Sustainer or Drainer?

Photo Credit: Evan Kaufmann

     You can only be one.


     Oddly enough, needy people (a.k.a. Drainers) often think they are life-givers (a.k.a. Sustainers).

     And that's where it can get tricky...

     Who are you in your friendships? A Sustainer or a Drainer. In your workplace? A Sustainer or a Drainer?  In your day to day interactions. A Sustainer or a Drainer?

     I can tell you this, I'm being much more intentional this year by surrounding myself with more Sustainers than ever before. And yes, everyone has bad days. That's not what we are talking about here. We are talking about your overall consistency in life.

     How can you tell which one you are?

     Here are a few clues:

     Traits of Drainer:

1. Ruled by fear (known or unknown) and entitlement.

2. There is a lack of vision. They are mostly stuck on what is happening right in front of them. Instead what lies farther ahead...including a solution that may be just a few steps ahead.

3. Often places high demands on friends, whether it be their time, resources, or presence on a consistent basis.

4. They often don't take the time to own their own emotional hang-ups and insecurities, but instead look to others to find solutions for them.

5. They are usually unaware or highly insensitive to other people's feelings (whether it be a one-on-one setting or a group setting), because they haven't grasped and learned how to honor and love people beyond their own feelings and circumstances.

     Some of the ways we are affected by a Drainer:

1. Time with them sucks the life out of you.

2. You feel sad, down, or semi-depressed after interacting with them.

3. You feel like you either need to come to their ultimate rescue or completely fix them or their problems on a consistent basis. As if it were an unbearable burden on your shoulders only.


     Traits of Sustainer:

1. Authentically Humble and constantly Grateful.

2. Their outlook and vision is always bent towards success, no matter how impossible the situation. When a problem arises, they are quick to not dwell on the problem, but the possible solutions. And this is often why Sustainers have goals they are able to consistently reach, even if the goal has to be reworked and rethought out.

3.  They understand that hard work is a part of any good process and are not resentful because of blood, sweat, and tears.

4. They are constantly aware of the needs of others and not just themselves. Their friendships are healthy and balanced and ever maturing.

5. Often, they have stellar social etiquette, social skills, and emotional intelligence, simply because they know how to honor and love people well.

     Some of the ways we are affected by a Sustainer:

1. You feel inspired and challenged in the best way by being in their presence.
2. You feel more at peace by simply being around them.
3. You feel like you can completely be yourself in any given mood you may have. (Although, with a Sustainer, often smiles and laughter are involved.)


     Now you get to choose. Each new day. Which will you be? A Drainer or a Sustainer.

     You can only be one.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." 

(John 10:10)