As much as we’d like them to exist, vampires (i.e. Dracula, Twilight, etc.) are purely fictional. Energy vampires, on the other hand, are very much real. An energy vampire is someone who latches onto you and drains your energy. They can come in many forms, from your relatives to romantic partners to friends to coworkers. But, for the most part, they work to manipulate their victims in very similar ways.
While a normal friend will bring positive energy and support to your relationship, an energy vampire takes and leaves you feeling emotionally spent. But, not every bad friend exhibits traits of an energy vampire. Here are some of the signs you’ve got an energy vampire in your life:
- They leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained. If you spend a lot of time with an energy vampire, you may begin exhibiting the physical symptoms of stress, from fatigue to headaches to increased anxiety.
- They’re always involved in drama. This person is constantly involved in some type of drama and consistently plays the victim. According to the energy vampire, it’s never their fault and they’re not able to take accountability for their own actions. And if they’re latching onto you, they may try to bring you into the drama as well.
- They make everything about them. Energy vampires need to be the center of attention and they often exhibit narcissistic behavior. This means they’ll often shut down your feelings or problems in order to talk about their own.
- They rely on you. Energy vampires are incredibly codependent and they require a lot of your time, energy and attention. They’re exceptionally needy and will often guilt you into spending time with them.
- They prey on your insecurities. Although they’ll try to manipulate you into being their friend, energy vampires always resort to bullying. They’re very insecure deep down and are known to use criticism or intimidation to wear you down.
If you have an energy vampire in your life, it’s important for you to set boundaries. Even if they’re someone you need to be around, you need to put your own needs above theirs. You have to be the one to draw the line, because if you give them an inch then they’ll take a mile. Do your best to limit your interactions with them and avoid spending times with them in places you’ll feel trapped (i.e. their home).
It’s also important to recognize that you can’t “fix” an energy vampire. Energy vampires need to do some deep emotional work, which often requires professional intervention. Don’t take on the burden and avoid situations where they depend on you for advice or guidance. You need to focus on protecting your energy in many cases, this means cutting out the person entirely.
From personal experience, I know that dealing with an energy vampire can be tough. At their core, these people are manipulators and it may take years for you to recognize their behavior is toxic. But trust me, hindsight is 20/20.