Dealing with Energy Vampires

If you’re a fan of “What we do in the Shadows” you will be familiar with the term Energy Vampire, as one of the characters is one. Even if you aren’t you will almost certainly have come across an Energy Vampire in your day to day life, as these individuals are not just made up for TV, they actually walk among us.

You might be one of the lucky ones who has their own built in protection and is therefore naturally immune to them. For the rest of us however, it’s a totally different story. Read on to see how you can spot an Energy Vampire in your midst!

Characteristics to look out for
  • They are often charismatic and use that charm to get out of sticky situations, leaving you to pick up the pieces.
  • They often find themselves in the middle of some catastrophe, demonstrating dramatic and emotional behaviour in the hopes that you, like a sponge, will soak up their drama; thus making it your problem, so that you can fix it for them.
  • They never like to share the limelight and often come with the tag line “look at me”. They are the ones that have been there, done it and got all the merch – not just the t-shirt! As an example;
“Oh that’s brilliant news. Did I tell you that I had 
actually applied for a new job today, too, and I 
really need some help with my CV. Do you mind looking 
it over?”
  • Like a traditional Ann Rice vampire, they feed off of your energy, expertly shifting attention away from any issues you may have and solely onto theirs.
  • They never ever take responsibility for any part in the creation of the situation they find themselves in. Finding it easier to play the role of the martyr.
  • They are experts at using your good nature against you. If you’re a kind and compassionate soul, that is eager to help with a kind word or a listening ear, they will do their level best to monopolise your time.
  • They will take as much energy as they can in any social interaction.
  • They are brilliant in the art of guilt trips and ultimatums. If you hear a sentence that goes something like this you know you’re in the company of an Energy Vampire
"I don't know how I'm going to cope if you aren't 
there too. I shall just about die."

Ultimately an Energy Vampire is often insecure, and due to their actions have a brilliant knack of making the “prey” – i.e. you – feel insecure too. Often second guessing yourself about whether you were there for them and how you could have helped them more.

So what can you do to protect yourself from these daytime vampires who are clearly not affected by the sun or mirrors or garlic?
  • Set boundaries
  • Be selective about accepting requests to “catch up” often that can lead to you leaving exhausted from the exchange and at all costs avoid a weekend away. If you work with these individuals make sure you’re not in the kitchen making drinks at the same time and avoid walking passed their desk at all costs.
  • Remember that you cannot and are not in a position to fix the energy vampire’s problems. That is down to them and them alone.
  • It’s OK to ignore their calls and texts. It’s even OK to make an excuse as to why you can’t see them. Your emotional health is paramount and all they will want to do is bleed you dry. If you do decide to communicate with them using text or phone is best so they won’t pick up on your non-verbal cues. And it’s much easier to use short snappy dialogue when communicating with them.
  • In extreme cases it’s perfectly OK to cut Emotional Vampires out of your life completely.

At the end of the day you can’t fix their problems for them. so protect yourself by limiting your exposure to them.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MANIPULATIVE OR COERCIVE BEHAVIOUR CAN BE PART OF OTHER ABUSIVE ACTIONS. IF YOU FEEL AT ALL THREATENED IN THIS WAY PLEASE SPEAK TO A LOCAL ORGANISATION THAT CAN HELP YOU.

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