They may not have fangs and live in coffins, but you know the type: those people who, when you walk away from a conversation with, it leaves you feelings drained, depleted and angry – almost like you had the blood sucked out from you. These so-called “emotional vampires” are there to instictually stun you, drain your essence and leave your carcass in their wake.
What to do? How to fend yourself? It takes a little more creativity than just wrapping a garlic bulb necklace around your neck, so let’s talk about what to do.
It all kind of depends on the type of a relationship. Emotional vampries can range from your social vampire at a party, to the best friend vampire who drains you over the course of years. Maybe you know both types, and maybe you fall prey in both ways.
Learning to disengage from the person, and to say ‘no’ is the first step. There are classy ways of making yourself “extinct”, especially at parties. A quick excuse, or the old “pick and roll” (finding another victim, introducing them to your new vampire acquaintance, and then sliding out of the way) will work at a party.Kindly (and gently) stepping out of a conversation with that person, as to not hut their feelings, yet keep you protected behind your forcefield, is essential to taking care of yourself.
On the other hand, having a close friend who is avmpire is trickier. I would suggest that you have an honest conversation about your feelings, and admit to them that you feel invisible, drained and unimportant when you talk with them won’t hurt anybody. Being able to create airtime for yourself is taking care of yourself, and pushing back against the torrent of words is tricky but not impossible. Also, setting boundaries about what is talked about in conversation is important: telling your friend that you don’t want to talk about a certain topic anymore, or that you feeling uncomfortable or are confused about what they want from you, are good segways to changing the conversation.
These are quick fixes, but standing up for yourself and for getting what you want take some time. Be patient with yourself, try and try again, and know that you can’t count on people changing – you can just change your own perspective and how your engage with that person.