We have all encountered them. They are the people who seem to suck the life right out of you. They steal your energy and leave you feeling confused and exhausted. Are they narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial? They can be any of these. The problem for us is how to deal with them, because it is very difficult to have a serene life while they are so disruptive.
Some emotional vampires are just plain mean, and we can recognize their behavior immediately. Some, however, are much more subtle and leave us feeling demeaned and less than. They may be controllers who tell us how we should be living our lives, or they may withhold affection if we don't do as they want. They may hog the limelight, always putting themselves first or place the blame on you for everything that goes wrong in their lives. They may live from one emotional crisis to another, dragging you into each and every one.
So how do we deal with emotional vampires. If they are someone you can remove from your life then that of course is the best option, but it may not always be possible to do that.
Ways to protect yourself from emotional vampires.
- If possible limit your time spent with the person.
- When they start pushing your buttons refuse to engage with them. Remain calm.
- Don't allow them to victimize you. This is what they want. Instead be confident in the decisions you make for your life. You know what is best for you. You are the expert on you.
- Set boundaries. Don't allow them into your emotional space, and don't allow yourself to be drawn into their constant emotional crisis.
- Be firm in your resolutions to not let them demean, judge, or control you.
Everyone deserves to lead a happy and serene life. Stay true to who you are and don't let anyone else steal that happiness and serenity from you.