Emotional vampires are everywhere. Odds are, you know several! Emotional vampires are people who “suck the good” out of every relationship. Rather than feasting on blood, like the vampires of legend, they feed on good feelings and positive energy that exist in a relationship. These “vampires” take the form of those we interact with and try and befriend. An emotional vampire may also be a family member.
Emotional vampires are actually a combination, or amalgam, of four personality types: narcissist, victim, controller, and borderline personality. They can present as one, or a combination, of these:
The NARCISSIST is best known as the person who thinks the world revolves around them. They are self-absorbed, and hog attention. They crave admiration. They have a “Me first” attitude. They lack empathy, and have a limited potential for unconditional love. It you don’t do things their way, they become punishing, withholding, or cold.
The VICTIM has a “poor me” attitude and does not take responsibility for their actions. They believe the world is against them, and is the reason for their unhappiness. You may end up screening your calls to avoid them. You may want to help them, but are overwhelmed by all the drama in their life.
The CONTROLLER tries obsessively to dictate the way they think you are supposed to be and feel. They have an opinion about everything. They seem to know what’s good for you, and often start a sentence with “You know what you need?” They will attempt to invalidate your emotions by making you feel bad. You end up feeling dominated, demeaned, and put down.
The BORDERLINE PERSONALITY sees things as either all good or all bad. They have love/hate relationships. One minute they seem to think the world of you, the next minute you are their enemy if you upset them. They have an ability to pit people against each other. They will retaliate if they feel you have wronged them. They will keep you on an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll feel as if you have to walk on eggshells to avoid their anger.
How Emotional Vampires Can Affect Your Health
Both friend and family relationships are built on love, trust, and support. Having someone in your life who diminishes these will make it more difficult to be yourself, often leaving you mentally exhausted and questioning your own choices in life.
True friends and family, by contrast, should be loving, supportive, and caring. An emotional vampire often ridicules, and makes you feel less than you are. If you have an emotional vampire in your life, it can affect your view of family and friends. It can cause you to lose trust in people.
Emotional vampires often work their way into your psyche little by little. Their actions may not be overt. They can “eat away” at your emotions over a period of time.
How To Spot An Emotional Vampire
There’s quite a difference between an emotional vampire and someone who is having a bad day, or someone who is just generally negative. Emotional vampires constantly try to bring you down rather than build you up. They also make things all about them, not you.
They frequently corner the conversation and talk about their own problems without giving you a chance to let you get a few things off your chest.
Emotional vampires have the ability to change the level of excitement in a room full of people. For example, let’s say you just got a new job. Other family and friends in the room will encourage you with positive comments, such as “congratulations” and “great job.” Your family and friends are likely to ask questions about your new job, and show genuine interest.
Emotional vampires, however, often turn the topic of conversation back to themselves, no matter what is being discussed.
They often demand your time when they have a problem, and they often have lots of problems. Emotional vampires can cause you to feel down, or unhappy, after you have been with them. You may also feel mentally exhausted, especially after their lengthy visits, emails, or phone calls. They can leave you feeling nervous, anxious, or depressed. Your mood can take a nosedive. You’ll often feel like binging on carbs or comfort foods after you have been around them. You may feel put down.
Unlike someone who is having a bad day, or going through a rough time, emotional vampires consistently bring you down. If you notice this going on over a period of time, chances are you have an emotional vampire in your life.
For yourself or the emotional vampire in your life, the Mood Support Formula from Diamond Nutritional’s can be effective in improving mood, helping with stress and more!