I am a writer and an empathetic person. I absorb the emotions of others, whether I want to. I am very well attuned to other people’s moods, both good and bad. Before I learned to protect myself from bad energies, I sometimes got sick from being exposed to other people’s negative vibes.
Certain people reek of negative energy. After spending some time in their company, I usually felt drained — possibly for the next day. The ability to internalize the energies of others can be a good thing, especially when surrounded by genuinely loving and caring individuals. Sometimes, though, this trait of mine can be detrimental–especially when encountering psychic beasts-called “energy vampires.”
What is an energy vampire?
Energy vampires are people who–sometimes intentionally–drain your emotional energy. They feed on your willingness to listen and care for them, leaving you exhausted and overwhelmed. Identifying these individuals and responding to their toxic behavior and attitudes can help you preserve your energy and protect yourself from a great deal of emotional and physical distress.
Energy Vampires and Narcissism
People diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) may also exhibit characteristics of one or more Cluster B personality disorders (including borderline, anti-social, and histrionic). Conversely, people with borderline, anti-social, and histrionic traits can also exhibit characteristics of narcissism, such as excessive selfishness and abusive (emotional and/or physical) behavior.
Narcissists (or people who exhibit narcissistic traits) seek partnerships with others who will provide them with the necessary narcissistic supply to sufficiently meet their unending and many needs.
They are not interested — nor will they ever attempt — to meet, or even acknowledge, the needs of their supply source. A narcissistic person wants to control and wield power over their significant other. They will select a partner from a wide variety of codependent, empathic, self-sacrificing, and nurturing populations — people who will supply them, no questions asked.
Other than those who exhibit borderline personality traits who seek stability, strength, and love (and they are generally attracted to strong, stable, caring, and sincere people), the common factor across Cluster B personality types is that the predator wants to affiliate with kind, decent people who believe in the goodness of humanity.The more idealistic and naïve, the better. In most cases, Cluster B people are deficient in emotion and conscience and so seek the opposite to exert their control, mindset, and goals more quickly.
Traits of Energy Vampires
Energy vampires can be very charismatic. They’re often crafty and may blame conflicts and problems on those they consider weak. They seldom — if ever — accept responsibility for failure in any disagreement or difference of opinion. We, as empathy, are often left holding the guilt — and possibly the blame. Other traits are:
- Bullying–energy vampires tend to be bullies who try to make others feel small. This typically stems from their own insecurities.
- Negativity–most energy vampires aim to soak up your positive energy by killing the mood, criticizing you, or engaging in toxic or abusive behaviors.
- Neediness–of course, everyone could occasionally use the support of others to lift their spirits; however, energy vampires are constantly in need of validation, compliments, and reassurance from others.
What Are the Garlic and Crucifix for Energy Vampires?
Hiding from energy vampires can be a good option, but there is a better solution: confront and stop them. Negative people moan and whine excessively — when they start a completely useless and negative discussion, interrupt their monologue. It may seem rude, but it’s necessary for your own survival.
I have trained myself to be okay with interrupting negatively-themed conversations. I am blatantly honest–“I don’t want to hear it. Thank you.” I’ve also learned to maintain my emotional distance. This doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring them, but I am ignoring bits and pieces that they are trying to share but have no value to me and are negative.
Don’t convince them to stop being gloomy or suggest that they “look on the bright side.” It’s not your place to save them; your job is to protect yourself.
If you do for others the things that they should do for themselves, you’re not helping but enabling. We create problems for ourselves by trying to fix other people. Energy vampires are locked into a negative mindset that forms the fabric of their personalities. You can’t change them; you can only change how you react to them.
It can be very frustrating to deal with a negative person. What if their comments are offensive and you are tempted to answer back? Don’t. Revealing that what has been said has affected you in any way will feed the beast even more.
Stay clear of impulsive reactions and learn to respond thoughtfully in the face of negative energy. Eventually, they will realize you won’t give them the reaction they seek, and they will go looking for another victim. Tempering your emotional responses can be difficult, but crucial to maintaining your peace and sanity.
When encountering an energy vampire, take time to collect your thoughts.
Never speak to the vampire when you feel vulnerable; rather, talk to them when you feel confident and calm. Always give yourself time to recharge your batteries so that when you deal with them, you have the patience to handle them properly.
If you can, limit your exposure to these individuals with firm, impenetrable boundaries. When you must be around them, try to be in a group setting. If you are lucky and able, just get the hell away from them — put an ocean between you if at all possible. Put your well-being first; it isn’t selfish to love yourself and to make your happiness a priority. Practicing self-care will help keep you grounded and strong when you face negative energy.
You feel drained because you allowed that energy vampire to suck all of your happiness out as if it was your lifeblood. Be like the borders on a map; make an honest attempt to set solid–not dotted line — boundaries.
Not because you should, but because you realize that it’s the only way to stay happy and balanced.
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