Ken Blanchard said, “People who feel good about themselves produce good results”. This core truth from Ken Blanchard is what some dangerous set of people are out to destroy directly or indirectly. They suck optimism, serenity and tranquillity out of others; they drain you emotionally and ‘poach’ on your self-worth. The most malignant ones can make you believe you are unworthy and even unlovable. This category of people are called, ‘Emotional Vampires(E-Vamps)’. You recognize emotional vampires by their emotional after-math: they take a lot out of you and leave you feeling drained.
“Don’t ruin other people’s happiness just because you can’t find your own”-Anonymous
I took a deep and sincere reflection on what qualifies me to write on this topic and discovered three concrete reasons: The first being that I have been one before, the second is that I see them every day in my work place, spiritual gatherings, seminars and meetings; the third reason is that I have one presently in my life! Emotional vampires are ubiquitous; they are virtually everywhere, thereby making them unavoidable most times. They could be your boss at work, your lover, your colleague, your neighbour, your ‘ex’, your teacher, your parent, your best friend, your spouse or even your spiritual leader! Whether it is a co-worker, a friend, a partner or a family member, some e-vamps can’t be vanquished. “In that case, you’ll need to learn to set limit boundaries”, says Judith Orloff, author of the 2010 bestseller ‘Emotional Freedom’. ”And you have to be clear about them, because most times, these people don’t realize what they are doing to you”.
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”-Les Brown
The bad news about emotional vampires is that you will always have them around you in various forms but the good news is: You alone determine how far they can go in your life! Emotional vampires drain you for their own gain and at your own expense. They are especially dangerous because their self-absorption prevents them from seeing that they are harming others, and even makes them think they are helping others. ‘Vampires’ are especially gifted at finding the most vulnerable victims. How can you decipher an E-vamp so as to limit their destructive tendencies around you? I will be exposing them by revealing their various forms and antics so that you can avoid being their next victim.
Negative people: Tom Ziglar said, “Negative people don’t want solutions. Solutions mean they have to work to find something else to be negative about.” Emotional vampires have problems for every solution! They are always full of negativity even where none exist; they are addicted to negativity.
Fault-Finders: Henry Ford once said, “Don’t find fault; find a remedy”. Emotional Vampires are always looking out for the faults in others. They have a keen eye for faults and are psychologically blinded to the ‘goods’ in others. They are always part of the problem and not the solution.
People with victim’s mentality: They always believe that their problems are not their fault and always see themselves as victims of life situations. They believe strongly that someone or something is responsible for their predicament. They are not capable of being honest with themselves and accepting responsibility for their lives. They are unable to see how their own steps, actions, inactions and negligence have brought them to where they are presently. They always arouse self-pity coupled with an insatiable appetite for entitlement.
Manipulators: One of the core evidence of E-vamps is manipulation. They will always manipulate you to get what they want. These people obsessively try to control you and dictate how you are supposed to live. They already have a script that they want you to fit into for their selfish interest. Many parents are actually in this category, as they work manipulatively to ensure that their children live the life that they themselves should have lived while they were younger.
Perfectionist: We are all expected and advised to work towards perfection but it can be so sapping if we abusively demand perfection from others. Some people go around judging and criticizing others with their own set of standards.
Insecure People: Baylor Barbee said, “Relationships fail because people take their own insecurities and try and twist them into their partner’s flaws”. Emotional vampires have an excessive need for validation and attention from others. They lack the self-awareness of their true ability.
Possessive people: You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free! Possessiveness is one of the most frustrating vices in a relationship; everybody should be given a ‘space’ in relationships to nurture their individuality. We must learn to give ourselves ‘breathing space’ in a relationship. The greatest platform you can ever give to your partner in a relationship is the ability to be themselves. John C. Maxwell said, “Sometimes we need to come apart so that we don’t fall apart”.
People with unhealthy expectations: It is good to have high expectation of others but it must be complementarily healthy or else our expectation will ultimately destroy those people that we truly love. Unhealthy expectation strains marriage and relationships. It makes others look as if they are incapable. We must allow people to grow at their own pace.
The talkative: Conversations with emotional vampires are invariably dominated by one person: them. They are not really interested in what you have to say; they are only concerned about airing their own views and opinions. These people are always full of what they have to say; ‘talkatives’ don’t have listening ears or at least they have become deaf with too much talking.
The Ungrateful: It is only a great fool that will not be grateful! If you want to evaluate a man’s mental state, look at his attitude of gratitude. A man that is mentally healthy believes strongly that there is always something to be thankful for. E-vamps are never grateful; they seldom say the words ‘Thank you’.
The Escapist: Benjamin Franklin said ‘’I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.’’ These categories of E-vamps are always full of excuses. The escapist normally think that they can escape from an issue by finding excuses or even changing the environment, not knowing that they are the problem. It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
The Narcissist: These are people that believe that everything is always about them. This category of E-vamps believes that the world revolves around them. They are extremely self-centred and always pre-occupied with themselves.
I want to reach out to the people that are in these various categories of E-vamps: You can’t heal yourself by wounding another. In order to leave the club of E-vamps, we need to learn how to appreciate and value others, search for validation from within and not from outside, take responsibilities for our actions and stop the victim syndrome that is prevalent with E-vamps. A bad attitude can literally block love, blessing, and destiny from finding you. Don’t be the reason you don’t succeed.
Generally, in order to improve your relationships and increase your emotional energy, I want to suggest what I call ‘relationship audit’. Audit your relationships; take an inventory of people who give you energy and those who drain your energy. Try spending more time around people that affirm your worth and help you nurture your potentials. Cut-off people who drain you or set limits and boundaries that will drastically reduce their negative energy around.
Previously published on LinkedIn
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