This post is going to be about energy vampires (or emotional vampires). Last night somebody vented to me about emotional tyranny that was going on in their household. Today I came across some videos explaining a bit about energy vampires and how to deal with them. This all got me thinking about the topic, and now I feel inspired to share.
What is an energy/emotional vampire?
This is a person who feeds on the energy and emotions of others. This behavior could be intentional or unintentional. Many times an energy vampire may not even realize what he or she is doing. Typically this behavior has harmful effects on those around the person “feeding”, but it can also negatively effect the person feeding.
What are signs of an energy vampire?
Signs of an energy vampire can include:
- Egocentric attitude
- Regular (as in often occurring) passive aggressiveness
- Consistent anger
- A love of arguing and desire to get in people’s faces
- Drama creation
- Insecurity (which can come through as jealousy or envy)
- People in their lives tend to “walk on eggshells” to avoid setting them off.
- Complains far more than the average person.
- May have a victim mentality even if he or she is victimizing others
- Consistently leaves others feeling drained or overextended
- Likely to take advantage of unaware empaths
What causes somebody become an energy vampire?
I am by no means an expert on the subject, but one reason for this was explained to me as the victim becoming the victimizer. A person can be warped by their frustration and exhaustion that is caused by dealing with an energy vampire. This in turn can cause somebody to become an energy vampire. This could be as dramatic as a person snapping at others because they were snapped at, or as subtle as a person extensively complaining to others about the drama they endure so that the effects of personal drama are passed to others. (Side note: I am not saying that one should never vent. Sometimes people need to unload all the bullshit that has been weighing on them. However, one must try to avoid unloading too much on others. We need to be aware of others so that we do not unload our stress onto someone who can’t handle it. Don’t break another’s back with a straw that was weighing you down.)
I can think of a couple other reasons I suspect people become energy vampires. Those reasons are to fill a void and to feel important. If a person feels something is missing from themselves, they might start looking for the missing piece in other people. A man might say “I don’t know how to be happy” and then seek to correct that by relying on others to make him happy. A person who feels unimportant might take to attention-grabbing antics in order to feel important. If a woman constantly creates situations that place her in the middle of drama, there is a good chance that she feels this validates her importance. “The focus is on me because I matter.”
It likely boils down to a person becoming an energy vampire because of a failure to address harmful mental”wiring” and properly tend to emotional wounds.
What are the effects of energy/emotional vampirism?
The most recognized effect is the exhaustion of those being drained. This could be emotional and physical exhaustion. Some people might try to tip-toe around the vamp so much that their efforts to avoid being drained by emotional flare-ups can be exhausting. Self-care is neglected in favor of giving too much. Compromise becomes an unfamiliar concept. There isn’t much if any “agreeing to disagree”. Relationships become tainted for both the feeders and the drained. How are the vampires negatively effected by their own behavior? They increase the chances of pushing others away when valuable relationships could be developed. Other people may be afraid to be honest with them, thus emotional vampires may struggle to differentiate between what is true and false. A sort of addiction is going on in order to “medicate” personal problems in a way that temporarily eases symptoms but gives no cure. Satisfaction might seem unachievable for both parties.
Don’t be a martyr for a vampire.
The vampire feedbag is rather often going to be a person willing to let long-term manipulation take place. Unaware empaths seem to be especially vulnerable to this form of abuse because of the deep compassion they feel for the wounded person. They stick around enduring bad behavior because they ache with the abuser and want to help the energy vampire heal. “I need to keep giving him what he wants and taking the blame because that helps him feel better.” Self-sacrifice isn’t always heroic. Sometimes it is just putting a bandage over an infected wound.
How do I break the cycle of feeding?
This depends on if you are the energy-sucker or the drained. If you realize you are an energy vampire (or becoming one), you need to take a good look at yourself. You need give tough love to yourself. Be honest with yourself that you need to cut out the bullshit, and compassionate enough with yourself that you allow your wounds to heal instead of tearing more holes into yourself. Be mindful of when you are acting out and feeding off attention. Find healthy ways to deal with your issues without negatively influencing others.
If you are being fed from, you need to set boundaries. “I love you, but you are not allowed to drag me down with you.” You must accept responsibility for your role in it if you chose to let the feeding take place. You can’t place all the blame for your exhaustion on the other player if you chose to play the game. You need to become aware of when you are being manipulated so that you can stand your ground. You should try to stand your ground in a way that is not overly reactive. Being too reactive “feeds the beast”. Finally, come to terms with the fact that you are not solely responsible for the happiness of another. You can influence the well-being of others, but they decide whether to work with you or work you. Each adult individual needs to take some responsibility for their own well-being. Don’t give until you have nothing left for yourself.
Blessed be, y’all.
P.S. For those who wondered, I got some of my information about energy vampires from a YouTube channel called Zen Rose Garden.