The Girl Whisperer
as published by the Sunday Guardian
of August 12
Of Radiators and Drains
The Girl Whisperer knows this one thing and it is that people are generally, classifiable into two groups. They are either able to radiate your goodness and virtues, a certain kind of multiplicity effect if you like, that allows you to be all you can be, or they act as drain pipes, feeding on your strengths and positivism, never adding to you, always taking, always siphoning, leaving you weak and depleted.
The radiator effect is one that makes you feel like a giant, able to achieve anything and to soar from any height. There are no limits when you meet a radiator and you know that with this person, you can achieve the impossible. The best kind of mate to find is the one that encourages you to fly, to lift yourself above the level you currently stand on and dream the impossible dream. At all times, you feel the warmth of the radiator, and on dark cold nights, when you feel alone and are faced with the limits of the mortal frame, you can turn and seek warmth in this person, reassured that a wall of support will always be there for you.
The drain is completely different, as this one builds his or her aspirations around you. Whereas, the radiator remains supportive as he or she continues with her own life, the drain will let you know that without you, his or her life has little meaning. In a world that is already hard enough as it is, you are forced to carry the hang-ups of another upon your shoulders and gradually, without knowing it, lose the very things that give you your vitality. The drain appeals to pity, beclouds you with misery and subtly ensures that the things that are important to you no longer take centre stage. A relationship with a drain is against natural law and a perversion of how relationships ought to be.
If we pause and reflect, we will see that we can cast all of the people we know, into one or the other of these two groups. The reason childhood friendships are often so strong is because few children have honed the skills needed to be drains. Their emotions are not contrived, lack pretence, and are devoid of guile.
The professional adult drain on the other hand often seeks a target that appears to be a natural radiator; only in matches like this, the drain has a vampiric effect, seeking to feed off the essence of the radiator without adding substance.
How can you tell the drain apart from others? He or she blames everyone else for his or her woes, never accepting responsibility or seeking to forge ahead. According to the drain, there is a person responsible for whatever situation he or she is in, and the drain’s cup is never half full. The drain makes your life his or hers, refusing to “get a life” as we sometimes say in jest. When you are the only thing that gives another’s life, meaning, you are in trouble whether you realise it or not. Drains have been known to get nasty when the person being fed off, realizes what is happening and attempts to get out of the situation. The drain will often attempt to destroy what he or she cannot have.
When the radiator looks through the bars that hedge him or her in, all that can be seen are the stars. The drain sees only the mud, all the time. The effect of a drain is a long-term one, gradually weakening the person acting as a host till there is no strength left. The drain will not leave you when there is nothing left to feed off, though. Misery seeks companions and he or she will gladly stay by you as you both wallow in despondency.
When you realize you are embroiled with a drain, seek to make this person know the disadvantages of being in a situation where only one person benefits. If the drain will not change, you must make the changes required.
You have only one life to live, and if you let this be manipulated by another, you miss the very point of your existence.