) who drain you, more because of their sheer numbers, and other factors, rather than them being that specific way. I think as you get older you get to identify more acutely who will be good for you in your life and the polar opposite. The nearer I get to middle age and the inevitable creaks and groans that happen have made me realise who is there for me and who isn't. That kind of seasonality in friendship – are they there for a lifetime or for a season or a reason?
For a while, it felt very emotional to realise that certain people that you thought would be there for you are not what they seem, until you see that it doesn't matter. I have become so much more philosophical of late, letting go of relationships that really didn't suit the me I am now, rather than the me I was then. You can give yourself permission to let go of people that no longer bring anything to you (and you may not bring anything more to them), or behaviours in yourself that no longer serve you. It is so freeing to acknowledge this and make peace with it.
I think the best feeling in life is being a radiator not only to other people but to yourself but it can take a lifetime to learn, especially if you have fragile self-esteem. You can also work on draining away elements of yourself that you don't like so much – but it's not always easy to eliminate that negativity which then re-presents itself in so many aspects of our lives (but again we can choose to let go of these or massively reduce them) such as television, social media and general interactions with the public.
I was gifted a book from a friend which is all about self care and it's been great to read this and take tips from. Perhaps at its core, this book is about being a radiator to oneself in times of need and not waiting until you hit the floor but being prepared and actively thinking about what will heal you. Let me know your thoughts.
A Moodscope member.