We’ve all encountered them, we may have been them from time to time, or maybe we still are. For me, before setting out on this path I would isolate more than anything, but I do see times when I held people hostage, wanting and needing attention because I was feeling empty and less than. Emotional vampires are out there, looking to lock us in and not let us go, they have many tactics and try different angles to engage with us and suck us in to their life with no intention of letting us go. How do we know we’ve encountered an emotional vampire? We feel it, we feel like the life has literally been sucked out of us, they feed off of us, our energy, our interest, or caring natures, and keep taking until we are depleted, exhausted, and can’t take anymore. It is up to us to spot these vampires and not let them take control of time and energy, to set a boundary with them, and, even better, to recognize them for what they are and not engage with them in the first place.
So, who are the emotional vampires? They come in various forms, they may come in the form of Continuous Chatter. This person is always talking, always has something to say, and typically talks so fast, and over you that you never get a word in edgewise. They also can be space invaders, talk so close to us that they invade our personal space, putting us on edge and while we’re trying to get away. We all know these people, they’re only concerned with talking about themselves and what’s happening with them, they never ask you what’s happening for you and how you are, and even if they do, they just talk over you with something else they think is more important. Then there’s the Drama Mama. Everything with these people is a 911 emergency, a breaking news event full of headlines, sirens, and epic details, even if they’re just walking the dog. These people always have something going on, something amazing, or something devastating they just need to tell you about, again, never really wanting your opinion unless it consists of praise or consolation, but only if you’re brief, there’s always more to their story. There’s the Egoist. The person who thinks the world revolves around them, that everything they are doing is bigger, better, and brag worthy, they are out to impress, and if you don’t give them what they want, they turn mean and ugly, shooting arrows at you and claiming you’re jealous of their accomplishments and life. There’s also the Victim or Martyr, always hard done by, always had the best of intentions, but were quashed, thrown to the side like trash, the world is always against them and they’re looking to you for validation as a friend, and again, never letting the conversation steer anywhere in your direction, for fear that you could take the spotlight from this constant victim. And then there’s the Master Manipulator. This person is constantly trying to control the narrative, control how you feel by invalidating your feelings and turning the spotlight back to them. No matter what we say, they are there to offer their unsolicited advice to show us how we’re living life wrong and they’ve got all the solutions. Any of these sound familiar?
So, how do we protect ourselves from these people? Well, we need to asses who these people are and decide whether or not they stay in our lives, if some of them do, we need to recognize what they’re doing, and, we need to set boundaries with them to protect our own life, peace, and serenity. Typically these people are very limited emotionally, they don’t get emotionally connected and involved, so it’s important that we don’t either. Once you’ve identified who they are and what they want, you have to counter that, so if they often cut you off it’s up to you to speak up and let them know that you’re willing to listen, but they always have to be willing to listen to you as well, to your thoughts, opinions, concerns, whatever you may have going on in your life at that time. It’s also about letting them know that your time is valuable, if it isn’t a good time to talk, if you’re working, if you’re with your family, or in the middle of something, let them know that, excuse yourself from the conversation. If they’re insisting on talking and telling you what to do you have every right to tell them that it isn’t a good time, you can thank them for their advice but tell them you need to work through it on your own. Don’t be afraid to be assertive, this is your time, energy, and serenity you’re protecting, and it, as well as you, are important. Don’t be shy about protecting yourself and your peace of mind.
At the end of the day this again goes back to my blog People Picker, it’s about making sure we’re choosing the right people to share our lives with, we need to be on the lookout for Emotional Vampires, and spot the signs of what they are and what they’re trying to do, when we are able to pinpoint it, we are able to counter their behavior with healthy choices for ourselves, and also look for the signs when we might be slipping into some of their behavior looking for an outside fix to an inside problem. Stay open, honest, and in the light, the vampires don’t like it there. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you have Emotional Vampires in your life? Write down all the people who fall into this category and write down which one or ones they are? Have you fallen prey to their actions in the past? How so? What can you do to protect yourself in the future? How have you been an Emotional Vampire in the past? What do you think you were looking for and why? How can you make sure you don’t continue that behavior in the future? Be strong in who you are, and project yourself from anyone who does not respect you, your time, and your peace of mind.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you