9 Warning Signs That Your Friends Are Emotional Vampires (And How To Save Yourself)
Do you ever notice how some people seem to suck all of the energy out of you; you come away from them feeling exhausted and drained?
You spend time with them and even though they were all smiles, you still felt like you had been attacked in some way, and it leaves you feeling confused?
You have just been in the company of an emotional vampire.
So, how do you spot an emotional vampire?
- They are un-dead
They are not self sufficient.Of course they are not really un-dead, but they are not emotionally self sufficient adults, even though they may seem physically independent.Instead they take energy/power from others, because they don’t know how to take emotional care of themselves. Their own energy levels are low and so they are needy but also have nothing to give.
- Cold to touch
In close contact they can be cold and distant, sometimes critical or mean and physically unapproachable, because they are lacking in personal energy and get defensive if others get too close or want something from them. Socially they may seem really friendly, sociable or ‘nice’.
- Usually highly attractive
Sexual or alluring to the eye or senses: they wholly rely on physical appearance and ‘fake’ smiles, charm, sexual attraction, flirting and dominating or pleasing behavior to get attention, so they can get what they need to survive.
They are hungry for attention so they always need to be in the center of it all (especially drama) or in a position of power in social groups, creating followers.They will often use sex and desire, or passive aggressive manipulation, emotional blackmail or even bullying to get what they need.
- Don’t feel anything
They avoid their own vulnerabilities and emotional neediness and so are shut down to all pain, love etc and become closed hearted.
- Live in the shadows
They will always be the first to save/rescue someone else who is needy. They are attracted to fear, anxiety and generating drama, as fear is predictable and a controllable energy and appears to them in abundance.
- Have a dark presence
Because they are low in energy, they can either appear dark, mean and brooding or will leave you feeling that way after spending too much time with them.
- They have no reflection
They don’t like themselves or what they see in the mirror, so they wear a mask to hide their true selves. They cannot handle any criticism or real non-power based affection from other people.
- Light can kill them
They can end their vampire ways and become truly a living human being: if they open their hearts and share their real selves, shine their inner light to the world and be open to love.
How To Save Yourself From An Emotional Vampire
You cannot always get away from EV’s, especially if they are members of your family, work colleagues or friends, but you can learn to protect yourself whilst you live among them. Here are my top survival techniques.
- Keep your distance until you are able to sustain yourself energetically, be grounded in yourself and strong enough to repel their advances. Only spend short periods of time with them.
- Take care of your own health: Eat healthily, sleep well, do exercise, have fun time and rest time; build up your physical energy reserves and fitness.
- Give yourself time and space to reflect on how you feel physically, emotionally and spiritually: value your emotions and take care of them.
- Trust your instinct and value its opinion: it will help you spot a vampire and know when they are trying to drain you, so you can protect yourself.
- Have self respect and self preservation and be able to say NO: set inner boundaries/defence and emotional distance; build inner strength
- Make time to play and have fun with non-vampires and on your own, so that your energy is full.
- Be open and affectionate with people you trust: smile, hug, shake hands etc.
The key is to be like the sun: overflowing with your own self sustainable energy, shining brightly, and taking great care of yourself in all ways.
Is it possible to save an Emotional Vampire?
If you have read this and are now freaked out because you realise that your friends, family, colleagues or even your partner are possibly EV’s; take action and implement the survival techniques.
You can’t rescue an EV. They have to want to rescue themselves and be willing to make the changes. If you try, all you end up doing is sacrificing yourself and being drained dry or turning into an Emotional Vampire yourself.
I know this may seem harsh, but the best thing you can do for them is to demonstrate that there is another way of being.
|Written on 9/25/2012 by Joanna Warwick. Joanna Warwick (@grownupkidsonly) is a writer and an accredited relationship and family counsellor based UK. Her blog www.grownupkidsonly.com is about helping adults embrace freedom, confidence, inner-strength, courage, love, commitment to personal values and above all having fun and adventures; because fun is NOT exclusive to childhood.