Let’s start off by saying that not all emotional vampires are bad people. Sometimes, they don’t even realize what they are doing. After reading this, you could realize that you have been an emotional vampire to someone. That is not to say that they cannot be vindictive, mean, and cruel, but it is always important to note that they are also just human, and humans are flawed and make mistakes, and that is okay.
What Are Emotional Vampires?
If you have an emotional vampire in your life, it is easy to recognize when you know what to look for. If you interact with someone who routinely makes you feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, intimidated, and depressed, you have a vampire. They are called this because they suck up the happiness inside you, like orange juice out of a carton, and then discard you when you are empty.
It’s important to understand that you will never be enough for an energy vampire.
They are trying to fill an endless chasm inside themselves, and no matter how much they try and take from you, it is never enough, because the thing they need to feel better comes from within.
What Are the Signs of an Emotional Vampire?
There are several ways to recognize things you yourself do when you’re around an emotional vampire. For example, these are the 8 things emotional vampires do:
- They never take accountability for their actions, you are always the problem.
- They always have to be the best.
- They criticize everything.
- There is always drama.
- They use guilt trips.
- They act like a martyr.
- They play down your problems and talk about themselves and their issues.
- They spout mean comments that make you uncomfortable.
How to Deal With the 9 Types of Emotional Vampires
The first thing you have to know is that you can’t control their behavior. You need to understand that and know you aren’t responsible for their actions, only your own.
The second thing you need to do is, if possible, walk away, cut out, or distance yourself from your emotional vampire. You can’t change them, you can only protect yourself.
Despite your best efforts, some vampires are unavoidable, so here is a list of the types of vampires and how to protect yourself from each of them when they cross your path.
This is the most dangerous of the vampires. These sorts of people don’t have empathy, and they simply don’t care about your feelings.
When dealing with a narcissist, you have to understand that they are what they are, and that is an emotionally limited person. They do not feel as much as you do. You can’t expect them to be something they are not; it will exhaust you.
Lower the boundary of what you expect from them and know your worth. Emotionally distance yourself from them, and focus on making sure your self-esteem and value come from yourself and not from pleasing them. Once you focus on pleasing yourself, the narcissist’s power over you will weaken.
We all know the victim, someone who is constantly talking about all the bad things that has happened to them. The person that when you offer advice, they have no interest in solving their problems. Eventually, they may grow to blame you for their problems, even though they are of their own doing.
They key thing to note with this vampire is that you can’t actually help them fix their problems. Let go of the idea that you can actually help them, because you can’t, and it isn’t your responsibility or your job.
With the victim, protecting yourself is always about creating a healthy boundary. They will try and keep you in conversations, but you have to kindly but abruptly cut them off after a few minutes to avoid being sucked in to their constant negativity.
This is the vampire that wants you to do your things its way. It wants to control how you do things, what you say, what you do, and eventually, who you are. They will comment with things that they think you should be doing and saying it’s in “your best interest.”
You may have met this one before; they will try and make subtle suggestions and encourage ways they want you to be and will leave you feeling fake. They will also invalidate all of your feelings when they aren’t suited to them.
When dealing with a controller, this is where assertiveness can come in. You can be assertive and kind at the same time. Just thank the person for their advice, but say you are doing things this way because it feels more authentic. Don’t be afraid to stand up to a controller and say “thank you but no.” They have no right to tell you how to live your life.
At some point in your life, you will have come across the chatterbox. This is a person who just constantly talks about themselves, their lives, their problems, and drama around them, and if you try and talk about yourself, the conversation swiftly comes back to them.
The chatterbox, in essence, isn’t interested in you or your feelings; you are just an audience to record and dictate their life so they feel heard, validated, and important. Unfortunately, that can leave you feeling like your relationship is one-sided, drained, unimportant, and ignored.
The best way to protect yourself from the chatterbox is direct communication. They do not respond to soft cues like attempts to change the conversation. You have to talk to them directly but politely to change the topic of conversation to something more positive.
The Drama Llama
There is no way you haven’t met the drama llama. This person will make everything into the biggest deal ever. Everything will be a problem or a thing, even something completely unnecessary, like the fact someone didn’t see them in the street and wave back.
With the drama llama, it really does depend on the context in which the llama is in your life and how the drama is affecting you. The most effective way is to not get involved or invested in their conversations. If you get caught in one, excuse yourself quickly and find a more positive person to chat with. Try to distance yourself from gossiping as well; it will help you not be drawn into the drama.
The judge is a vampire that constantly judges other people, and no one is free from their scrutiny. They will judge everyone, and they leave you wondering what they say about you behind your back. The judger is one of the most toxic people to have around because, when they judge, they have nothing positive to say. They will leave you feeling insecure, pathetic, and even small.
With the judge, this is all on you. Just because someone is critical towards you doesn’t mean you have to care. The judge is critical for the sake of being critical; there is nothing constructive about it. So you can choose not to value what they have to say.
The judge tries to chip away at your self-worth because they are struggling with a lack of that themselves, but we know that true self-worth comes from within. Refuse to take what the judge says personally, and don’t get defensive with their comments. Keep a cool head, because if they know you feel hurt by what they said, they win.
This person is the one who always has a critique about you or anything around them. Nothing is ever good enough, so they will always nitpick and make unnecessary, rude comments. You will start to notice that they have nothing nice to say about anyone, and their only dialogue is rude and critical. Nothing is ever good enough or even passable; it is always bad.
When dealing with the critic, you have to not take what they say personally and remember that they are just taking out their negative feelings and problems on you. Don’t get defensive. With the critic, remember you give power to what you give attention to. Don’t give their critiques attention, and always pivot the conversation to a positive alternative.
The “I Am Better Than You”
This is the person who is always trying to one up you. No matter what, they have done it bigger and better than you. This one is the most annoying to have around because their whole intention is to make you feel small. This vampire will leave you feeling insecure, small, exhausted, and anxious.
You have to understand that, with this vampire, it comes from a deep-rooted insecurity that they are not good enough. Encouraging and reassuring them doesn’t work with this vampire because they have an almost false big ego, so you will just be feeding that fake ego. They need to find validation from within.
But for you, you need to make sure that you are reassuring yourself that you are good enough. They will do their best to make you feel worthless and insecure. If you do want them to feel better, give them genuine, real compliments about their self-worth, reminding them that they are important and they matter. Just make sure you are reminding yourself of that first.
I always see this one as the second most dangerous vampire because you never see them coming. The innocent vampire is someone who is just a little helpless, and you just help out now and then, but it spirals out of control. Soon, they are dependent and expectant upon you to help them, and it drains you to a crisp.
The innocent is a vampire that feeds on your compassion and empathy, and they can often not see the line because you haven’t enforced it. You let them cross the line over and over again, and they had no idea they were asking too much, especially since you probably encouraged it by saying that it was no trouble.
It doesn’t make you a bad person to say no to helping people, especially people who have taken advantage of your hospitality. Defending against this type of vampire is drawing a line, a boundary, and enforcing it. This can be hard, but the reality is that they need to become self-sufficient, and you can encourage that all while drawing a thick line.