Nothing Ever Becomes Real Until it is Experienced. John Keats
There are several forms of emotional vampires (narcissists, victims, controllers, etc.) who go far beyond aggravating you and have a way of drawing you in and then draining you. Vampires are different and more dangerous than other annoying people, but they have important commonalities. Generally, their needs come first, they don’t take responsibility, lack insight, have low impulse control and leave you feeling sapped of energy. They see the world differently through a lens of immaturity, craving unattainable goals, have untenable needs for attention, and/or are threatened by things that don’t bother ordinary people. This combination of immaturity and impossible-to-meet needs can help you activate your early warning system to protect yourself. Vampires are more powerful in the dark, so you must shine a light on these difficult people to avoid getting ensnared.
The remedy is to be aware of the vampire, enjoy the show and do everything you can to not get written into the script. Be boring. Pay attention to their actions, not their words. If the vampire is somebody you cannot avoid, and they truly cannot see another person’s perspective, you could help them see how considering the view of others is in their own interest. Other than that, avoidance is key.
- Early Warning System: Let your body be your first gateway. Cortisol squirts effect us individually, so know when the first sign of stress hits (e.g. tight throat, heartburn, anxiety or sudden loss of energy, desire to binge on…..something). Rely on these early symptoms as messages from your true self telling you to protect yourself.
- Do What They Don’t: Value other people. Make your own needs clear/transparent.
- Erect a Firewall: Don’t engage, invest in the relationship or criticize their behavior.
- Make the Non-Verbal,Verbal: Name hostile behavior.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. Alice Walker
For a book on the topic, read, Emotional Vampires By Albert Bernstein or Go to the Emotional Vampire Survival Guide