mindset: energy vampires
Have you ever been around someone who just sucks the life right out of you? Maybe a friend of a friend, a co-worker, or a significant other who just left you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, irritable, or exhausted? Chances are you’ve encountered an Energy Vampire - a person who thrives off of stealing the psychic energy and vitality of others in order to heal their own internal wounds.
Unfortunately, energy vampires are everywhere. We are constantly exposed to their low-frequency vibrations. Sometimes these Edward Cullen wanna-bes are unavoidable because they occupy our workspace and infiltrate our personal lives.
We could throw up our hands and proclaim “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” Or we can learn to identify the six different types of energy vampires and how to take care of ourselves in their presence.
A classic alpha type, the Dominator often has a holier than thou attitude and an inability to ever be wrong. Dominators have rigid beliefs and act aggressively towards those who don’t step in line. When it comes to authority, they have an uncanny ability to smooth things over.
The Dominator’s behavior stems from a deep seeded fear of being rejected. Their attempts to scare you come from a place of hurt.
When it comes to a Dominator, it’s time to step up and be assertive. Don’t confusion assertion with aggression. Make your feelings and needs known but come from a place of kindness. Then, stand your ground. If you’re no longer intimidated by them, they know longer have power over you.
The Victim is always suffering at the hands of others. The Victim does not take ownership of their actions but instead seeks to place blame on everyone else. If you attempt to level with them, they get defensive.
The Victim is attempting to externalize their pain by blaming others for their troubles. The Victim is unable or unwilling to see how their behavior contributes to their situation. They feel helpless to change their circumstances.
Take note of The Victim’s self-pity cues. When they play the “woe is me” card, change the vibe. It’s ok to empathize and even offer help, if you want to, but with a protective boundary in place. Chances are The Victim won’t take you up on your offer of assistance because it’s your sympathy their after. Which reinforces their fantasy of martyrdom. If all else fails, redirect the conversation or disengage entirely.
The Narcissist feeds off of the ego boost they get when you put their needs above yours. Usually charming from the start, The Narcissist quickly turns to manipulation, blackmail, and gaslighting to get what they want. Their goal is to draw on your strength to supplement their lack thereof.
Although their “me first” attitude comes off like glowing confidence, it is actually rooted in a desire for approval. They are unable to regulate their self-worth and seek constant external validation. They are unlikely to have interest in that which does not serve them and will create scenarios in which they are the center of attention. If they cannot gain that control over a situation, they will simply remove themselves from it.
You may be able to sell your needs if you are able to frame them in the light of The Narcissists self-interests. Even so, know your edges. What are your hard stops? Create concrete boundaries and stick to them. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to dissolve the relationship.
These magnets for crisis live in a self-fulling prophecy of drama of their own creation.The Melodramatic vampire can make a mountain out of a molehill and suck you in to their black hole. Constantly seeking a new catastrophes and creating emergencies, they are always on the hunt for the next big thing to obsess over
The Melodramatic uses gossip as currency. They pull you into their chaos by appointing you the secret keeper. Nothing good can come from this exchange of information. Bringing you into their world of imagined slights and exaggerated tragedies fills the emptiness they feel inside.
The Melodramatic knows exactly how to peak your interest. Don’t fall for the hook. Identify your triggers and learn to walk away when they arise. If you can’t leave, diffuse the pot-stirring by redirecting the conversation.
The problem with the Innocent is they may be genuinely helpless and have no idea how much they take from others. The Innocent is often unaware of how their behavior may impact others. They can be disrespectful of your time - they are always early or always late, your personal space - they intrude on your bubble, and your privacy - they pry. They lack the emotional maturity to see that their unwelcomed behaviors make you uncomfortable or just plain exhausted.
The Innocent is unconsciously trying to resolve some internal conflict and calls on you for support. When you give an inch, they take a mile. You become their unwilling caretaker.
Encourage self-sufficiency. Set boundaries with The Innocent that allow you to recharge and replenish. Remind The Innocent that you need time and space to yourself.
This bully is always picking on others and trying to undermine your authority. They offer up backhand compliments when they aren’t too busy putting you down for fun. They may offer advice without solicitation as a way of informing you they disapprove. Sometimes subtle, sometimes outright cruel, The Judgemental takes pleasure in seeing others feel small.
They derive their energy by taking you down a peg but don’t fret. The mean things say are simply a reflection of how they judge themselves. If they tease you about your hair, it is because they are insecure about their hair and want you to feel that pain, too.
Don’t take it personally. When you get defensive, they win. It’s easier said than done but The Judgemental is their own harshest critic. Be aware of their deep need to feel accepted and loved. Choose kindness with limits. You can’t fix their self-esteem issues but you can offer empathy.
How to Deal with an Energy Vampire
Get right with the universe. If you’re low vibing, you’re going to be attracting low vibes. So, own your part and start putting out more love and positivity into the world.
Kill them with kindness. Even when you’re mad as heck. Practice responding from a place of compassion. Not only will it throw them off their game, all that joy is bound to make its way back to you.
Love yourself. Energy Vampires prey on your weakness and latch on. Find your own self-worth and they’ll be powerless to take it from you.
Engage in self-care. Recharge, replenish, refuel. Take back what they stole from you. Meditate, practice affirmations, get in touch with nature. Find a source of light to fuel you. Then hold on to it. Don’t let anyone steal your sparkle.
Be aware of the way your vampire’s behavior affects your energy. Figure out how you can react differently to those triggers.
Practice forgiveness and release negative feelings. This is not the same as acceptance but let by-gones be by-gones. You can’t change the past but you can choose not to carry that resentment into the future. It will only weigh you down.
Set boundaries. Stick to them. Know your worth and know your breaking point.
Whatever type of Vampire you’re dealing with, remember these are not inherently bad people. They probably have friends and family who love and cherish them, right? So, they can’t be awful all the time. They’re just humans trying to do their best in this world with the tools they were given.
At some point in your life, you were probably someone else’s energy vampire - whether your intended it or not. So, approach them without judgement of how they ended up where they are because you’ve probably been there, too.
Don’t confuse this compassion with complacency. You don’t have to accept their behavior or intrusions. You simply have to approach the problem from place of love. Sometimes, that place of love will lead you to a better understanding and a stronger relationship. Sometimes, it may lead you to part ways out of love for yourself.
Have you ever experienced an energy vampire? How did you deal with it?