You dread meeting them for lunch, but go anyway. Hours later you’re exhausted, have a headache and find yourself making weak excuses to run for your life. You’ve just been zapped by an emotional vampire.
No, they don’t actually drain the blood from your neck (although you may have a stiff neck by the time you flee), but they do drain the joy from your life and remove any desire you have to spend any more time with them. No wonder you’re dazed and confused. No wonder you don’t feel good around them!
Emotional vampires do their best energetically to suck the life force right out of you (and everyone else)! Whether it’s subconsciously or on purpose, these are the kinds of people who hunt for victims to energize them simply because they can’t (or won’t) tap into their own spiritual energy source for revitalization.
So what do they look like?
Portrait of an emotional (or energetic) vampire
Beyond their chronic bad moods and boring retelling of the same (often dramatic) stories, emotional vampires are the sort who always seemed to be depressed (or angry) – to the point where you suspect they may like it. These conversation dominators (who have no issue talking over you – or anyone else who tries to get a word in edgewise), seem to happily play the role of the victim. In other words, nothing is ever their fault and life just seems to happen to them as if they had no part in the things they’re forever complaining about.
Emotional vampires have negative things to say about everyone and everything and make a habit of telling you all about their problems and pet peeves – without showing any interest in yours. Should you be lucky enough to interject more than a nod into the conversation, they’ll always find a way to change the subject back to themselves… even if it means switching gears when you’re in the middle of a thought. Finally, they never know when to go home. Emotional vampires have no clue when they’ve overstayed their welcome – or worn you thin.
How you know you’ve been zapped!
Almost anyone can take a certain amount of anything – energetic bloodsucking included – which may be why we often question if there really is a problem with these people, or if we’re just too sensitive. Here are the telltale signs you’ve been zapped!
If you were anxious or upset at the beginning of your conversation, you’ll probably feel worse after time spent with one of these dour drainers. Emotional vampires don’t offer empathy or try to soothe the people around them, instead they find ways to provoke your angst even further. During your conversation, you may even get the psychic feeling of phantom tentacles reaching out from their body to yours!
Likewise, you may experience increased insomnia or wonder where your anxiety build up is coming from without being able to pin-point the cause. And if you were feeling just fine before you sat down with them, you may find yourself irked by their constant need to focus on your insecurities and bring them to the forefront when they were on the back burner.
How to protect yourself
For starters, don’t feel too bad – emotional vampires walk into any room and suck the life energy from anyone unlucky enough to enter their personal space. In fact, if you don’t walk into their space, it’s likely that they’ll scan the room for a victim and walk into yours.
Some emotional vampires know what they are doing; others do it on an unconscious level. Those who are unaware tend to have very difficult relationships, home lives and work interactions until they recognize what they are doing. Those who know they’re doing it… well, better steer clear than try to understand.
Either way, in order to protect yourself from their bloodletting, you have two options. First, you can tell them the truth: that you cannot get a word in edgewise and that the relationship feels one-sided to you. Let them know what you want from them. They’ll either wake up or move on.
Second, if that doesn’t work (or you’ve tried it before… over and over again), avoid them and do not spend any more time with them. If you must interact for work reasons or at family gatherings, set good time boundaries and don’t stay with them any longer than you have to. And don’t let them corner you – keep circulating… It’s not your job to bring the cold and lifeless back from the dead!