Friends In Low Places

     I think that it is ingrained within us, since childhood, the importance of being well-liked.  Or maybe not, maybe it was just the way I was raised.  In my family, it was always better to be nice than strong, to avoid subjects that might irritate others, to have as wide a range of friends as possible.  As a result, I had a lot of friends in varying social circles, and I've always been grateful for that.  But it also meant that I was far too accepting of poor behavior, and that it took me WAY longer than it should have to cut certain people loose from my life.
    Have you ever noticed that people you socialize with either give you something, or take something from you?  Call it whatever you like: essence, energy, vitality...whatever it is, you can feel it.  There are those who leave you feeling lighter, happier, inspired, the moment they enter the room.  And then there are others who leave you drained, defeated, and tired.  They might not necessarily be bad people, but they simply suck the life out of you...you can sense it happening as soon as they walk through the door.  
    Why is it so hard to get rid of these vampires?  I think most of it is still good-girl (or boy) guilt.  It feels wrong to detach from someone without a definitive reason. Sure, it's easy to ditch the friend who has hooked up with your boyfriend, but ending a friendship with someone who simply exhausts you seems so wrong. You might feel like absolute crap every single time you hang out with that certain friend, but is that a reason to end contact with them?  
    Why not?  Isn't the point of friendship to have someone around who lifts you up?  Someone who brings out the best in you?  So why do we feel so obligated to hold onto those who bring us nothing?  Are we that fearful of eventually finding ourselves alone?  
     Lately, I've been hearing a lot about levels of energetic vibration.  According to Abraham Hicks, each of us vibrates on a particular level, and the higher your vibration, the more positive energy you both radiate and attract. These are the levels of emotional vibration, from highest to lowest:
 
1. Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love
2. Passion
3. Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
4. Positive Expectation/Belief
5. Optimism
6. Hopefulness
7. Contentment
8. Boredom
9. Pessimism
10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
11. Overwhelment
12. Disappointment
13. Doubt
14. Worry
15. Blame
16. Discouragement
17. Anger
18. Revenge
19. Hatred/Rage
20. Jealousy
21. Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness
 
    So basically, like attracts like...which means that the higher up on this scale you are, the more good vibes you both send out, and attract.  If you do have a higher vibration, you also attract people of a lower vibe, because they gravitate toward what they are missing.  If you're an optimist, you attract other optimists...but you would also lure in the pessimists, because they are drawn to what they don't have.  Hence, we have energetic vampires: people of a lower vibration who swarm around, sucking away at all that good energy you're putting out there.  They aren't doing it intentionally...but they are doing it.
     For all of you out there who have more experience with all this fascinating vibrational stuff...what's your take on dealing with acquaintances of a lower vibration?  Do we need to steer clear completely, or is there is a way to integrate these people into our lives without getting sucked dry?