How to Deal with an Emotional Vampire: The 5 Essential Steps!
Emotional Vampires: they suck the energy right out of you and leave you feeling drained and low. These people come in many forms: they could be your boss, your best friend, your lover, your colleague, your neighbour, your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend. Emotional vampires are everywhere.
Do you suspect that you have an emotional vampire somewhere in your life? What should you do about it?
Stage 1: Identify Your Vampire
But how do you know if someone is an emotional vampire? I wrote a post on this: How to Spot an Emotional Vampire in 10 Steps. Check it out to see the 10 steps to identifying them.
Understand that these people are put here to drain you and sap your positive energy. You are not doing them a favour by letting them drain your energy and take it for themselves. Emotional vampires will never learn and never change unless people choose to stand up to them.
Stage 2: Build up your own inner strengths
How is your lifestyle? Are you sleepless? Drained? Addicted? Overweight? Not getting out? This could be being caused by the emotional vampire in your life and you are unlikely to get better unless you do something about fixing you own problems.
Being with an emotional vampire can be a bit of a vicious circle; you feel drained so you stop looking after yourself or use drugs and alcohol or other addictions to make you feel better. Then your energy remains low and the emotional vampire continues to feed. You slip lower and lower into poor health, addiction or depression and you become an easier target. Once you are at this stage it’s very hard to get away.
Don’t be a people pleaser! You are not doing these people a favour by saying yes to them. Emotional vampires need to learn boundaries, so you need to strengthen yours. But how?
Make small steps to improve your personal energy field. It’s the usual stuff: don’t abuse drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling or other addictions. Eat healthily, exercise and meditate. Make yourself strong. Tell yourself that you love and value yourself. Do positive affirmations.
Stage 3: Practice being assertive
Saying no is such a valuable skill to learn. You can find heaps of resources on how to practice saying “NO”. Many people find this very difficult. There are three great steps you can take when faced with a question that you think you should say ‘no’ to:
- Don’t answer right away – give yourself time to think
- Don’t give too many excuses – keep your answer simple and direct
- Don’t be drawn into an argument – this is why giving yourself time to think is so essential
So when should you say no? Listen to your gut, your intuition. Most of us have this developed to a certain extent, but it’s very helpful to practice listening to your intuition.
Get professional help. If you really have trouble setting boundaries, try talking this subject though with a trusted friend or counsellor. Self-assertiveness means that you accept yourself for who you are: RIGHT NOW. You do not have to live up to anyone else’s expectations.
Stage 4: Take responsibility for your own life – no excuses!
Understand that you do not deserve to be drained of energy by this vampire. As long as you think you do, you will continue suffer. If they are a friend or a lover, don’t be drawn into relying on the vampire for your self-worth: you need to build up your own core strength.
Are you in a destructive relationship? Are you enabling your vampire? Tell yourself that you deserve the best– don’t beat around the bush in finding it. Spend time with people that love and value you as this will help to build up your exterior picture of yourself – you may not realise you others see you – you are a valued and loved person.
“Self-responsibility: This includes being responsible for the achievement of desires, for the level of consciousness; our behaviour with other people; for prioritizing time and for personal happiness.”In taking responsibility for our own existence we implicitly recognize that other human beings are not our servants and do not exist merely for satisfying our needs.” Lifepositive.com.
Stage 5: Accept that they probably won’t change
Is it time to say goodbye? This depends on what role your emotional vampire is playing. If it’s a friend or a lover, consider limiting this person’s time in your life, if it’s a boss or a colleague, work or strategies to avoid being drained by them, enlisting the help of others if needs be.
Emotional vampires are often narcissists. Narcissists are usually unlikely to change. A narcissist is a person who is excessively selfish, seeing only their needs and not the needs of others, from Wikipedia: The concept of excessive selfishness has been recognized throughout history. In ancient Greece the concept was understood as hubris. It is only in recent times that it has been defined in psychological terms.
How long has this been going on? How drained do you feel? Is it getting better? Is your emotional vampire getting worse? If your problem has been going on for longer than six months, then you need to take the steps above and urgently., If you have been doing that and have seen no results in a year or more, then you need to up the ante and enlist professional help.
Vampires are often attracted to people who they can sap energy from. Don’t let this person be you. You are a fabulous, amazing individual and your life will continue to be drained and strained while you continue to sacrifice your energy to a blood thirsty killer, intent on destroying you.
Problem going on for 6 months: use steps above
Problem going on for over a year: get professional help