What is an Energy Vampire?
The Cold Ones from the Twilight universe might come to your mind right now.
Unfortunately, we will not talk about Edward or the other hot Cullen boys. Our lesson today will teach you to identify the ordinary fangless vampires that roam around us. The term energy vampire or “psychic vampire” refers to fictional creatures that feed on the “life force” of other living creatures.
The Two Different Categories
Energy vampires or emotional vampires as coined by American author, Albert Bernstein are people who seem to drain you of your vital life force. You feel depleted or even ill after being in their presence. They may be family members, friends, neighbours, co-workers, or authority figures, such as bosses or teachers.
“Energy vampires are divided into two groups: those who don’t know they’re hurting us and those who do,” says Judith Orloff, M.D. The author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life. “The unconscious ones are insecure and needy; they’re unaware that they’re draining you.”
Insecure energy vampires deplete you. They often live in constant fear of not meeting their needs and have a history of abandonment, rejection and a self-inflicted sense of “powerlessness”. They complain about everything; from how much they hate their job or how terrible their spouse is. However, they never take action to make their lives better. Orloff calls these people “energy sinkholes.”
Types of Energy Vampires and How to Spot Them
Narcissists are actually deeply insecure. They need to constantly be affirmed because they don’t feel good enough—they have a hole inside them, and they’re convinced that no one else can fill it. Narcissists will do whatever it takes (and hurt whomever they have to) in order to get the reassurance they need from others. The reason we call them narcissists is that their love for themselves is superficial—it’s only skin deep—and it comes from a place of desperation rather than strength or confidence.
- A narcissist is arrogant and expects special treatment — whether they do things to warrant it.
- Narcissists also exaggerate their achievements, which may be one reason they have trouble handling criticism.
- They will often go to great lengths to be the centre of attention.
- Narcissistic energy vampires won’t care about anyone other than themselves.
- They get frustrated when they don’t get what they want.
- They will reciprocate any kindness you show them.
They’re experts in charming people and getting what they want. If you are not paying attention, you will be targeted and sucked dry before you realize what happened. A controller or manipulator will try to make you feel worthless and dependent on them. Anyone that does not bend to their will is considered an enemy.
- Will use a range of covert strategies to get what they want, which includes lying, exaggeration, belittling, intimidation, withdrawal of love/approval, etc.
- Expect others to do things for them without reciprocating.
- Controllers are takers and not givers.
- They have no problem taking advantage of others.
- Often possess a sense of entitlement.
Passive-aggressive people can choose to sabotage a relationship in many ways. They can be silent and moody, pretending to forget important dates and events, and be bad at punctuality. They are also critical of others, procrastinate to avoid specific tasks, and fake mistakes to get out of certain situations. The list goes on.
- Passive-aggressive people take their sweet time delivering a requested message.
- They ask you for help but are angered if you ask them for a favour.
- Someone who says they’re fine when they are downright upset but refuses to engage in open communication.
The Rageaholic differs from the other energy vampires because you can’t spot them until it’s too late. They’re not damaging before they blow, and they are very good at hiding their true nature. Rageaholics are insecure people who use anger as a defence against vulnerability. They try hard to hide their inadequacies, so they are very sensitive to criticism.
- They are extreme in their bursts of rage and anger. A minor incident can trigger the explosion.
- They can be violent.
- Once the rage is unleashed, they’ll return to their charming selves again.
- That anger is always lurking just beneath the surface, waiting to explode again. Thus, you are always cautious with this person.
A victim is a person who uses their condition or situation to manipulate others into doing things for them. Victims are masters of “woe is me” and may also use pity to gain attention. Victims often use guilt and shame to get what they want from others. You won’t be able to say no to a victim. You feel sorry for them and don’t want to be blamed for making things worse. They are not manipulative as bullies, yet they drain the energy of the person they associate with.
- Victims like to play the martyr and often blame others for their problems.
- They may blame family, friends, or society for how their life turned out.
- They do not take responsibility for themselves or their actions, instead choosing to see themselves as victims of circumstance or other people’s bad behaviour.
Staying Away From Energy Vampires
Suppose you’re dealing with a friend or family member who drains your energy. In that case, your best bet is to set boundaries that protect you from their negative energy. Prioritize yourself. The more you allow people to cross boundaries and lack self-respect, the worse your relationships will be. Keep the borders, conserve your energy, and things will improve over time as you bring clarity to the relationship.
In the end, we choose who to spend time with. If you know someone who drains your energy and you still choose to be with them, that’s on you. The more you try to fix this individual, the more miserable you’ll be. And thus, doing something about it is a personal responsibility that you impose and not a moral one. Try to understand the root cause of why you are still with this person.