In films, books and video games, blood-sucking vampires are all the rage. But what about energy-sucking vampires? These vampires are (unlike their storybook needing-blood- for-breakfast-brethern) a real problem.
In her book, “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform your Life” (Harmony Books, 2009), Judith Orloff, M.D., says, “A vampire goes for the kill by stirring up your emotions. Pushing your buttons throws you off center, which renders you easier to drain.”
And, drain you those energy-vampires do. Dr. Orloff says, “To be free, you can’t remain naive about relationships…Some people are positive, mood-elevating, sustaining. Others can suck optimism and serenity right out of you.”
If energy vampires are such life-draining characters, how do we go about recognizing them and protecting ourselves from letting them get their fangs into us?
To recognize an energy-vampire, you must learn to tune into your feelings. When you’re talking with someone, do you begin to feel sad, angry, fatigued or just have a “cloying squirrelly feeling?”
Dr. Orloff says these feelings, left unaddressed, can morph into deeper, more destructive feelings. She says, “The subtler species (of energy vampires) can make you feel bad about yourself; the supermalignant ones can make you believe you’re an unworthy, unlovable wretch who doesn’t deserve better.”
Why are some people more susceptible to energy vampires? Dr. Orloff explains that “empaths” (people who are overly sensitive) are most susceptible to having their energy drained by others. These people have a harder time asserting themselves for fear of seeming impolite, uncaring or difficult.
In order not to fall prey to energy vampires, empaths must overcome their addiction to people pleasing and work on improving their self-esteem.
Energy vampires also need to work on their underlying issues in order to change their negative behavoirs. Similarly to empaths, energy vampires are driven by their own types of insecurities.
Both empaths and energy vampires need to understand the different types of energy-sucking behavior – and responses to those behaviors – in order to affect positive change:
The Narcissist – “The Me First.” – Empaths must learn not to be people-pleasers.
The Victim – ” The Poor Me.”– empaths must learn to set limits.
The Controller – “The Dictator.” Empaths need to pick their battles.
The Criticizer – ” The Judge of your Merits and Demerits.” – Empaths don’t let this one “should” you.
The Splitter – ” The Black or White Thinker.” – Empaths must set boundaries and be solution-oriented.
Are you an energy vampire? Is your energy being drained? Are you some combination of both? If you have any doubts, read the complete chapter In Dr. Orloff’s book. The subject is complex, but the rewards of working on yourself and attaining emotional freedom are golden.