Judith Orloff’s says that if you want to be emotionally free you cannot remain naïve about relationships. Some people create a positive atmosphere but other can suck the optimism out of you and your ideas and suggestions.
Emotional vampires or users and takers make you feel emotionally drained after spending time with them. They may also take up your time and the emotional vampires will try several ways to keep your under control. Negative and manipulative ways to get you to think and act in certain way are strategies that may be used by not only your friends and family but also your work colleagues.
How to identify an emotional vampire: “You owe me” is often a favourite phrase.
They may be needy and helpless persons – this is a way of acting to make you feel that you need to help them. They may look helpless but they know what they want. They often dislike taking responsibility for their actions. “Yes, but. . .” And they are good at turning down every solution that you offer.
Some people try to control and decide what you are feeling. They have a strong opinion about everything and they know what is right for you. They tend to say, “ You know what you need?” and then they tell you what they think you need.
The motto is “Me first.” Often have a sense of self-importance. May use emotional blackmail to get what they want. If you do not do as they want, they may become cold and punish you.
These people see things as either bad or good. You often walk on eggshells to avoid their anger.
These takers are slow to react and every action is a struggle for them. They often express negative thoughts and they have a habit of sucking the energy out of everything.
Ways to deal with emotional vampires:
Set boundaries and decide beforehand how far you are prepared to go. Listen to your gut feelings and if they tell you to leave something, follow the gut feeling. Stay calm and learn to master feelings of guilt since this will mean that the person no longer has any power over you. Do not take sides when the person tries to turn you against someone. Suggest that you explore ideas and suggestions from a positive, negative, and interesting aspects.
Signs that you have met an emotional vampire:
- You feel tired
- Your mood takes a nosedive
- You feel anxious or negative
- You feel put down
Go here to read about Negative Thinking.
Photo: “Businessman Looking Tired” by imagerymajestic
3 Replies to “Emotional Vampires”
Does guilt have its uses?
Hi Phil, Thanks for your interesting question. Guilt has a positive side, which may rarely be explored. Guilt rarely happens in isolation and it may strengthen social bonds and attachments. Our ability to feel and connect with others may be one of the basis for guilt and if we did not feel guilty, we would not connect with other groups(in Part 4 of the Thinkibilty will be explore this more). This article provides some more insights. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/the-pros-and-cons-of-mother-guilt/
Thanks for the reply. I read that article and I like it’s use of Yellow Hat WRT guilt, showing that it can lead to people using OPV.