It doesn’t need to be Halloween for you to come across an emotional vampire. They’re everywhere, lurking in the workplace, the grocery stores, the clubs…and sometimes in our own homes. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, these attention-seeking, life-sucking individuals mask their neediness with professions of dependency, companionship, compassion, and most of all, love. Through their relationships, their counterparts endure massive periods of depression, anxiety, pain, anger and other emotional and mental issues. In the end, most of these vile “love beasts” develop in themselves (or even their partners) VERY unhealthy habits, such as overeating, mood swings, fatigue and others. So what sorts of “emotional vampires” exist, and what “wooden stake/silver bullet” techniques should you employ to ‘fend one off? We have the perfect antidote to keep them from sucking the life out of you:
1.) The Narcissist - they seem charming and confident, but beneath the surface is an attention-hogging, insecure individual. They will use any excuse to revert all ideas and thoughts back to themselves.
- Weapon: There’s no use bargaining with this type of person. Instead, enjoy their qualities, but be conscious of their selfish nature. Another method for handling this type of person is by showing how your thoughts and feelings satisfy their self-interest.
2.) The Victim – these people have a pessimistic point of view, thinking that the world is their villain and you will be their hero.
- Weapon: Self-pity is what they thrive on. Feeding into their ego this way, or telling them to “suck it up” are means for them to gravitate towards you. The best way to fight them is to STAY AWAY!
3.) The Controller – this is the “Dracula” of all emotional vampires, preying on the weakness of others to boost their egos. Their rigid sense of virtue and dominating intent leaves you constantly fatigued and unhappy.
- Weapon: Stay confident and speak up. Bickering about small stuff will only worsen the relationship and get you nowhere. Assert yourself and your needs, and if they aren’t met, either move on, or agree to disagree.
4.) The Criticizer – this person is judgmental and demeaning, utilizing your shortcomings to bolster their ego, no matter how inadequate they are.
- Weapon: NEVER GET DEFENSIVE, and don’t take anything they say personally. Instead, use kind words and show your compassion and sympathy for their train of thought.
5.) The “Splitter” – another dangerous kind of emotional vampire, this person will thrive on the keeping you on an emotional rollercoaster by being sweet on Monday, and sour on Tuesday
- Weapon: Your job isn’t to investigate, your job is to eradicate! Establish your boundaries and solutions for the problem. If it’s helpful, imagine a protective shield around you when you’re being emotionally attacked.