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Published on August 19, 2020

9 Types of Emotional Vampires to Protect Yourself From

9 Types of Emotional Vampires to Protect Yourself From

Let’s start off by saying that not all emotional vampires are bad people. Sometimes, they don’t even realize what they are doing. After reading this, you could realize that you have been an emotional vampire to someone. That is not to say that they cannot be vindictive, mean, and cruel, but it is always important to note that they are also just human, and humans are flawed and make mistakes, and that is okay.

What Are Emotional Vampires?

If you have an emotional vampire in your life, it is easy to recognize when you know what to look for. If you interact with someone who routinely makes you feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, intimidated, and depressed, you have a vampire. They are called this because they suck up the happiness inside you, like orange juice out of a carton, and then discard you when you are empty.

It’s important to understand that you will never be enough for an energy vampire.

They are trying to fill an endless chasm inside themselves, and no matter how much they try and take from you, it is never enough, because the thing they need to feel better comes from within.

What Are the Signs of an Emotional Vampire?

There are several ways to recognize things you yourself do when you’re around an emotional vampire. For example, these are the 8 things emotional vampires do:

  1. They never take accountability for their actions, you are always the problem.
  2. They always have to be the best.
  3. They criticize everything.
  4. There is always drama.
  5. They use guilt trips.
  6. They act like a martyr.
  7. They play down your problems and talk about themselves and their issues.
  8. They spout mean comments that make you uncomfortable.

In addition to the above signs, if you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, it’s likely you’re around an emotional vampire:

1. You Feel Anxious, Exhausted, or Depressed

If you feel any of these things after spending time with someone, it could be a huge red flag that the person is an emotional vampire. Any friends you spend time with regularly should act to increase your happiness and positive outlook on life. If the opposite is happening, don’t let it continue.

2. You Feel Put Down and Disrespected

If a person regularly makes you feel “less than” or like you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t, they’re likely an emotional vampire. Something inside them feels wrong, so they try to make you feel the same way.

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3. People Tell You This Person Is Bad for You

Sometimes you can’t recognize when someone is sucking the happiness from your life, but others can. If more than one person points out that a particular person is having a negative effect on your life, it’s time for you to do some analysis as well.

4. You Complain About This Person

If you find yourself constantly saying negative things about someone after spending time with them, that’s a big indicator that the person may be an emotional vampire. If the person is good for you, you’ll find it difficult to identify anything wrong with them.

How to Deal With the 9 Types of Emotional Vampires

The first thing you have to know is that you can’t control their behavior. You need to understand that and know you aren’t responsible for their actions, only your own.

The second thing you need to do is, if possible, walk away, cut out, or distance yourself from your emotional vampire. You can’t change them, you can only protect yourself.

Despite your best efforts, some vampires are unavoidable[1], so here is a list of the types of vampires and how to protect yourself from each of them when they cross your path.

The Narcissist

This is the most dangerous of the vampires. These sorts of people don’t have empathy, and they simply don’t care about your feelings.

When dealing with a narcissist, you have to understand that they are what they are, and that is an emotionally limited person. They do not feel as much as you do. You can’t expect them to be something they are not; it will exhaust you.

Lower the boundary of what you expect from them and know your worth. Emotionally distance yourself from them, and focus on making sure your self-esteem and value come from yourself and not from pleasing them. Once you focus on pleasing yourself, the narcissist’s power over you will weaken.

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The Victim

We all know the victim, someone who is constantly talking about all the bad things that has happened to them. The person that when you offer advice, they have no interest in solving their problems. Eventually, they may grow to blame you for their problems, even though they are of their own doing.

They key thing to note with this vampire is that you can’t actually help them fix their problems. Let go of the idea that you can actually help them, because you can’t, and it isn’t your responsibility or your job.

With the victim, protecting yourself is always about creating a healthy boundary. They will try and keep you in conversations, but you have to kindly but abruptly cut them off after a few minutes to avoid being sucked in to their constant negativity.

The Controller

This is the vampire that wants you to do your things its way. It wants to control how you do things, what you say, what you do, and eventually, who you are. They will comment with things that they think you should be doing and saying it’s in “your best interest.”

You may have met this one before; they will try and make subtle suggestions and encourage ways they want you to be and will leave you feeling fake. They will also invalidate all of your feelings when they aren’t suited to them.

When dealing with a controller, this is where assertiveness can come in. You can be assertive and kind at the same time. Just thank the person for their advice, but say you are doing things this way because it feels more authentic. Don’t be afraid to stand up to a controller and say “thank you but no.” They have no right to tell you how to live your life.

The Chatterbox

At some point in your life, you will have come across the chatterbox. This is a person who just constantly talks about themselves, their lives, their problems, and drama around them, and if you try and talk about yourself, the conversation swiftly comes back to them.

The chatterbox, in essence, isn’t interested in you or your feelings; you are just an audience to record and dictate their life so they feel heard, validated, and important. Unfortunately, that can leave you feeling like your relationship is one-sided, drained, unimportant, and ignored.

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The best way to protect yourself from the chatterbox is direct communication. They do not respond to soft cues like attempts to change the conversation. You have to talk to them directly but politely to change the topic of conversation to something more positive.

The Drama Llama

There is no way you haven’t met the drama llama. This person will make everything into the biggest deal ever. Everything will be a problem or a thing, even something completely unnecessary, like the fact someone didn’t see them in the street and wave back.

With the drama llama, it really does depend on the context in which the llama is in your life and how the drama is affecting you. The most effective way is to not get involved or invested in their conversations. If you get caught in one, excuse yourself quickly and find a more positive person to chat with. Try to distance yourself from gossiping as well; it will help you not be drawn into the drama.

The Judge

The judge is a vampire that constantly judges other people, and no one is free from their scrutiny. They will judge everyone, and they leave you wondering what they say about you behind your back. The judger is one of the most toxic people to have around because, when they judge, they have nothing positive to say. They will leave you feeling insecure, pathetic, and even small.

With the judge, this is all on you. Just because someone is critical towards you doesn’t mean you have to care. The judge is critical for the sake of being critical; there is nothing constructive about it. So you can choose not to value what they have to say.

The judge tries to chip away at your self-worth because they are struggling with a lack of that themselves, but we know that true self-worth comes from within. Refuse to take what the judge says personally, and don’t get defensive with their comments. Keep a cool head, because if they know you feel hurt by what they said, they win.

The Critic

This person is the one who always has a critique about you or anything around them. Nothing is ever good enough, so they will always nitpick and make unnecessary, rude comments. You will start to notice that they have nothing nice to say about anyone, and their only dialogue is rude and critical. Nothing is ever good enough or even passable; it is always bad.

When dealing with the critic, you have to not take what they say personally and remember that they are just taking out their negative feelings and problems on you. Don’t get defensive. With the critic, remember you give power to what you give attention to. Don’t give their critiques attention, and always pivot the conversation to a positive alternative.

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The “I Am Better Than You”

This is the person who is always trying to one up you. No matter what, they have done it bigger and better than you. This one is the most annoying to have around because their whole intention is to make you feel small. This vampire will leave you feeling insecure, small, exhausted, and anxious.

You have to understand that, with this vampire, it comes from a deep-rooted insecurity that they are not good enough. Encouraging and reassuring them doesn’t work with this vampire because they have an almost false big ego, so you will just be feeding that fake ego. They need to find validation from within.

But for you, you need to make sure that you are reassuring yourself that you are good enough. They will do their best to make you feel worthless and insecure. If you do want them to feel better, give them genuine, real compliments about their self-worth, reminding them that they are important and they matter. Just make sure you are reminding yourself of that first.

The Innocent

I always see this one as the second most dangerous vampire because you never see them coming. The innocent vampire is someone who is just a little helpless, and you just help out now and then, but it spirals out of control. Soon, they are dependent and expectant upon you to help them, and it drains you to a crisp.

The innocent is a vampire that feeds on your compassion and empathy, and they can often not see the line because you haven’t enforced it. You let them cross the line over and over again, and they had no idea they were asking too much, especially since you probably encouraged it by saying that it was no trouble.

It doesn’t make you a bad person to say no to helping people, especially people who have taken advantage of your hospitality. Defending against this type of vampire is drawing a line, a boundary, and enforcing it. This can be hard, but the reality is that they need to become self-sufficient, and you can encourage that all while drawing a thick line.

Final Thoughts

If you have read this, and one of these vampires reminded you of someone in your life, I cannot emphasize enough how much you should walk away from them. I know it can be hard, and you can often feel obligated to this person, but walking away is the best thing for both of you. You do not need this negativity in your life. Put yourself and your mental health first, and do what you need to do to maintain your happiness and positivity.

More on Creating Healthy Relationships

Featured photo credit: Beniamin Şinca via unsplash.com

Reference

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Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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