What are emotional vampires?
While they may seem like cruel people, emotional vampires might not even realize that they are being detrimental to the mental and emotional health of those around them. These people tend to make their friends and family feel anxious, exhausted, drained, and even depressed after spending time with them. For this reason, if you have an emotional vampire in your life, you might find yourself experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- You feel anxious, drained, and depressed
- You feel disrespected and put down
- You find yourself constantly complaining about them
- You are repeatedly told that this person is bad for you
How can you identify an emotional vampire?
While there are seven different kinds of emotional vampires, they tend to share several characteristics which all have the power to negatively impact your mental and emotional health:
- They struggle taking accountability for their actions and blame you for their own mistakes.
- They go to great lengths to prove that they are superior.
- They are extremely critical of your actions and decisions.
- They guilt-trip and manipulate you.
- They are a magnet for drama.
- They act like a martyr and victim.
- They dismiss and play down your issues.
1. The narcissist
Narcissists are the most dangerous and difficult type of emotional vampires. This is as a result of their lack of empathy and inflated sense of importance. The only way to deal with this kind of person is to lower your expectations drastically, focus on yourself, and make sure that you are aware of the tactics they use to control and manipulate you. In being aware of them, you will find it easier to succumb to their abuse.
2. The victims
These are people who are constantly complaining about everything that is going on in their lives; while complaining is normal, the part which is draining and exhausting is that they do not want to acknowledge that their problems can be solved. The only way this emotional vampire will stop exhausting you is if you stop trying to fix their problems; that way, you will not feel frustrated when they ignore what you have to say.
3. The controller
By controlling everything you do and say, these people eventually make you lose yourself. It is sometimes difficult to recognize that their behavior is toxic as they claim that everything they say is for your own good. In order to preserve your mental and emotional wellbeing, tell this person that you thank them for the advice they’ve offered but that you would like to do things your way. By saying this, you are essentially being both assertive and polite.
4. The chatterbox
This person seems to have no interest in you, your problems, and your life as every time you meet them they only talk about themselves. To them, you are just an audience and someone they can unload their issues onto. This means that you may be left feeling like your relationship is one-sided; to fix this, communicate directly and let them know how you feel. Do not try to subtly change conversation because they are unlikely to do so; thus, you have to be blunt and direct.
5. The drama llama
They are usually the center of drama as they constantly gossip and hold grudges. Drama llamas love spreading rumours and being the center of attention. To ensure that you do not get sucked into their drama, do your best to avoid gossiping because before you know it, you might find yourself in the middle of uncomfortable situations.
6. The judge
Those who openly judge other people in front of you most likely judge you behind your back. Unsurprisingly, these are extremely toxic people and potentially fake friends. In addition to this, they have the power to make you feel inferior as they put you down when they criticize you. To soften the blow of their words, you need to work hard on learning how to not take the things they say personally.
7. The ‘I am better than you’
The intention of these people is to make you feel small in order to make themselves feel superior. These people are difficult to talk to as whenever you want to talk about your accomplishments, they will minimize them and remind you of their own achievements (of course, their successes will be better and bigger too). Sadly, their behavior stems from their deep and intense insecurities. You need to remind yourself of your self worth and the fact that their accomplishments do not diminish yours.
Sometimes, it is better to walk away and cut these toxic people out of your life because no matter how much you love them, they may be harming you more than you realize.