in the comedy series What we do in the shadows, a group of vampires share a house, but one of them is special: it is an emotional or energy vampire named Colin Robinson. Instead of sucking the blood of his victims, the energy vampire, who has the appearance of a normal person and somewhat nondescript, bores or irritates those who come across him, rendering them weak and sucking their life energy. .
The funniest thing is that we have all found people like that. Emotional vampires exist, and they are people who (sometimes without realizing it) drain our emotional energy. They feed on our willingness to listen and attend to them, hogging our attention and diverting our resources towards their problems, instead of ours. A conversation with an energy vampire is exhausting.
In psychology the emotional vampires are associated with narcissism, a behavior characterized by egocentrism and a lack of empathy. In the worst case, it occurs narcissistic abuse, a type of emotional abuse in which the narcissist only cares about himself, and tries to manipulate others into making them feel worse, and in turn feel better in comparison. This can happen both in families and in couples or at work.
How to recognize emotional vampires? Here are some of their typical behaviors:
- They never accept responsibility: When there are problems, they sneak away or blame others.
- They always have some kind of drama: In order to absorb the attention of others, they often become the victims of some kind of drama or abuse or imagined injustice.
- They want to be the protagonists: energy vampires can’t stand other people being above, and it’s hard for them to feel joy for others, so they will try to minimize or sabotage other people’s achievements.
- your problems are not important: An energy vampire does not want to talk about your problems, and will divert the conversation so that it revolves around their own.
- they make you feel guilty: They take advantage of the good will of other people to do them constant favors, making them feel guilty for not helping.
- They criticize and intimidate: when the above does not work, they resort to criticism or threats to achieve their purposes.
For example, if someone at work gets a promotion, the Emotional Vampire will say, “I’m glad, but I’m doing a good job too, and no one acknowledges me. Why don’t you help me finish my report? Nobody wants to help me and I don’t know why! This place is full of people with no feelings.” You already have an idea.
Defense Against Emotional Vampires
It’s not always easy to identify an emotional vampire and sometimes they get us to blame ourselves for the consequences of their narcissism. Although neither garlic nor crucifixes have an effect, here are some ways to protect yourself from them:
- ask for accounts: emotional vampires do not take responsibility, and this is especially severe at work. Having mechanisms to analyze the results and demand responsibility for them is essential to deactivate them.
- Set limits: Like real vampires, they can’t come into your life if you don’t invite them. Although it’s not always easy, avoid their company, avoid interactions, and say no firmly when they ask for something.
- Don’t try to cure them: Although narcissism can be treated, it is unlikely that you will be able to change its behavior. Instead, when they tell you about their woes, avoid offering advice.
- Protect yourself if you find yourself weak: Emotional vampires know how to detect when your defenses are down or you are having a bad day, and they will take advantage of it to manipulate you.
- ignore and block: do not pay attention to their constant calls and messages, and if necessary, delete them from your social networks and block their number.