The Emotional Vampire
In our current setup today, it's safe to say that each of us has encountered at least one person in our lives that has the power to suck out more than just our physical energy. They capture a soft spot then prey on it to get you to adapt focus to their agenda, almost derailing you completely off your own path to progress. This person is the textbook definition of an ‘emotional vampire’.
An EV may wear the cloak of wisdom, virtue and grace – which is often the main reason why one may fall victim to this person. Many times, the effect of their manipulating behaviour cuts so deep that once the victim even realises it, the emotional damage is already done.
An emotional vampire is also someone who has experienced pain or betrayal in their past and hence feel the need to “pay it forward” in the present. They may or may not be aware of their manipulations but the damage they can cause is enough to steer clear if you want to see progress with your own endeavors.
To understand an EV, you only need to evaluate your energy level around them. Does this sound familiar?
- They talk about themselves incessantly, always redirecting any conversation back to them
- They lack genuine interest in what you have to say, often rushing you through thoughts
- The EV will take up a lot more of your time than the average person
- They like to exercise control in things you do or opinions you have. In some cases they may even belittle you with snide remarks
- They exhibit a self-deprecating mentality such as “I’m the victim here...”
- They see flaws in everything. Nothing is ever quite to their liking
- When you leave them, you experience a sense of mental drain
- You are left feeling the need to be validated by them
- You constantly feel a sense of guilt if things don’t go their way
- You feel obligated to play into their agenda
Let’s face it – an emotional vampire is not the best energy to be around that’s most conducive to growth or a balanced life. Such people can shift your focus from what you’re passionate about and make your life all about them and their priorities.
EV's come with different tones and focus their draining tactics within a certain area. If you know someone who has been draining your energy, here are a few tips on how to deflect their effect on you:
- Be realistic: A narcissist e-vamp is emotionally limited – try not to get too attached to them or depend on them for your self-worth as the journey will be long and hard chasing a mirage of validation that you will never get. In situations where you're forced to communicate with one, you may have to play to a tune that benefits them and their and ego. My advice? If you can avoid the narcissist e-vamp altogether, life will be much easier.
- Set kind but firm limits: The ‘poor me’ victim e-vamp can be challenging, because they always come back with ‘Yes, but..’ to your argument. Listen briefly to them, validate their feelings and say, “I respect you and can understand why this might bother you, so what's the solution here?.” If things drag on, be firm and clear on your time limitations.
- Never try to control a controller: The control-freak e-vamp cannot be controlled, so don’t waste your time trying. Be clear with your boundaries, but don’t tell them what to do. Deflect their comments with statements like “I value your advice, and I’ll take it into consideration when working on it myself”.
- Stay calm: That’s the best way to deal with the drama queen/ sympathy e-vamp, because they can drain your energy to hit new lows or get you so worked up that everything seems like the end of the world. Take a deep breath and stay calm without getting caught in the storm. The way to deflect them? “I’m sorry for what you’ve been through, however I need to keep focused...,” or “I understand that you’re upset, but we both have jobs to keep so let’s complete the task at hand.” A drama queen feeds off reaction so stay neutral and keep the storm from escalating.
Whether you are the e-vamp or know someone who is, these steps will help identify and deal with them to stay more focused on your personal growth and development.
To counter the effects of an emotional vampire after it has already hit, be sure to improve your positive relationships and increase your energy level by spending time with loving, nurturing people. Set yourself back on track towards your passion by re evaluating your goals and envisioning your future. This will improve your state of mind and rebalance your aura.
Remember, the Emotional Vampire is only ever capable of causing harm if YOU allow for it. Stay solid and keep on track.