Emotional vampires are toxic, but the thing is…they aren’t really malicious.
Most of them are just wounded babies trapped in adult bodies.
But if you don’t learn how to keep your distance, you might end up wounded like them, too.
That’s why it’s important to learn how to spot them and manage to live with them.
In this article, I will give you 10 feelings you’ll get when you’re talking to an emotional vampire (and tips on how to protect yourself).
1) You feel exhausted even after a short interaction
They didn’t say anything particularly negative towards you—not really. In fact, they’re quite nice.
But why do you feel tired right after you had your chit chat?
One obvious tell someone is an emotional vampire is that you feel drained after your interactions with them.
And it’s not because you’re just an introvert or that they talk too much or the room is hot.
It’s because they suck the life and joy out of you!
They carry negative energy that leaks out of them even if they try to act nice.
2) You feel your mood shift
You might be smiling from ear to ear—like you’re bursting with life.
But after you have a talk with them, you can feel your mood slowly change.
It might not be too obvious— you might not be extremely happy one minute then too sad the next.
But you can feel that they definitely took away something.
If your happiness was on level 9/10, it’s now at 7.
And it’s not just feeling down, per se. Your mood actually changes from contentment and joy to anxiety, insecurity, and fear.
3) You feel anxious and paranoid
You suddenly feel something bad is going to happen…and you have to do everything in your power to prevent it!
It’s annoying because you were as cool as a cucumber before talking to them.
This is how you feel when you’re with an emotional vampire who wants you to lose confidence in yourself.
They’d say things like “Yeah, are you sure about that?”
Or, “I think you’re not making the right decision here…but it’s up to you!”
Emotional vampires are anxious people themselves—and I must add, very bitter.
And it might not be their intention, but they can’t help but spread fear and insecurity wherever they go.
4) You feel like you have to defend yourself
Emotional vampires are not just overly critical, they’re downright negative!
They seem to always question your life choices. And if they’re narcissists, they’d even compare your life with theirs to show you how “unwise” you are.
When you share your ideas, they’ll automatically say “Nah, that won’t work.”
They won’t even try to say something nice beforehand, not even a “hmmmnn”. They’d just blurt out negativity like they’re fact!
And because you feel attacked by what they say—and their sureness of it!— you’d want to defend yourself.
When you’re about to have a quick date, do you prepare ways to defend your life choices? Do you feel like you have to impress them?
Well, you’re probably dealing with an emotional vampire.
5) You feel like you’re an assh*le sometimes
A type of emotional vampire that I particularly don’t like is the “Poor me” vampire.
They’re the ones who always play the victim—like the world is against them and their pain is everyone else’s fault.
They’d talk all day about how “awful” others are towards them. But when you examine closely, it’s actually not as dramatic as they paint it.
They just want to get your sympathy.
They want you to side with them, to comfort them, to sympathize with them.
Hearing their stories for an hour is fine. But if it’s all they can talk about, of course you’d start to become indifferent—annoyed even.
And so even if you don’t show it, you can’t help but feel bad for not being compassionate enough.
6) You feel like they’re playing with your emotions
Do you feel duped?
—Like you have to protect yourself from them even if they didn’t do anything obviously wrong?
Some emotional vampires are narcissists who want to manipulate…and maybe, you’re highly sensitive to their moves.
Perhaps they’re just asking you a simple question like “Do you really like living here?” but you can sense it’s more than that.
Your gut feeling is probably right and it’s protecting you from being trapped in their games.
7) You feel like they want to get a reaction from you
Some emotional vampires find excitement in dropping comments and information that could trigger you.
They love putting coal on your fire!
Of course, so it’s not so obvious, they’ll make sure it’s just a side comment, a quick remark, or a “joke”.
If they know you think your partner’s friends secretly hate you, they’ll say something like “I’m sure they’ll treat you like a princess. Haha.”
Or they’ll say “Whoops! So your bf didn’t tell you his ex will be at the party? ”
They just want you to feel awful basically.
Watch out, they’re trying to make you hate each other. And they’ll do this to everyone else, too.
These types of emotional vampires do this because they genuinely enjoy watching people getting into drama.
8) You feel like your bubble was popped
Sometimes, we want to create a bubble and be inside it to protect ourselves from reality.
We want to escape from the harsh miseries of life to survive—at least for a while.
But the emotional vampire would be eager to pop your bubble just ‘cause!
They’d then tell you it’s for “your own sake”, that it’s time you “put your feet back on the ground”, etc.
They’d like you to think they’re saving you by being realistic, but they just want that they’re not the only miserable person in the world.
9) You feel like you did something wrong
They’ll make you feel like you did them wrong, or you didn’t do enough…or your very existence has made their lives a little more complicated.
You have to know that most of them actually just need love and attention. That’s why they unconsciously make others around them feel this way.
They’re not aware that THEIR feelings are none of your responsibility.
10) You feel like you just can’t relax when you’re with them
Do you feel tense when you see them?
Do you notice your jaw clench and your heart jump out of your chest even if they’re a kilometer away?
Well, that’s probably because you know they’re not a good energy to be around.
They probably trash talk others and complain about every little thing.
They’re probably also into drama and you’re pressured to engage with them because you worry they’re going to hate you next.
How to deal with an emotional vampire
Don’t argue or ignore.
Emotional vampires are toxic (and often insecure) so if you do this, you’re just buying yourself a ticket to Toxicland.
Unless you’ll never see them again, just manage your interactions well.
You see, if they sense you’re deliberately avoiding them (and they often do), they will secretly hate you.
And trust me, you don’t want an emotional vampire to hate you!
Make them feel heard but redirect or keep your convo short.
If they’ll rant about how awful your friend is, say something like:
“I understand how you feel. It sucks…hey, sorry to switch, but do you know where to buy nice lamps?”
Don’t do or say anything that screams “STOP BEING SUCH A TOXIC VAMPIRE” because they will get hurt and start plotting revenge.
And as I’ve said, they’re not really evil, they’re just toxic.
Take what they want to offer.
If they’ll give you life advice or “juicy info”, don’t even say “But who do you think you are?”
Just accept it. Say “I appreciate your opinion. I’ll think about it.”
You don’t have to follow their advice, of course!
Understand them but don’t try to save them or please them.
Listen: the only thing that can help an emotional vampire is therapy.
You don’t have to be the hero to the vampire who wants to play the victim.
You don’t have to impress the narc vampire who always questions your worth.
You don’t have to influence them, to be their source of positivity, to be the one to change them. You can try if you want, but you don’t have to.
This is not easy to do but it’s the best thing to do especially if the vampire you’re dealing with is close to you (say, they’re your family, friends, or colleagues).
An emotional vampire can’t suck blood out of you if you won’t let them.
It’s hard to be with emotional vampires.
You can be zen AF, you can be the most positive person to ever walk on Earth, but you’d still lose a lot of blood from having them around.
So try to keep your interactions short if you can.
But if it’s not possible, learn to handle them better.
And most of all, recharge your happiness tank daily by doing things that can boost your mood.
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