7 behaviors that signal you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person, according to psychology

If you’re reading this, I know you’ve been there.

Found yourself stuck in a conversation where you’re doing all the heavy emotional lifting.

Worse, it’s not just a single conversation. Maybe it’s a relationship where you constantly feel drained and exhausted.

Well, here’s something you might not know.

This could be because you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person. Yup, it’s not always about us – sometimes it’s about the people we surround ourselves with.

So, how can you tell if you’re dealing with this type of person?

Don’t worry. Psychology is here to help us out.

In this article, let’s uncover some key behaviors that signal you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person.

1) They’re always the victim

If you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person, you might often find them playing the victim.

And I mean, always.

Every story they tell positions them as the unfortunate one who’s tackled by an unfair world.

But while we all face challenges, with emotionally draining people, it’s a continuous narrative. One where they’re always the innocent victim, and everyone else is out to get them.

This behavior can be quite exhausting for those around them, as it often demands constant sympathy and attention.

2) Your feelings are often dismissed

Here’s something I’ve personally experienced.

There was a person in my life, let’s call him Phillip. Whenever I shared my feelings or concerns, Phillip would dismiss them. It felt like my emotions were invalid or trivial compared to his.

Classic example – once, I was having a particularly bad day at work. I tried to share it with him, expecting some form of comfort or advice.

Instead, he quickly shifted the conversation onto his day and his problems, completely disregarding what I had just shared.

This kind of dismissal can be subtle yet draining, making you feel as though your feelings don’t matter. And that’s another sign that you might be dealing with an emotionally draining person.

3) They’re a black hole of needs and wants

Picture this.

You’re out with a friend, coffee in hand, ready for a relaxing catch-up. Instead, you find yourself navigating through an endless list of their problems, needs, and wants. You leave the coffee shop feeling more drained than relaxed.

Sound familiar?

This is a common trait of emotionally draining people. They are like a black hole that sucks in all your energy. They consume the conversation with their issues and leave little to no room for anything else.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t be there for our friends when they’re in need. But when it becomes a one-way street of emotional labor – that’s when it gets draining.

So, if you constantly find yourself feeling like an emotional dumping ground after a conversation or meet-up, you could potentially be dealing with an emotionally draining person.

4) They thrive on drama

You know those people who always seem to be in the middle of some sort of drama? Almost like they thrive on it?

That’s another behavior to look out for.

Emotionally draining people often create or amplify conflicts. They seem to feed off the emotional upheaval. It’s almost as if chaos fuels them, keeping them at the center of attention.

This constant state of drama can be mentally exhausting for those around them.

If you find yourself constantly caught up in unnecessary conflicts or drama, take a moment to see if it’s a pattern with a particular person. It could well be a sign that you’re dealing with an emotionally draining individual.

5) They’re often pessimistic

Did you know our brains have a natural bias towards negativity? It’s an evolutionary trait that helped our ancestors survive by being hyper-aware of potential dangers.

Now, think about someone who is constantly negative, always focusing on the worst aspects of any situation. This can amplify our brain’s negativity bias, making us more stressed, anxious or upset.

Emotionally draining people tend to be perpetual pessimists. They tend to turn even the most positive news into a tale of doom and gloom.

So, if you’re frequently left feeling down after interacting with someone, despite your best efforts to stay positive, this might be a sign that you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person.

6) They struggle with empathy

We all know how comforting it can be when someone genuinely understands and shares our feelings.

It’s like a warm hug on a cold day, right?

Sadly, emotionally draining people often struggle with empathy. They find it hard to put themselves in another person’s shoes.

This can make interactions with them one-sided and you might end up feeling unheard or unappreciated.

But here’s something to remember.

It’s not always their fault. Some people genuinely struggle with empathy because of their upbringing, past experiences or even their brain chemistry.

Understanding this can sometimes make it easier for us to manage these challenging relationships.

7) They rarely take responsibility

This is crucial to understand.

Emotionally draining people often have a hard time taking responsibility for their actions. They tend to deflect blame onto others, creating a cycle where they never acknowledge their own role in a situation.

This can lead to frustration, confusion, and even guilt in those around them. It can make you question your own perceptions and actions, adding an extra layer of emotional strain.

If someone consistently avoids taking responsibility and places blame elsewhere, this is a strong sign that you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person.

Final thoughts

If you’re recognizing these signs in people around you, it might be time for some reflection. It’s likely you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person.

But here’s the silver lining – awareness is the first step towards change.

Remember that you have the power to control how these interactions affect you. With understanding and mindfulness, you can manage these relationships better and protect your emotional health.

Start by acknowledging these behaviors when they occur. Notice how they make you feel. Identify patterns and triggers.

And then ask yourself – what can I do to mitigate this? How can I establish healthy boundaries? Is this relationship worth the emotional drain it’s causing?

Change won’t happen overnight. But every small step towards better emotional health counts.

In the words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

So, take this knowledge and use it to do better. For your own emotional well-being, because you deserve it.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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