Relationship Deal Breakers: Emotional Vampires
When we start new relationships, we are often blinded to the other person’s toxic energy and intentions, or we try to see past it ignoring the red flag, thinking it will fade away. "When encountering emotional vampires, see what you can learn. It's your choice. You can feel tortured, resentful, impotent. Or, as I try to do, ask yourself, "How can this interaction help me grow?" Dr. Judith Orloff has a great point; these people drain our energies. They gladly take what one has to offer and don't reciprocate, or worse, they get what they want and leave the person discarded and blindsided.
Interactions with this person make you feel down, empty, and questioning your worth. Interaction with emotional and energetic vampires can leave you in a pretty dismal state if you feel anxious, depressed, or negative after interacting with someone every time. It may be time to label them an emotional vampire — especially if they display some of the below traits.
● You feel physical symptoms of stress after spending time with them.
If your mood takes a dive and you can feel physical symptoms of stress throughout your body, you're likely dealing with a vampire. Another sign this person's energy-sapping abilities have taken a toll on you? You find yourself binging or engaging in other harmful coping methods after spending time with them.
● Drama seems to follow them wherever they go.
For the emotional and energetic vampire, every day has theatrics. These people are frequently wronged and love to pull you into the story. Their conversations are riddled with negativity and melancholy, and they constantly look to you to offer attention, emotional validation, and solace but rarely return the comforts.
● Their feelings are always center stage.
Not only is an emotional and energetic vampire consistently reeling in the drama, but they also ensure that you know their drama is more important than yours. These people need their feelings to be center stage and the center of your attention. They may try to overshadow your problems in conversation or overshadow your accomplishments to focus on what they want to talk about. Leaving you feeling uninteresting and unimportant
● They're codependent.
Codependent relationships are common for emotional and energetic vampires. Emotional vampires are always looking for strong emotional reactions they can feed on and take advantage of and constantly look to you to enable their behavior.
● It's not a two-way street.
Emotional and energetic vampires genuinely feel they are the victims and solely deserving of your time, attention, love, and affection. But it tends to become an instance of unrequited love; you rarely feel a proper flow of energies. If you broach the subject, they'll often use their charisma to charm their way out of being called out or even find a workaround to blame whatever's wrong on you.
Emotional and energetic vampires can feed on various things: vulnerability, kindness, empathy, to name a few. If it doesn't feel right in a new relationship, it's not right. Listen to your internal feelings. These partners' types are toxic and will leave you feeling drained and unfulfilled. If you're experiencing this, I highly recommend taking a solid and honest look at your relationship and ask yourself, is this worth it? Of course, sometimes it's not available to you to walk away from a situation with an energetic and emotional vampire; after all, they can be friends, classmates, colleagues, or family. I've pulled together a few steps you can implement when dealing with a vampire:
● Create strong boundaries.
If you recognize someone is an emotional vampire and your relationship with them is detrimental to your well-being, the best thing you can do is establish firm boundaries. Set specific rules with yourself. Then, expand on your first set of rules as time goes on, depending on your relationship. For instance, start by telling yourself you won't talk to your exhaustive coworker after working hours, or you won't spend weekends with your constantly emotional friend. Remember boundaries can be an empath's best friend.
● Hang out in group settings
It's tricky to deal with an energy vampire on a one-to-one basis because their negativity gets absorbed solely by you. On the other hand, if you are in a group of three or more, the vampire's antics become divided between the group, and you aren't the only one to "feed" on.
Another plus point of hanging out in a group is that it gives you the opportunity and learns from how others deal with the vampire, giving me ideas on how to handle him/her. Since everyone has a different way of thinking and managing people, I always learn something new.
● Guard your energy.
Shielding your energy is crucial. Emotional vampires are very in tune in that they've captured your attention (and energy). When you notice they've latched on, I recommend minimizing the conversation by keeping answers short and keeping your body language uninviting. Once the conversation isn't serving them in the way they want, they'll move on. Guarding your energy will allow you to use it for yourself or towards someone who will reciprocate the hard work and care you put into cultivating meaningful relationships.
● Cut Chords and Strengthen Your Aura.
Boundaries are a challenge for most people. If you don’t have a solid connection to your navel center or your auric field, it will be easier for these draining people to affect you. Sometimes, saying goodbye is the best thing we can do or strengthen our nervous systems, navel, and auric fields so much that we don’t get affected anymore. A great way to illustrate this is to think of a mountain. It weathers grueling elements, sleet, snow, rain, sun, storms, even avalanches, yet it always remains, steadfast a mountain, at its center has unwavering strength and grace.
It’s a massive task to unveil and combat emotional and energetic vampires, and sometimes, truthfully, it’s not all so obvious to spot them. Sometimes these people’s effect on us has us questioning our truth, doubting our senses, get us thinking that it just must be me creating these feelings. It can especially be problematic for empaths or natural healers, who will feel the imbalance but find it challenging to take the steps necessary to cut this dynamic cord. It’s even more difficult to navigate when the vampire IS the healer you’ve hired and is supposed to be helping and not hindering you.
One of the most significant determinants in life is the quality of relationships we have, and at the root of good relationships are firm boundaries. Whether you’re dealing with vampires or general relationship fatigue, together, we can create a personalized program to help you get to the bottom of what isn’t working in your life and implement actionable and holistic strategies to create the life and relationships you want (and deserve!)
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