You may not have heard the term before, but it is almost certain you have dealt with at least one emotional vampire in your life. These people are deceptively charming, beautiful and seductive, yet emotionally exhausting.
Emotional vampires are egotistical, manipulative, jealous, demanding, and self-serving. They are able to gain your friendship very quickly, then exploit it in every way they can to rob you of your own emotional energy. This person will take advantage of anyone in order to feed his or her own emotional needs. They will focus on the negative aspects of any situation, rather than enjoy the positive ones.
Any self-improvement program discusses the importance of de-cluttering your life to reduce your stress level. This includes ridding yourself of unhealthy relationships as well. Learn to protect your own happiness and emotional well being by being able to recognize these emotional predators so you can remove their negative influences from your life. Even though emotional vampires pretend to be your best friend in the world, they are parasites that feed on your well-being and happiness, robbing you of your vitality and enthusiasm for life.
1. Types of Vampires
In dealing with emotional vampires, you may run across a variety of negative, self-destructive, or socially unacceptable behaviors. Your emotional vampire may be a drama queen, blowing every little problem out of proportion until it has the appearance of a major catastrophe.
There are those who love to be dramatic, displaying emotional outbursts and will do whatever it takes to be noticed. Irresponsible behaviors and unusual, outlandish looks can be found with this type of person.
An overly jealous or prejudiced person can drain you emotionally by constantly seeking proof of anything that is told to them, and is highly suspicious of other peoples’ motives. Then there is the obsessive person who drives him or herself to the brink of insanity by pushing too hard, then expects everyone around them to live up to the same exacting standards.
The majority of emotional vampires are acting out in order to try to make up for their own insecurities. They perceive themselves as lacking qualities that others find desirable, and therefore become outlandish in their behavior as they try to gain acceptance from others. The actions of the emotional vampire are misguided attempts to make themselves feel better about who they are by finding fault with others.
3. Protecting Yourself
If you suspect someone you know is an emotional vampire, scrutinize them in the harsh light of day. If they tell you an outlandish story, verify it with another source. Be wary of their words, and allow their actions to guide your interaction with them. Choose what you say to them very carefully, and ignore their temper tantrums. Know your own personal limitations, and do not give them anything to feed their already damaging and dysfunctional behavior.
Identify which parts of this person’s life are real, and which ones are merely an illusion. Choose your battles with this person very carefully, and always demonstrate the emotional control that they do not have.
The best way to deal with an emotional vampire is to never get involved with one to begin with. If you can avoid these people, or at least keep an emotional distance from them, your overall health and happiness will be better off. It can be difficult to do, though, because initially, many of these people are fun, attractive, sexy, and wildly adventurous people. In fact, even after making the discovery that someone involved in your life is emotionally draining, it can still be very difficult to sever the ties.
If you must spend time around one of these people, limit the amount of interaction you have with them. Keep your wits about you and maintain your common sense, since they likely will not. Do not allow yourself to be pulled into their drama, since doing so will only encourage them to continue their destructive behavior. If you can limit your contact with emotional vampires to the workplace, do so. Once they know they cannot draw you into their fantasies and feed off of your emotions, they will most likely leave you alone.