Emotional Vampires are all around us. What is an emotional vampire? I would say the definition comes down to someone who sucks the good emotion right out of you. They steal your happiness, your peace, your optimism.
They make you feel drained and overwhelmed. They are the people who are always out to get you down. Maybe they are intentional in their wrongdoing, or maybe they are just naturally negative people.
Either way, we need to do a few things to battle emotional vampires. How do we know if we are being held captive by an emotional vampire?
If those signs apply to you, the following strategies should be of great use.
Guard Your Emotions
Emotional vampires seek to control your feelings. They feed off hurting you. If they can tear you down, it builds them up. They are often that person who sees that you’re having a great day and makes just one comment.
A very carefully thought out comment that crushes you. Emotional vampires are manipulative, knowing exactly what makes you tick and then pushing that button multiple times.
A big part of surviving against them is to guard your emotions. Guarding your emotions means that you have some sort of a gate around your heart and feelings. It means that you keep a tight control on your reactions to all circumstances.
It means that you only let those negative types of people in your psyche to a certain extent. You don’t have heart to hearts with them.
You keep some things to yourself when you’re conversing with them, mainly because they have the ability to abuse whatever you share. Guarding your emotions also includes not expecting more out of an emotional vampire than they are capable of.
Remind yourself that for someone to be an emotional vampire, they are extremely emotionally unavailable. Don’t make them the main person in your life, especially not in the area of love or close friendship.
This person is not going to be your best friend. They aren’t going to be that shoulder to lean on, that support you need to get through a crisis. See an emotional vampire for what they are, don’t place them on a pedestal.
Setting boundaries can give you a major edge over destructive people. Don’t let them invade any area that you are not comfortable with. Politely decline invitations to have lunch with someone who drains you.
Don’t stay for drinks with a negative Co worker. Stop wasting your money and time to hurt your emotions. Place your own emotions over the potential offense of others.
Set boundaries about what you will discuss with the emotional vampire, not giving them anything to turn into a hurtful situation.
Remember that setting boundaries aren’t keeping people out, it is making sure that you are mentally healthy enough to make the most of your relationships with those who do care about you.
Stand Up For Yourself
The person you should fight for the most in life is yourself. It is easy to feel helpless when you are trapped by an emotional vampire. This isn’t the time to back down from the controller. It is time to stand up for yourself and your rights.
Everyone has a right to whatever makes them emotionally secure. Speak up if they’re doing something that bothers you. Change the topic, if it’s affecting you badly. No matter what, don’t let yourself go without something that you need to be stable. Develop a warrior mindset in this area.
Think of yourself as if you were in a battle for your emotional well being and treat all circumstances like a war scene. Emotional vampires are cunning, so know your enemy well. Figure out what their strategies are and go from there.
A big part of their game is to see you sweat. Keep calm even if you are raging on the inside. Don’t let them know that they are bothering you. Keeping a calm persona at all times will diffuse their intentions.
What do we need to do after a crisis? We need to recover. We move ahead. Taking some time out of your schedule to reflect on what you might have lost is vital to your emotional health.
Make sure that you do whatever is needed to take back what the emotional vampire has taken from you. The loss might be anything from self-esteem, friends, happiness, or time. Evaluate how much time you need to get yourself together again.
It might be a day to yourself. It might be a whole sabbatical type journey. Let your quest to move forward be as unique as you are. Detox yourself of things that are negative during this time. It’s hard to see what needs to be changed when you’re still in the situation.
Detoxing yourself from things that bring you down will help you to see exactly what needs to be done to regain sanity.
Emotional vampires can be likened to a tornado. Destroying us within seconds and taking what is valuable along with it. We can recover and move forward from these relationships. By applying these strategies, we have an edge against them and can take them down in no time.