Energy leak

B Brinkman
4 min readDec 18, 2020


Because of ‘the Corona’ we have been at home for a long time. Or so it seems. People complain, a lot of freedom has been taken away from them. The longer it takes, the more difficult it gets. Last week I attended a workshop ‘Mentally fit during Corona’, yes they do exist. Subjects such as energy givers, energy guzzlers and the importance of balance were discussed in detail. Not much new under the sun, because it had actually been clear to me for years that certain things, activities gave me energy and that some things simply cost me a lot of energy. Giving training, being able to work with enthusiastic volleyball players gave me a lot of energy. The role as team leader of the selection teams at the football club was also really fantastic to do. Making sure that everything around the team ran smoothly, that the boys could enjoy their sport, working together with equally enthusiastic parents, that gave me energy. Chairing meetings with a lot of discussion and people who only bother me, I dreaded that and it always cost me a lot of energy. A balance between the two is nice. Suppose I had a lot of those meetings, always with those difficult, difficult people, I wouldn’t last long. Conversely, just having activities on your agenda that give you a lot of energy is also quite exhausting. Until recently I thought it was nice if people were involved and passionate. Involved in their work, in what they do, I always thought that inspired people were really nice, pleasant to work with. Heart for the business. I now know, through damage and shame, that the line with too involved and passionate is very, very vague. People who really only know activities that give them energy should still, at some point, feel the need to take a break. I traveled back and forth to The Hague for almost two years. My alarm went off at 4 a.m. daily and I often didn’t get home until around 11 p.m. and I don’t complain. I enjoyed it. The work was fun, I had really great colleagues, but I ended up in hospital at the end of February. My body had hit the brakes hard. I had pushed my own boundaries very hard. So hard, in fact, that I hadn’t realized I was crossing the border. To be inspired and involved. Whatever happens, there will come a time when you will be called back.


However, what I had never heard of until last week was the term energy leak. A blowout that completely deflates you, so that you lose all your energy in one go. This can be a situation, but it can also be a person or persons. During the workshop mentioned, after a presentation about energy givers and energy guzzlers, we had to try in pairs to find out what everyone’s energy leak was. It turned out that I am completely fed up with people who complain, people who find everything difficult, difficult and complicated and cannot show patience for the moment when there may be better opportunities and possibilities.

Now I sometimes run into those people and to fix every flat tire now is an enormous amount of work. Everyone could imagine that a blowout cannot actually be repaired. The best tip is to ensure that your tire does not get punctured? There are those tires that cannot be punctured. So do you have to take care of enough calluses on your soul?

I can tolerate a bit of complaining, whining. In fact, it sometimes also gives a kind of togetherness. When I cycled to work through the pouring rain and I come in soaked, it is nice that I am not the only one, that there are more people who walk in sideways wet and it is nice to complain that together . It has to end somewhere. Someone who constantly complains is disastrous for teams, but also for individuals. See also my blowout. People who complain a lot are more often sick, often get in their own way and drag others along. I notice that I certainly get carried away by this. For me it is important to realize that complainants are passionate people, people with a heart for the cause. There are also people who have long since dropped out, who no longer participate, who think along and are perhaps more risky for the club

“Is there nothing right at all?”

“Is everything difficult and complicated?”

“Isn’t there really a solution?”

As I mentioned, really complaining makes sense. Therefore, do not just cut off a complainant. Complainants often do not think that they are complaining at all. Others complain. This is also called the complaining paradox. All those Americans who are now complaining about the course of the elections really don’t think they are complaining. Their truth is the truth and let’s just say something against it. Some tactical ingenuity in this is useful. Being bluntly lost that the other is nagging is not really helpful. It’s like Judo. It is wise to show understanding, to bend, to mirror, sometimes literally repeating what the complainant has said without making a fool of him. Also try to investigate what you agree with the complainant about. What positive elements do you agree on? Try to put a positive spin on the conversation. This is not easy yet. People who complain a lot are often dominant, extroverted people. However, if you have an agreement, if there are common positive points, then you will continue. Try to break that negative pattern. Actually, that’s just like judo.

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B Brinkman

Occupational health advisor, writer, sports, coaching, outside the box, INFJ