Freeing Yourself of Emotional Vampires
By: Rodrigo De Souza
Are you a victim of an emotional vampire? A person that sucks your life’s essence from you? A friend, family member or co-worker that sucks the lifeblood from you?
Don’t feel alone. Most of us will from time to time experience such a person. Perhaps they purport to be your friend yet leave you feeling low and without energy. It’s time to ditch them!
Two Types of Emotional Vampires
A person that makes us feel guilty because they accuse us of doing something that is evil or bad.
The person who regales us with their own complaints and problems while trying to turn us against others. The person who purports to be a friend yet fails to listen to us when we provide advice or for that matter fail to even give us a chance to talk.
In both cases we are left feeling down about our own failings or exhausted as we listen to their rants.
How might we protect ourselves from these people? First, is to identify them. Second is to take action to protect ourselves from them.
Recognizing The Vampire’s in Your Life
Recognizing them is not as simple as it sounds. After all they are people that we consider close to us making it difficult to think that they might be harmful to our emotional health. Yet, they make us feel tired and decrease our own self -esteem. Often we think that it is something within us that is the problem. Yet, when truly analyzed we find that it is our response to the vampire that is the issue. Once we recognize that it is a response to them the solution becomes straightforward.
Remember the aunt who wouldn’t stop talking? Or the friend that complained about their boyfriend but didn’t want to listen to our advice? Or the parent that condemned us incessantly or the colleague who rocked us with negative comments? Those are the vampires in your life.
Where There is a Vampire There is a Neck
Where there is a vampire in action there is a neck. A neck is a person that gives the vampire the opportunity to suck their energy. The neck at first feels important because someone in need has reached out to them and suddenly they are trapped in a relationship that is one way, the vampire’s way.
From time to time we are all vampires or necks. Friendship, love or a good business relationship requires a mutuality of benefit not a one-way street.
A vampire is killed or controlled by light and clarity. For us this means that we must be open, honest and willing to separate the vampire from our lives. This takes courage. The courage to speak what we think, the courage to question the vampire’s motives all with the knowledge that if this is a true relationship the vampire will respond positively and seek to change their behavior creating a positive, good for both parties relationship.
The aggressive way to do this is to tell the vampire that the relationship is at an end absent changes in behavior. The non-aggressive way is to shift the conversation from the negative to what are we together going to do about it. Both require courage and the willingness to accept the worst that can happen. The vampire-neck relationship is broken and a new fruitful, joyful relationship formed.
Chinese wisdom says that an elderly person should not lie down near a young person because they will suck the vital energy from the younger person. Perhaps it is time to follow that wisdom.