You dread meeting them for lunch, but go anyway. Hours later you’re exhausted, have a headache, and find yourself making weak excuses to run for your life. You’ve just been zapped by an emotional vampire.
No, they don’t actually drain the blood from your neck (although you may have a stiff neck by the time you flee), but they do drain the joy from your life and remove any desire you have to spend more time with them. No wonder you’re dazed and confused and you don’t feel good around them!
Emotional vampires do their level best to suck the life force right out of you (and everyone else)! Whether it’s subconsciously or on purpose, these are the kinds of people who hunt for victims to energize themselves simply because they can’t (or won’t) tap into their own spiritual energy source for revitalization.
So what do they look like?
Portrait of an Emotional (or Energetic) Vampire
Beyond their chronic bad moods and boring retelling of the same (often dramatic) stories, emotional vampires are the sort who always seem to be depressed (or angry) – to the point where you suspect they may actually enjoy being that way. These conversation dominators (who have no issue talking over you – or anyone else who tries to get a word in edgewise), seem to happily play the role of the victim. In other words, nothing is ever their fault and life just seems to happen to them as if they had no part in the things they’re forever complaining about.
Emotional vampires have negative things to say about everyone and everything and make a habit of telling you all about their problems and pet peeves without showing any interest in yours. Should you be lucky enough to interject more than a nod into the conversation, they’ll always find a way to change the subject back to themselves, even if it means switching gears when you’re in the middle of a thought. Finally, they never know when to go home. Emotional vampires have no clue when they’ve overstayed their welcome – or worn you thin.
Signs You’ve Been Zapped
Almost anyone can take a certain amount of anything – energetic bloodsucking included – which may be why we often question if there really is a problem with these people, or if we’re just too sensitive. Here are the telltale signs you’ve been zapped by an emotional vampire
If you were anxious or upset at the beginning of your conversation, you’ll probably feel worse after time spent with one of these dour drainers. Emotional vampires don’t offer empathy or try to soothe the people around them. Instead they find ways to provoke your angst even further, reveling in the increased agitation they’ve riled up.
Likewise, you may experience increased insomnia or wonder where your anxiety build up is coming from without being able to pin-point the cause. Emotional vampires also have a nasty habit of zeroing in on your insecurities, no matter the subject of the conversation beforehand, and bringing them to the forefront. The bottom line is, no matter how you were feeling before you sat down, after a conversation with one of these insideous beings, your mood will have taken a severe downturn.
Protecting Yourself from Vampiric Attacks
Now that you know the signs of an emotional vampire, how do you protect yourself from them? Fortunately, there are several ways:
- Set Your Boundaries– Real talk, most people probably know at least one emotional vampire, either through friends, family, or work. This being the case, setting strict boundaries with these people will always be to your benefit. Set time limits when in their company, keep the topics you are willing to discuss with them to a minimum, and cut them off immediately if they overstep your comfort zone.
- Stay Calm and Positive– Emotional vampires thrive on the negative emotions of others. When there’s little to be found, they poke and prod their victims till the negativity starts flowing, and then they encourage it. Should one of these people set their sights on you, stay calm, smile, and put on a positive front. You don’t have to actually feel it, because everyone has bad days and their own insecurities, just don’t let the bloodsucker see that they’re effecting you. If they think that their attacks are failing, they’ll move on to someone easier, and leave you in peace.
- Protective Gemstones– When you need an extra boost of protection, a piece of crystal jewelry, or even a single stone slipped into a pocket or your bag will never go amiss. Black Tourmaline is great for protecting you against outside negative energy, while Amethyst is wonderful for protecting you against negative emotions. Learn more about protective gemstones here.
- Say No– Never underestimate the power of the word “No” when it comes to warding off emotional vampires. These people will often try to manipulate you into doing something that goes against your own well-being while making it sound like a good thing. While being kind is never a bad thing, remember, an emotional vampire will always come back for more, and never be there for you in return, so it’s best to just tell them, “No,” immediately before they can try anything on you.
- Create a Mental Shield– Should you feel yourself losing energy at an alarming rate in the middle of a conversation, then it’s time to create a mental shield. Take several deep breaths, then visualize a shield of light surrounding you in all directions, pushing all negativity away. This is an especially useful tool for anyone with empathic abilities, but it’s equally effective for anyone who finds themselves at the mercy of an emotional vampire.
- Stay Away from Them– If all else fails, do what you can to stay away from them. If it’s possible, cut ties with them completely, because you won’t miss much. If you must interact for work reasons or at family gatherings, set good time boundaries and don’t stay with them any longer than you have to. And don’t let them corner you. It’s not your job to bring the cold and lifeless back from the dead!
Some emotional vampires know what they are doing; others do it on an unconscious level. Those who are unaware tend to have very difficult relationships, home lives, and work interactions until they recognize what they are doing. Those who know they’re doing it, well, it’s best to just steer clear of them. Either way, your job is to protect yourself as best you can. The world can be a hard place sometimes, but hopefully now, when you are facing down a meeting with one of these people, you’ll be better prepared. And maybe you’ll even be able to shine a little bit of light back at them.
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