Relationships and Energy: Do You Share or Take?

By Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed.

Several years ago I watched the Celestine Prophecy, based on the book by James Redfield, and was intrigued by perception of how humans interact energetically, which he referred to as the four “control dramas”. One particular part stood out to me, which was how when two people were interacting you could see the energy that one was trying to take from the other. It resonated with me from a spiritual perspective, as well as a psychological perspective.

This “energy” goes by many names, such as chi, orgone, prana, ether, or life force, among others. Every interaction that we have in our environment, and with others, is an energy exchange. In functional relationships, individuals share energy, which intensifies their own energy, while in negative relationships both parties are either drained or temporarily filled, depending on whether they are the taker or the victim.

There is plenty of research to attest to the fact that we are beings of energy, emitting this energy to the outside world. For example, in the late 19th century Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest scientist to contribute to our society, stated that under the right conditions you could see the glow of the human body’s energy. Other scientist, such as Dr. K. Korotkov and his team, have done tremendous work developing systems that will allow us to see this energy and help us understand it.

There are different ways to express the impact that we have on each other in relationships.Whether we consider it emotional, psychological, or energetic, the reality is that our actions and intentions have a powerful impact on those around us, both at a superficial and deep level.  Unfortunately, many in our society have learned to increase their personal energy through drama, in which they take energy from others instead of learning of how to create it for themselves. This can be seen, for example, when someone tries to manipulate others to meet their financial, emotional, spiritual, or physical need. It goes beyond emotional energy—everything is energy—so regardless of what you get from someone, it is also energy.

I have heard people justify finding ways to get their needs met by others by saying “it is just the universe providing”. However, what they fail to see that it is at the expense of others around them.  Equally as important, what they do not realize is that the pattern leaves them trapped needing others to fulfill their needs. Regardless of what they may obtain energetically from others at the moment, it cannot get them what they really want—true happiness.

Through my studies of happiness, while completing my dissertation, I have found that regardless of what material goods people have, what places they have traveled, how many surgeries they have had, or their perceived freedom, they are unhappy if they obtained it through taking from others. Do not get me wrong, they may experience a sense of happiness when they have a new experience or buy something, but it is short lived. The same can be said in relationships: when energy is earned at the expense of the other party, true happiness cannot exist. Individuals with the habit of “taking” often have problems in maintaining relationships because

You can’t have a functional relationship when it is not based on a reciprocal exchange of energy.

According to Redfield, “control dramas” are energy-seeking patterns that originate from childhood. These behaviors develop as a learned behavior in order to gain attention (energy) from parents (or others) or to counteract the control dramas used by others to steal energy from the child. Everyone has, in some way or form, tendencies to use one (or more) of the 4 control dramas. The question is whether they take responsibility for their actions, learn to gain their own energy without taking it from others, and avoid letting energy-stealing drama destroy their relationships.

The 4 Control Dramas:
The Poor Me: This energy-stealing strategy is characterized by individuals creating guilt trips in to control a situation or person. They feed off sympathy and get energy by having situations and problems that make people feel sorry for them or make them seem needy.

The Aloof: The aloof takes control by distancing themselves from a situation, only to spontaneously act out to regain the person’s attention. The purpose of the distancing is to draw people in, and for control.

The Interrogator: The interrogator is one that probes for the specific purpose of finding something wrong with the person to be able to criticize them and manipulate them with the information. Many times interrogators like to ask many questions but do not like others to ask questions of them.

The Intimidator: An intimidator may be explosive, loud, and unpredictable at times. They tend to be talkative and try to get the person to force you to give them your attention so they can take control.

By the time you’re an adult, you are likely to have a deeply ingrained habit of utilizing whichever of these tactics worked best with your parents. In the moment, it might feel good to fill your emotional tank at the expense of others, but no one wins in the long-run. Remember, the only true path of happiness is to learn how to create your own energy by meeting your own needs by doing the things that feed your soul. Only then will you experience long-term, functional relationships and the joy of a reciprocal exchange of energy.

Joeel A Rivera, M.Ed. is a counselor and life coach specializing in relationships and entrepreneurship. Joeel is a Motivational Speaker, presenting topics such as Enlightened Relationships, Personal Transformation, and Entrepreneurship. Joeel received a Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling and is currently finishing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus on human happiness and what drives us to achieve our fullest potential. Connect with Joeel at

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