They are like a bulldozer that destroys everything in its path. Tiredness, insecurity and reluctance is what they generate in their victims. It manifests itself both in the couple, work, family environment and even in the circle of friends. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with individuals who support and make the other feel safe. Positive attracts positive, and this applies across the board. Does it give me energy or does it take me away? How do I feel after sharing a phone conversation? Identifying these types of emotions is what will help you understand that there are people who can be considered energy vampires. Profiles that infect us with their negative ways to the point of draining ours, leaving us exhausted, with a headache and discouraged. It is scientifically proven that this exists and that when it happens it has a great impact on our brain. It is that when we connect with someone, creating significant bonds, oxytocin is released. Instead, in an uncomfortable environment, cortisol, the stress hormone. In this way we begin to feel threatened.
Complications often arise in relationships, to the point that they often become toxic. In other words, at least one of its members has attitudes that negatively affect the other party, and we are not talking about physical but psychological abuse. Love can often cloud us and prevent us from being objective, making certain attitudes seem normal when they are not. There is a distribution of power, decision making and needs arise. The problem is when emotional manipulation reaches the extreme of getting what they want without caring about the other. This is usually associated with people with low self-esteem who seek constant approval to feel that they are on their side.
Overprotection is also common when you are in a relationship with these emotional manipulators that turn the relationship into a toxic one, since they consume energy and make you want everything in search of that constant validation. And since many times it is something that is let go, you begin to depend emotionally, generating an unhealthy relationship.
Dependence is something very negative in a couple and its price is very dangerous. Is it worth following? Most likely not, but the truth is that there may be a solution. “If I am not connecting with my own partner, specific treatment with a professional is required. There is always a factor common to all these possibilities that can unlock what is in conflict: dialogue”, explains psychologist Guido Castiella.
In many cases when there is something that does not connect, a short circuit, it is because what is happening is a hole in the language. “Something that is not being able to express itself. That common factor I consider to be both the problem and the solution. Putting it into words is, perhaps, the most difficult thing that can be proposed to a human being. But crossing that barrier, and not talking, but saying, without a doubt generates a relieving effect. It is not always easy to tell the other person what bothers me -remarks the specialist- in order to establish a constructive dialogue. Sometimes it is necessary to put it into words in the first place with a specialist, a therapist, a psychologist, who can guide the patient on the path of expression of the unsaid, and a constructive course in said relief of discomfort.
Watch out! Energy vampires are sometimes part of the family or close friends, who are not aware of the wear and tear they can cause. “It may be difficult to realize the damage that people around us are doing to us. Human perfection does not exist, and if somehow we are this way and not another, it is because we grew up in a certain environment, be it family, school, friends, or any human group that has accompanied us in the process of growth. ”, describes Castiella. In any case, the negative in our lives does not always harm us. “Mental health is, among other things, `doing with wounds’; that is, to build from the shortcomings, the holes, the misunderstanding of the other that once marked us. With which, it can be complicated, and in many cases it is very common, for a long time not realizing that whoever surrounds us is someone negative for us.
In this case, it is important to listen if someone notices it, apply receptivity and good will to listen to some advice, and in any case go to a therapist to take care of the hole that the other left in me, of the damage they did to us, to get out of the position of the complaint that does not build, to do something with it that is healing for our lives”, points out the specialist.
Tiredness and insecurity, the most common symptoms.
Somehow, we are all always surrounded by negative people, but it is also up to each of us to see what we do to find a solution or at least deal with the situation.
The ontological and organizational coach and designer Mariano Toledo gives us a completely different look. “Energy vampires exist; you can have a friend you talk to, he always tells you about his problems and at the end of the call you feel tired because he didn’t even ask how you were. But I think each one is responsible for her emotional world. If you see that your emotions consume energy, you are part of that too. There is something going on that lets them drain into that person. I go for a distinction that has to do with whether I am a victim of what happens to me or I am a protagonist, and I take charge of that situation that is weakening me, ”he maintains. And he says that people with crossed energies in general is because it is related to the judgments that we make about them, these being nothing more than opinions. Because energy vampires exist, but it is our responsibility to stay in those spaces of imbalance”, remarks Toledo. It is that sometimes the energy is not compatible with the other, and this does not mean that it is an emotional vampire, it is simply people with whom we do not get along and about whom we should not comment. In addition, we can all be at some point when we are surrounded by complicated situations and it is difficult for us to find a way out. Temporality also has to be a factor to take into account because as human beings we are not always the same.
Since our ancestors, to increase the possibility of survival we form groups establishing a contact that is not only positive but necessary; That’s why, from his coaching perspective, Toledo says walking away isn’t always the best option. “When we are with a person or in a group but they do not bring us anything constructive, they cause us an energy imbalance and one can choose to walk away; the issue is when there is an affective bond. Then another alternative appears, that of staying. Because beyond the fact that we don’t get along, as human beings, we are mammals, we live in packs and we are relational. If at the slightest discrepancy we separate, it is not ideal, because talking about bad energy is very popular but sometimes we are not objective. When we connect with someone, we have the presumption that we see the world in the same way, but when we meet a person who has a different point of view, we try to convince him that he should coincide with ours and that is an illusion. There are as many interpretations of reality as there are people who interpret it. Convincing the other to think the same as me is a fruitless and frustrating task. On the other hand, if I don’t convince her I can walk away or I’m left with the path of acceptance and validating him as a legitimate other. That he thinks differently, that he sees things differently. And that has to do with learning to live with diversity and acceptance. If I move away, I am canceling it, I abandon any possibility of connecting even from different perspectives. We are closing ourselves off and we miss the opportunity to learn from other perspectives”, she concludes.
It can also happen that we choose to stay, talk but perhaps it is not enough, and relationships, whether with a partner, family member or friend, do not work. “When you run into people to whom a certain energy is attributed, it can be good to take what is called the optimal distance. This allows us to dissociate that climate between us and that person. The idea is not to feel the impact of the other’s discomfort. Some call it healthy selfishness, which is when thinking about oneself takes distance, but in reality it is what serves as a defense in life to cope with adverse situations. One may want to help the other person but is dragged by that discomfort, “says Soledad Ladrón de Guevara, a specialist in mental health.
Donald Winnicott, English author, pediatrician and post-Freudian psychoanalyst, said that mental health is gained when one can be alone while being accompanied. That is, when you can be with others but continue thinking individually, dreaming, projecting, beyond the connection we have with that person. “Focusing on our projects is something that somehow limits the other. We have to move on, ask for little recognition, approval from others to do what we want. Society is very used to being attentive to what they will say, to what others think about the course we want to take in life. And it is important to continue making plans beyond what they tell us; it is good to listen less outside and more inside”, advises Ladrón de Guevara.
It is essential to be aware that there are vampires and manipulators. But first we must see what is going on with that other person. Whether or not it is worth discussing to solve it. Otherwise, the other option will be to walk away for our own good. Always prioritizing ourselves and putting ourselves first.