If spending time with someone in your life leaves you feeling low for no obvious reason, you may have an energy vampire on your hands.
After you’ve spent time with them:
- Do you feel like a nap?
- Do you feel depressed, lethargic, or anxious?
- Is your self-talk more negative after talking to them?
- Are you eating your emotions, by tucking into high-carb, high-sugar treats?
Only the incredibly lucky—or incredibly isolated—can get through life without meeting these types of people. The key to protecting your energy and your own emotional wellbeing is to the types of energy vampires out there.
So how do you recognize them?
We’ll show you.
In this article, we’ll help you spot the different types of energy vampires in your space so that you can safeguard your empathy and compassion. By recognizing them, we can set personal boundaries and be empowered to help ourselves—and help them change their behaviors, if we think they could be open to change.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
5 Types of Energy Vampires
#1 The Critic
This kind of energy vampire thrives on tearing others down. Nobody is kind enough, cool enough, or intelligent enough. The most damaging this about a criticizing vampire is that they’ve been doing it a long time—they know how to slip an insult in under the radar. If you respond, they can feign surprise, when in reality you both know exactly what message was delivered.
Critics’ behavior stems from jealousy and self-hate. They resent others’ happiness and success, and may even deal with a fear of their own failures in life.
When dealing with a critic, the most important thing is not to buy into their behavior. If you can’t walk away—which is the best form of discourse—refuse to be drawn into a backstabbing conversation about others, or yourself.
#2 The Soul Sucker
A soul sucker will continue to drain you of energy, compliments, comfort, and positive thinking until you have nothing left. They are incapable of self-comfort, and so seek it out from others wherever possible.
Soul suckers—according to themselves—are the victims of every situation. In their eyes, everything happens to them—and none of it is their own fault. They are likely to have something depressing and negative to say in every conversation, and to leave you feeling as if you should be doing more for them.
When dealing with a soul sucker you can’t avoid, it can be best to seek clarification about their complaints, or to attempt to switch the conversation to more neutral topics.
#3 The Drama Queen (or King)
If you’re constantly being cornered into emotionally supporting someone and giving them sympathy—or worse, picking up after their dramas—you’ve got a drama queen (or king) on your hands.
This type of energy vampire wants your undivided attention and sympathy, and seems happiest when their lives are in chaos. There is always some kind of major problem in their lives, and you are their go-to sounding board.
When dealing with a drama queen (or king), offer advice. If they don’t take it, you’ve essentially done everything you can to help with that specific situation. If they continue to come to you, it can be most productive for you—and better for your own spirit—to avoid contact.
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#4 The Narcissist
If you continually find yourself being cut off, interrupted, talked over, or just ummm-ing and aaahh-ing without any real input in a conversation, you’re dealing with a narcissist.
To the narcissist, everything is about them. The most interesting topic for most humans is themselves, but narcissists take it to a whole new level. They don’t want to even pause in their self-praise—they just need a set of ears to talk at.
When dealing with a narcissist, it doesn’t really matter what you say—they aren’t listening.
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#5 The Control Freak
Controlling people are incredibly draining because they don’t just want your attention—they want your acquiescence. If you disagree with their point of view, they will continue to badger you into agreeing that they are right.
Control freaks are demanding—emotionally and verbally—and incredibly needy.
When dealing with a control freak, it can be difficult to break free from the constant nagging and harassment. It is best to avoid them entirely.
We are not responsible for solving our energy vampires’ problems, but by recognizing them we are in a better position to help them to do that—if we feel we can. Otherwise, it may be best to minimize contact until they can find a way of healing themselves.
Featured image credit – fizkes/Shutterstock
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Got an energy vampire in your life? How are you dealing with it? Tell us your story in the comments below.