Home > Coaching, Coping, Growth, Happiness, Life in general, Personal progress, stress > Beware of Emotional Vampires!!

Beware of Emotional Vampires!!


A vital ingredient that spices up our lives is being around other people. We’re blessed with having family members, friends, colleagues, and even casual acquaintances who best serve our social nature. All too often, however, we end up being among the wrong crowd. And instead of being energized by people in our lives, we find ourselves disempowered, depleted, or upset. Make a connection and reflect for a moment. With whom do you feel totally zapped out of energy? Who have you started dreading being with? If you’re able to recognize a few, then you’ve probably identified those known as “Emotional Vampires”.

  Unlike the blood sucking folkloric vampires we’ve heard of, “Emotional Vampires” suck your positive emotions (or your life blood). They make you angry, depressed, overwhelmed, trivial, defensive, or drained. They come in different disguises and flavors: the needy and helpless (the victim), the depressed (always whining), the controlling (the forever bossing you around), the drama queen (that takes everything to the extreme and then the show begins), the narcissist (it’s all about me; you shut up), the perfectionist (the never satisfied and the detail oriented), the criticizer (can’t ever win with that one; you’re a forever loser), and the talkative 9just give me a keyword and I’ll let you know everything related to it).

 If you don’t properly control the presence of these “Emotional Vampire” in your life, you could end up suffering depression, anxiety, isolation, substance abuse, or any other maladaptive behavior. Dealing with emotional vampires is very easy if they meant nothing to you, or if you did not need them. You simply terminate the relationship. But what if they were important people in your life – ones you love most and cherish (i.e. your father, mother, sibling, spouse or your best friend). These could be your superiors at work or maybe other coworker. Now, that becomes a tough call!

 Two things you need to keep in mind:

1) You can’t change them (you can only change yourself or the way you deal with them).

2) And that it’s all about them; it’s not about you. Something lacks in their lives and they want to fill it up. They could be in a chronic strife to seek attention, recognition, validation, or acceptance. Alternatively, they can look tough and assertive on the outside, but underneath feel empty.

  So, how do you deal with such emotional vampires?

 –          Consider again, is it possible to take your distance? Can you eliminate all contact with the type? Or maybe reduce encounters drastically?

–          When contact is inevitable, visualize a protective mental safety shield that protects you from their negativity. Don’t allow their words to seep into you. Above all, resist the urge to be their therapist.

–          Listen to your body. Is your tension level rising? Do you feel sleepy? Are you suddenly craving for something sweet? Have you suddenly lost all motivation to eat, go out, or do anything? Your body cannot mask the distress; it sends you multiple signals. Don’t allow yourself to react (they want you to). Breathe deeply and take your time before responding. If you can, listen then forget. Work on up-lifting your mood right after the encounter.

–          Set your boundaries. Speak up with confidence about what you would, or would not allow in your relationship. Be assertive; yet gentle and empathetic. You can always disagree without being disagreeable; and the only power they have over you is that you give them. Exhibit that “tough love” you hear about.

–          Deal with your guilt feeling as you resist being submissive to their influence. Many do actually take you on a guilt trip and that is how you conform to their whims. You’re trying your best to be supportive, but there’s a limit to how much you allow.

–          Reframe their behavior as that deserving pity. They are immature children who were bitten a long time ago. They will have to outgrow their tantrums on their own. They don’t know why they do the things they do and if you confront them, you’ll find them in denial. Just exercise your patience (you have a golden opportunity there).

 Beware of being bitten by those vampires. You don’t want to eventually turn into one, do you? Be mindful of their trespassing your territory and deal with it. Either shut them away, or use the above strategies.  Stay in positive motion and spirit. Use a lot of humor. You’ll bewilder them with your action (they are very passive). Empower yourself in their presence constantly (this is how you vaccinate yourself against their poison); else, they’ll bite you; and you’ll be off to find your own prey….

  1. M-A.I
    December 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    🙂 nice!
    I’m wondering what one can do if they become their own emotional vampire…

    Like

    • dddania
      December 24, 2009 at 5:21 am

      Good question there 🙂 In that case, one has to choose among 4 options:
      1) Know you’re draining yourself and do nothing about it.
      2) Know you’re a vampire & decide to be alert to change your patterns on your own = Decide to lead your life the healthier way.
      3) Know you’re a vampire & seek someone’s help (like a coach, a true friend…) to help you change = commit to changing behavior in a more accountable fashion.
      4) Know you’re a vampire & seek serious professional help by seeking therapy to work on the underlying bases for the pattern, extract the causes, & effect behavioral changes systematically.
      We always have a choice. Committment comes next. Changes comes in gradually. The “after-maths” of the intervention are worth the effort 😉
      Does this help Missa?

      Like

  2. zeina chamseddine
    December 24, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Dear cousin,

    I really like this, it is what I live everyday and you made me think again and I will try to memorize every step to avoid fighting, it is very helpful and so true, I really have to make an effort to read everything I promise. Miss you so much, lots of hugs and kisses

    Like

    • dddania
      December 25, 2009 at 4:44 am

      EHHHHHHHHHHHHH….habeeeeebiiiiiiiiiiiii…. I knew you would resonate with this one Zanzoun 🙂 🙂
      Missed you more dudette 🙂
      it’s going to be a good new year, yallah, let’s make it a good one 🙂

      Like

  3. December 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I Loved it soooooooooo much Daniaaaaaaa !!
    Very Interesting topic.. very good analysis !!
    Keep up the great work 🙂
    Mireillee !!

    Like

    • dddania
      December 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      You dooooo? Thanks habeeebeeee 🙂 🙂 Emotional Vampires are everywhere (unfortunately) 😦 but now we know how to deal with most of them right??
      Kisses 🙂

      Like

  4. Carol
    February 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

    In deed what you said is true. Am sure every single one of us faces an emotional vampire at least once in a while. But as well, I believe we have all been or will be at some point an emotional vampire; but i would like to argue about the nomenclature of “emotional vampire” I believe an emotional vampire is simply the one AWARE of his destructive activities, not one who his helpless. because in order to be a vampire u have to commit the act of”sucking”, which u cannot do unless your conscious of it. I have met many emotional vampires and with time i learned that it becomes easy to deal with the least of effort, but you (at least i ) fall weak to at least one type always. your immunity is not resistant to all sorts of vampires. one of them always seems to escape your security system.

    Well put Professor 🙂
    Looking forward for more articles!

    Like

    • dddania
      February 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      habeebtee Coco 🙂 🙂 🙂 I always appreciate the depth of your thinking. I laso respect your logic 🙂 What you are sayaing makes a lot of sense. My personal experience with these emotional vampires (and what I know about ingrained personality types) is that these people lack any insight of being vampires. They are not consciously aware of the damage or the real reasons for sucking the life blood of those around them 😦 and of course, many will eventually seep into your system and we can’t forever remain immune 😦 but we can remind ourselves always at least & do our best to protect ourselves from the constant negative barrage envading our psyche 🙂 🙂
      One last thing: with awareness comes recovery 🙂 you, I, or any other person upon discovering being a nuisance, are more prone to take the steps to rectify. It is very rare that you find someone being aware of a major defect like being a vampire, but insists on remaining as such 🙂

      Again, love your logic precious 🙂 🙂 and love you mooore 🙂
      and Bware of those Vampires 🙂 🙂

      Like

  5. Carol
    February 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

    🙂

    Like

  6. Carol
    February 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

    That is also true.
    But on this specific night I affirmed to myself yet again, that people are at many times very much aware of their destructiveness! Man became a vile creature, wanting more and more destruction. We must never forget the search for power, dominance and controling. not many can pass on a chance to let go of their ability to control someone else.
    “Having the power to change ur mood, ur perception, ur dreams…. is a powerful weapon.”
    Kérseh hayde “seeking for power” and the emotional vampires have the power unless we are aware. they are emotional Massacres !!

    Like

    • dddania
      February 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

      That is yet another wonderful observation Coco 🙂 so please affirm to yourself, when such people surface in your life, that THEY have a problem, a void, something missing….. They may require your pitty at times, and arming yourself against their destruction at others 🙂 🙂 You know what to do now babeh 🙂 🙂

      Like

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