Dealing with emotional vampires
I know, the title of this sounds pretty cryptic–dealing with emotional vampire, also known as an energy vampire.
I have to say, it’s one subject that I’m truly passionate about…since the truth is, an emotional vampire can take a serious toll on us. It can actually become such a HUGE disruption to our life that it can even affect our physical and yes, mental health.
Point blank, being around energy vampires be brutal if it’s not handled the way it should be. And yeah, getting yourself “out of dodge” when an emotional vampire starts working their tricks…I say if you can, do it. Change the subject, excuse yourself, hang up the phone…whatever it takes to evade and sidestep, to flat out shut that negative wave down.
How? I know–much easier said than done. And it’s not always as simple as hanging up on someone (however, at times, depending on the situation, you may realize that it IS indeed that simple).
What is an energy vampire?
Before I get into a few ways to handle and/or avoid emotional vampires, let’s back up a minute…so what exactly IS an emotional vampire? Here’s my own definition: it’s someone who bleeds you of your energy—most of the time, for their own benefit and nothing else. Their main focus is NOT to boost your energy level, but to suck it dry.
To deplete you of your positive vibes and siphon whatever strength and vitality you have (and what greatness you project towards others). Their mission is to bankrupt you of your vigor and livelihood, leaving you worn, disheartened, many times angry, uninspired, cynical, insulted, crying even…yikes, the list goes on when it comes to the damage an emotional vampire can do!
bleeds you of your precious time and energy. An emotional vampire can disrupt your peace of mind and drain you of your health...
The Types of Emotional Vampires Out There…And What To Look Out For
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all dealt with (or are still dealing with) emotional vampires at some point in our life. It makes it even harder if you happen to be related to one, if you’re employed with one or connected in any other way. Here are a few types of emotional vampires that I’ve noticed throughout the years and from what I’ve seen and experienced:
1. The “woe is me” vampire. I’m sure you have an inkling of what I mean. And let me clarify–I surely don’t mean a friend or family member who needs to vent about genuinely stressful issues, that’s a different thing altogether. Of course we wanna be there for those we love and care about.
No no, this doggone vampire is someone who makes a merciless habit of coming to you with their daily problems, their heartaches…and nothing BUT their daily problems and heartaches. They want to unload all of what they are “suffering” from unto you, and nothing more.
Why did I place the word “suffering” in quotation marks? Because over the years, I’ve realized that many times, if you allow this emotional vampire to spill their problems onto you, it’ll suddenly click that their “sufferings” aren’t as drastic as they first seemed. That it’s all actually some fluffed up heightened B.S. I once listened to an emotional vampire describe what at first seemed like a truly traumatic experience. It turned out that it was minimal, something that could have been easily resolved. I held the phone to my ear at the time, at first patient, sympathetic, expressing dismay that this even happened. Then the more I listened, my thoughts shifted and my eyes narrowed until I started to wonder, “what kind of (bleep) is this??”
And what’s worse, you can offer your support, even solid advice for solving a problem. But from what I’ve seen, that’s not what they really want. Turns out that this emotional vampire doesn’t want solutions! They are really making no attempt to resolve this problem. Their preference is never to solve the problem–it’s simply to unload whatever “deep tragedies” they endure onto as many as they can. I guess when you think about it, without a “problem,” there’s nothing for them to burden anyone with. Playing the sympathy card is the #1 name of their game. Without their exaggerated “sufferings”, there’s no way for this vampire to reel anyone in and proceed to bleed them of their energy.
2. The exhausting “their mouth runneth over” vampire. Bear with me, I have to be a bit blunt about this vampire…this one unfortunately comes with a runaway train of the lips, a high-octane motor mouth. Their prime objective: it’s talking and talking and talking…and then after that, some more talking. Even if they clearly see that you’re worn, that’s not their concern–for they must dominate the conversation every minute they can. You’re almost tempted at times to turn them around and look for an “on/off” switch.
And what’s really being talked about? Well…not a whole lot. Something about a neighbor did this…the traffic light turned a certain color…this appointment was cancelled at what time for why…I don’t know. Most of it sounds like a neverending avalanche of verbal buzzing and “huh?”
You try to hang in there, trying your best to feign excitement, to show true interest…but then you can’t block that sudden yawn that escapes. Before you know it, your eyelids start to feel like they’re made of steel. I once fought hard to keep my eyes open during one vampire’s chatty tirade. I even did that sudden jerking movement, the one that happens when you’ve startled your own self awake, not realizing that you fell asleep. More than likely (I’m guessing) none of that mattered…that vampire didn’t miss a beat…and kept right on talking at 1000mph. I just had to take a break and head to the bathroom.
3. The notorious “rebel rouser” vampire. A troublemaker extraordinaire, this vampire can be. Unfortunately, this is one clever antagonist…the one that adores rousing chaos and controversy, especially amongst friends. For whatever warped reason, it’s their bloodlust, their own inner gasoline. They purposely (in a low-key and understated way) stoke the fires of trouble…and sit back and watch, deeply gratified by the overall hostility and tangled web of misunderstanding they’ve created. And usually, without seeming like they had a single thing to do with it. I’ve even seen this type of vampire express cooked-up shock and disapproval over what’s going on. This vampire is nothing more than a strategic catalyst, one serious force of destruction. Mega-dangerous. I’d say that doing your best to avoid this one seems like the only sensible solution.
4. The “I-know-it-all-you-know-nothing” vampire. This here vampire is in a galaxy all their own…there’s not a THING you can tell this emotional vampire. NOTHING. Any and everything you say to them is incorrect. They seem to slam the “WRONG” buzzer down on every sentence you say. No matter your extensive background, no matter your great level of expertise…all opinions you offer are false and not worth listening to.
And on top of that, whatever they happen to say is unquestionably 100% correct–no matter their own limited background and no matter their own lack of expertise. You can have absolute concrete proof and present the most amazingly valid argument–it doesn’t matter. In other words, pure logic and rationale doesn’t matter. In their eyes, if they tell you that the sky is polka-dot pink, then it’s polka-dot pink–end of story. Whatever you do, I say, don’t try to argue with this vampire…you’ll hit a brick wall each and every time.
5. The “critic from hell” vampire. It seems as though the only thing that makes life worth living for this vampire is to look for any and everything that is wrong with anyone–and blatantly point it out. And with no regard for what insults they’re dishing out and how their intense criticism (bashing I like to call it) is affecting people. This type of vampire seems to relish placing the spotlight on someone’s “fault” that they happen to notice. They have this lowdown habit of placing the person’s fault center stage–as the sudden object of ridicule. It may all begin in a subtle way, with a seemingly casual comment. This casual comment can then easily escalate into an outright insult. I’ve even seen this type of vampire causally drag another person or two into this scandalous mission to criticize. Not only does it suck to be on the receiving end of this, it’s bad to watch it unfold against someone else. My guess is that this type of vampire usually has low self-esteem issues, and tearing down others seems to be their remedy for removing the spotlight from their own failures.
Emotional vampires are serious health drainers
Okay, try not to get agitated with me…this particular article is one that I had to end up turning into a two-parter…and in part 2, I’ll list a few of the best ways to diffuse their actions, dodge them or just flat out do your best to remove these vampires from your life.
I’m sure that after reading about the ones I’ve listed, it’s easy to realize that if we allow it, an emotional vampire can really inflict some heavy damage on our health, our peace of mind, on our emotional state. And if we’re doing all we can to live a healthier and happier life, an emotional vampire makes that a WHOLE LOT harder to get to.
You know something? To hell with that! As we always hear, life is waay too short. So again, in part 2, I’ll get into ways to deal with any draining emotional vampire situations in your own life.
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Have you yourself dealt with any that I have or haven’t mentioned? Please, I’m asking you to leave your comments below! Feel free to vent and tell us about your experience. Get it off your chest…and that right there could be the first step towards resolving it and putting it all behind you. And if you’ve already done that, go ahead and let us know how you did it…your ideas could really help.
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