I found the perfect Abraham-Hicks video discussing what “low energy” really means, but first here’s how I found the term and its associations with temperament and introversion.
Energy vs social interest
One of the historic two-factor personality theories used combinations of energy and social interest to describe what are essentially the four temperaments.
Melancholics are low energy, low social interest and I love this depiction because it captures my past experience in ways I otherwise struggled to convey.
After all, “I’m tired” implies to most people a prior cause of tiredness, but I would feel tired even if I had done nothing that day.
“I’m always tired, for no reason” implies to most people some kind of chronic ailment 😅
But “I’m low energy” is unfamiliar enough of a term to wrong-foot people and it immediately implies the converse: some people are just “high energy”.
“Social interest” is equally brilliant because I’m too polite to say “I don’t like socialising” and anyway it’s not strictly true. I just don’t feel the “pull” that some people evidently feel to be surrounded by others.
And keeping energy and social interest distinct is brilliant too because cholerics will get it immediately and stop asking, recognising themselves as “high energy” but also “low social interest”.
But that’s not temperament!
Here everything gets turned on its head, because if you’ve ever seen me in full flight of ideas and inspiration you would never consider me “low energy” and if you ever saw me with the right person at the right time you wouldn’t peg me as “low social interest” either.
That’s why I referred to the Abraham-Hicks video at the beginning, because in it a woman describes her life-long struggle with feeling low energy, depressed and suffering physical pain.
In other words she sounds like a melancholic.
But the Abraham response is not that some people are simply low energy by default.
Feeling low energy is the feeling of resistance.
Abraham uses the analogy of sitting awkwardly and cutting off the blood flow to your foot or leg. It feels weird and uncomfortable because you’re impeding the flow of blood and life-giving oxygen and nutrients to the cells in that part of your body.
Likewise, feeling low energy, depressed and in physical pain are symptoms of negative beliefs about various subjects or about life itself. These habits of thought are obstructing or limiting the flow of energy, which is the essence of good feeling.
Nonetheless Abraham does mention that some people are especially focused with their thoughts. The woman in the video just happened to have gotten off on the wrong foot earlier in life, and had devoted her highly focused mind to resistant thoughts instead of good-feeling ones.
So there is evidently some degree of individual difference. It would take perhaps more time for this woman to change the direction of her focus, to train her powerful mind in better-feeling thoughts.
But as Abraham gets her to acknowledge, it’s not as though every moment of her life has been full of consistent and unrelenting depression or low energy or pain.
And I recognise that in myself. There are subjects where I’ve felt so good my feet don’t touch the ground. There are social interactions I do seek out and enjoy.
There are countless moments throughout the day where my once iron grip on misery slipped right off. There have even been times when I’ve had to work hard to regain that deathly serious focus on feeling bad!
Even a melancholic can be happy and “high energy” if their day consists of one exciting and satisfying subject after another.
And all it takes is some practice and some focus in the right direction, retraining our powerful minds for happiness.
This new understanding of “low energy” doesn’t negate differences in temperament. In fact it raises the truly exciting question of what life might look like for a melancholic who has learnt to stay in alignment with his or her own energy!