For Harry Potter fans out there, you will understand this post more than people who didn’t get affected by the Dementors scene with Sirius in The Prisoner of Azgaban.

Dementors are magical creatures who, through their kiss, consume the emotions and good memories of human beings leaving them as empty shells.  So why am I talking about dementors if they are magical?  Because there are real dementors in our lives.  How so?  Bear with me for a while.

Let’s imagine a six year old child talking to his teacher about his dreams of being a singer.  The teacher, who sees that the child has an ugly voice, chooses to tell the child that he should be more realistic, that he should consider something else since singers need a good voice, and that singers are bad people anyway; this is the Dementor’s kiss.  The teacher just sucked the dream out of the child, leaving him feeling broken and vulnerable.

Adults are also faced with dementors all the time.  Spouses, siblings, friends, colleagues, all can be dementors.  They are people in your life who you feel drained just by talking to, people who are always negative, and people who find the worst in every situation.  Those who put you down regardless of what you do and those who make you feel like life is not worth living.

So how can we evaluate if there is a dementor in our life?

1- Identify the dementor:  Think of the people you are happy to talk to and who you feel good after you meet with.  These are not demetors, these are the good people you need. Now think of the people who you feel bad talking to, who you feel like it’s a job just listening to them.  People who you don’t want to share your success or ideas with.  You may be reluctant to face the truth because of the relationship you have with that person, it’s alright you’re just identifying them.

2- How long has this been going on?  Since when was the dementor in your life and when did this all start?  Are you a victim of an older sibling who enjoys putting you down?

3- What is the reason?  People are logical beings, supposedly, so what’s the reason behind the dementor choosing you to kiss?  Is it sibling rivalry?  Does your spouse feel like they are on a higher level by putting you down?  Is your colleague after the promotion you’re entitled to?

4- How often does this happen?  Is it a daily issue?  Do you feel obliged to speak to your dementor everyday and listen to the negativity all the time?

After answering the previous four questions, now is the time to get away from the dementor unless you are suicidal.  This is not a joke.  Negative people in your life will always fill it with negative energy and the more you struggle, the more you drown in the quicksand they are throwing you in.  Imagine all the negative words coming out of their mouth as trash being thrown in your direction.  Is it worth it?  Is this where you place yourself?  Do you not see yourself more than a door mat?

Colleagues, friends, and acquaintances who are dementors are easier to escape.  Try to reduce the amount of time you see them and try to cut all ties you have with them.  This will not be easy. When you try to escape, the dementors will want to show you how important he/she is in your life.  A prison guard is worthless without a prisoner.  Stay consistent and reduce the amount of time you see them. With time, you will feel the energy flow in your veins and you will be able to see the truth in how you were treated.

Dementors who are family members are much more difficult to stay away from.  You see, I can’t and won’t tell you to get a divorce or stop talking to your mother or reduce the amount of time you spend around them because these are the relationships that really matter in the end.  The dynamics of your relationship must be readjusted and you may need some outside help.  You could ty to work it out together but I doubt the dementors in them will want to discuss making things better.  These relationships are usually worth thinking of maintaining so you have to be sure of what you decide and how you go around trying to make things work (or not).

On the other hand, you need to work on your ‘expecto petronom’ to keep any new dementors away. You need to be strong, surround yourself with the right type of people and energy, and fill yourself with confidence in your strength.  Your dreams need to be set in your mind, your days need to be assessed and cherished, and your self must be given its worth.

Don’t forget, sometimes we are our own dementors.

You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no…anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just — exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever… lost.Remus Lupin on the Dementor’s Kiss[src]