Energy Vampires: How to Identify and Deal With Them
Halloween’s around the corner, which makes this the perfect time of the year to blog about how to identify, deal with, and protect yourself from energy vampires.
We like to believe that vampires don’t exist, and they don’t in theory.
But energy vampires do exist, and if you don’t know how to identify, deal with, and protect yourself from them they’ll suck the life force right out of you.
I love a good vampire movie and series. My favorite modern vampire series are CW’s Vampire Diaries and The Originals, a Vampire Diaries spinoff (No one’s paying me to say this but if you’re interested, both series are available on NETFLIX).
If you’ve watched Vampire Diaries then you’re familiar with Damon and Stefan, the Salvatore brothers, and with Klaus and Elijah, the two eldest Mikaelson brothers.
And what do these characters have in common with our topic?
That just like with most people in our everyday lives they can appear charming, approachable, even kind, and caring.
However, they’ve got a nature that unless they work hard at keeping in check, they return to.
If you’re Vervain free, they’ll suck the life force right out of you, just like an energy vampire.
So, my mission for this post is to make you Vervain equipped and ready to protect yourself from them.
WHAT IS AN ENERGY VAMPIRE?
You wake up one morning filled with energy, enthusiasm, and optimism about the day ahead of you.
On your way out of your apartment building, you bump into Carla, your neighbor from apartment 3B, who once again, starts to give you an unsolicited account of her “horrendous” life.
You first met Carla at your apartment building laundry room the week after you moved in. She was sitting in a corner crying. You felt bad for her, so you approached her and asked if she was okay.
She’s been clinging to you ever since.
Very politely, you tell Carla that you’re on your way to work, to which she responds, “Great, I’ll walk with you to the subway station.”
THE ENERGY VAMPIRE IS ABOUT TO STRIKE
Along the way, Carla tells you about how she caught her boyfriend cheating…again; how she never gets paid on time; how her boss sleeps around with every secretary he hires.
Moreover, she tells you how her mother keeps making demands on her time; how her pet bird, Petey, died and what a creep her best friend, Mary, was for not attending his funeral; and how her life completely sucks.
All of that in less than ten minutes.
By the time she says goodbye at the entrance to the subway station, you have a headache, and your energy, enthusiasm, and optimism are gone.
You feel tired, depressed, and completely overwhelmed.
What just happened?
Carla is an energy vampire, you didn’t take your Vervain, and now you’re her first victim of the day.
THEY WANT YOUR EMOTIONAL ENERGY
Energy vampires are people who drain you of your emotional energy.
Moreover, they feed on your kindness, caring, and concern to the point that they leave you feeling fatigued, confused, and completely overwhelmed.
It’s a “What the hell just happened” kind of experience, where you’re left holding the emotional baggage that was just dumped on you, with no emotional energy of your own to help you regain your balance.
Energy vampires come from all walks of life. They can be your neighbor, loved one, friend, or co-worker, etc.
They zap you of your emotional energy, and sometimes even of your hopes and dreams.
Knowing the different types of energy vampires and recognizing the signs can help you protect your emotional energy, as well as save you a lot of psychological, emotional, and physical distress.
ENERGY VAMPIRES COME IN DIFFERENT TYPES
There are different types of energy vampires.
In this post, I’m focusing on the ones I’ve had personal experience with─the narcissist, the drama queen/king, and the victim/martyr.
1. The Narcissist
Oh, Lord, have mercy!!
Those four words pretty much summarize the effects of this energy vampire on one’s psyche.
If you’re a regular reader, you know that I had a partner who is a narcissist and how difficult it was to deal with him and his narcissistic extensions.
It wasn’t fun.
So, what are these energy vampires like?
- Emotionally detached
- Complainer/Nothing’s ever good enough
- Sudden bursts of anger
- Zero accountability. It’s always someone else’s fault
- Lack of empathy
- Difficulty apologizing
- Verbally, and can be physically abusive
2. The Drama Queen/King
Carla, Carla, Carla…That Petey thing was over the top.
Mad at her best friend, Mary, for not attending her pet’s funeral? Extreme, to say the least, which is very typical of drama queens/kings.
So, what are these energy vampires like?
- They’re INTENSE! Prepare for crazy, emotionally forceful roller coaster rides
- Extremists. A tiny molehill is always larger than life
- Selfish. They’ll highjack your conversations and make it all about them
- They’re what I call, “But Syndrome” fanatics. They have a but for every solution offered
- Always in crisis mode
- Prone to chaos and histrionics
- Somebody’s always cheating on and/or betraying them
3. The Victim/Martyr
“Why does everything always happen to me?”
That is the heart song of the victim/martyr energy vampire.
Other characteristics include:
- No matter how bad you have it, they have it worse than you do
- Someone’s always out to get them
- Emotionally blackmail through guilt-tripping
- Masters of ultimatums
- Defensive when you call them out, and will “counterattack”
- Ungrateful. Unable/unwilling to count their blessings
- They blame others for their woes
- Control freaks
Regardless of the type of energy vampire, there are surefire ways of knowing you’re dealing with one.
HOW TO IDENTIFY AN ENERGY VAMPIRE
How you feel before and after encountering an energy vampire is what helps you to identify them.
According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom and Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People, when you encounter others with positive energy, you feel rejuvenated. If you already feel happy, that happiness is amplified.
If you don’t, your mood is uplifted, and you begin to feel encouraged, joyful, and an overall sense of well-being.
Conversely, the opposite is true when you encounter an energy vampire.
You’re bitten, your life force is sucked out of you, and emotional contagion takes place.
In other words, you’re completely drained of your positive energy, and you take on the energy vampire’s negativity.
If you think you’re dealing with an energy vampire but aren’t sure, these questions will help you sort it out:
- How do I feel when this person is around me?
- Does my mood shift, and if so, is the shift positive or negative?
- Do I experience physical symptoms when I’m around them or after having been around them?
- How do I feel physically and emotionally when I’m going to go meet up with them?
- What’s my first reaction when I unexpectedly encounter them?
YOUR VERVAIN: PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM ENERGY VAMPIRES
Guarding your emotional and physical well-being is a crucial part of self-love and self-care. It’s necessary for maintaining your authenticity, but it can be a challenge when the energy vampire in your life is a loved one.
Nonetheless, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself that can also be applied to the people you love.
Vervain #1: Love yourself. It’s easier to execute the following steps if you love yourself.
When you love yourself, you don’t allow people to take your peace. You practice self-compassion and place your overall well-being first because you know that to effectively give and do for others, you have to give and do for you first.
Note: Please read my blog post When Loving You Means Learning to Love You if you have problems with loving yourself, or simply don’t know how to.
Vervain #2: Establish boundaries. Be clear with regards to what you will and will not accept, and where the line in the sand is. You can be kind and compassionate, but when you know you’re dealing with an energy vampire, be kind and compassionate to you first.
Vervain #3: Stand your ground. Don’t be afraid to tell an energy vampire that you don’t have time to hear it, or that their negativity affects you and that you’re not willing to give up your positive emotional state.
Vervain #4: Don’t enable them. Like bloodsucking vampires, energy vampires will always return to their prey; that is, to the people who plug into their drama and validate their feelings no matter how many times they’ve listened to the same complaints, or how unfounded they are.
Vervain #5: Don’t let them use you. So, your energy vampire co-worker had yet another crisis (the third one this week) and she needs for you to cover down for her again.
Simply say, “No!”
Don’t allow her to use you. She’ll go home happy go lucky at the end of the day, and you too drained to think straight.
Vervain #6: Stay grounded. Pray, meditate, read and say affirmations out loud, visualize yourself behind a shield, or inside a protective sphere, do Yoga, Tai Chi, or other exercise/ritual designed to bring you into balance.
Vervain #7: Completely cut them off. Unfortunately, I’ve had to do this with a brother. I love him dearly, but sometimes for our sakes, we have to love some people from afar.
In closing, it’s important to state that in most cases energy vampires are good people who are in dire need of love, attention, and validation.
Some don’t even realize that they’re energy vampires.
Others become aware that they are and work hard at making changes.
Regardless, we can’t let our kind and caring side lose track of the fact that they’ll drain us of our emotional energy.
More importantly, we can’t lose sight of the fact they it’s their behavior to control.
The onus of responsibility for changing is on them, not us.
Guard your energy and vibrate at your highest frequency. May all good things flow to you.
I love hearing from my readers, so please feel free to leave a comment.
Until my next post, which will also have a Halloween theme (Hint: Ghosts).
Much love and peace,