If a person is emotionally draining to be around, they’ll usually display these 10 behaviors

It’s not always easy to put a finger on why certain people exhaust us. But often, it’s because they’re emotionally draining.

This isn’t about blaming them, but understanding how their behaviors affect us. Once we know what to look for, we can better navigate these interactions.

In this article, I’ll outline 10 behaviors that are typical of emotionally draining individuals. 

Let’s dive in. 

1) They’re constantly negative

When we’re around people who spread good vibes, we feel uplifted. But what happens when we’re around people who are always negative?

They drain us emotionally.

People who are always negative, pessimistic, and constantly dwelling on what’s wrong can be extremely draining to be around. It’s like they’re sucking all the positivity out of the room.

Negativity breeds negativity. And if you’ve ever been around someone who is perpetually negative, you’ve probably noticed how it affected your mood too.

You might have felt more down, more pessimistic, and less energetic. That’s the power of negativity – it spreads and drains the energy out of those around it.

2) They’re always the victim

Ever had a friend who always seems to be on the receiving end of life’s hardships? They’re never at fault, and everything bad always happens to them.

I had a friend like that once.

It was like she was in a perpetual state of crisis. Every conversation was about the latest drama or difficulty she was facing. As much as I wanted to be supportive, it started to wear me down.

It felt like she was living in a soap opera and I was an unwilling co-star. It was draining to constantly be dealing with her crises, especially when she never seemed to take responsibility for her own role in them.

This constant victim mentality is another common trait of emotionally draining people. 

3) They demand your attention

Emotionally draining people often crave attention and make every conversation about them. They dominate discussions, overshadowing others and steering conversations back to themselves.

It’s also a sign of narcissism. Narcissists tend to have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration. 

In a social setting, this behavior can be quite exhausting. It’s like being in a one-sided conversation where your role is simply to listen and validate.

This not only depletes your emotional energy but also leaves you feeling overlooked and undervalued.

4) They don’t respect boundaries

One of the common traits of emotionally draining people is their lack of respect for personal boundaries. They may consistently intrude on your personal space, time, or emotions without considering your comfort level.

Perhaps they call late at night, drop by unannounced, or expect you to drop everything for them at a moment’s notice. They may also overshare personal information or expect you to share more than you’re comfortable with.

This disregard for boundaries can leave you feeling overwhelmed and emotionally depleted. It’s essential to recognize this behavior and assertively communicate your boundaries to protect your emotional well-being.

5) They’re overly critical

We all have that one friend or colleague who never misses an opportunity to point out our flaws or mistakes. They seem to have a knack for turning even the most innocuous comment into a critique.

Being around someone who is habitually critical can be like living under a microscope, always under scrutiny and never quite measuring up. This can erode our self-esteem and leave us feeling emotionally drained.

Constructive criticism is healthy, but constant negativity is not. Recognizing this behavior is the first step towards managing these relationships better.

6) They’re unresponsive to your needs

Have you ever poured your heart out to someone, only to be met with indifference or, even worse, complete dismissal? It’s a deeply hurtful experience.

Emotionally draining people often disregard the feelings and needs of others. They might ignore your requests, dismiss your feelings, or make light of your concerns. This lack of emotional reciprocity can leave you feeling unheard and invalidated.

Everyone deserves to be heard and respected in their relationships. If someone consistently fails to acknowledge or respond to your emotional needs, it may be time to reconsider that relationship.

7) They’re manipulative

Emotionally draining individuals often use manipulation to maintain control in their relationships.

I once had a colleague who was an expert at this. He would use guilt or pressure to get his way, making others feel obligated to meet his demands.

I remember agreeing to work on a project during my vacation because he convinced me that he couldn’t handle it alone. Long story short, it was only later that I realized he had manipulated me into prioritizing his needs above my own.

Manipulation can be subtle and hard to identify, but it is undoubtedly exhausting. It leaves you feeling used and devalues your worth, making interactions with such individuals emotionally draining.

8) They’re excessively charming

It may seem odd to associate charm with emotionally draining behavior. After all, isn’t charm supposed to be… well, charming?

Sure, but excessively charming people can sometimes use their allure to hide their true intentions or manipulate others. They might shower you with compliments, flattery, or attention to win your favor or distract you from their less savory actions.

While it’s nice to be around charming individuals, it’s important to discern genuine charm from manipulative charm. The latter can leave you feeling confused and emotionally depleted in the long run.

9) They struggle with empathy

At the heart of every healthy relationship lies empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. However, emotionally draining individuals often struggle with this.

They might dismiss your feelings, struggle to see things from your perspective, or show little interest in your experiences. This lack of empathy can make interactions with them feel shallow and unsatisfying.

10) They refuse to take responsibility

Perhaps the most telling sign of an emotionally draining individual is their refusal to take responsibility for their actions. They’re quick to point fingers and slow to admit fault.

This behavior can leave you feeling frustrated and drained as you navigate their deflections and excuses.

We all make mistakes. The ability to own up to them is a sign of maturity and emotional intelligence. If this is lacking in your interactions with someone, it’s likely they’re draining you emotionally.

Final thoughts: It’s about self-care

We all have a limited amount of emotional energy each day. How we spend it significantly impacts our happiness, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Being around emotionally draining individuals can rapidly deplete this energy, leaving us feeling worn out and unfulfilled. Recognizing these behaviors is the first step in safeguarding our emotional health.

As American author and motivational speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”

Understanding these behaviors equips us with the knowledge to better manage our interactions and prioritize our emotional needs.

It’s not always about cutting ties with these individuals but learning to interact with them in a way that preserves our emotional energy. After all, self-care isn’t just about physical health; it’s about emotional health, too.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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