Emotional Vampires


It’s a mellow Monday night in downtown Las Vegas. I’m currently sitting at The Beat Coffeehouse enjoying the vibe of my favorite open mic, Human Experience. It’s been a while since I was last here–almost a month. I’ve missed this place and the people, artists and spectators a like. It’s such a calming, supportive environment. An environment that I’ve been needing lately. This place fuels my spirit.

As a matter of fact I’ve been needing a lot of spirit fueling these days. I’ve been feeling so unmotivated and drained. To say I have a lot going on would be a gross understatement.

I’m having to counteract the effects of emotional vampires. We all have emotional vampires in our lives, those people who demand so much of our time and energy without reciprocating anything of value in return. Those that seem to literally suck all the energy out of you. I’ve had quite a bit of them around me as of late. Some more influential than others but the damage to my spirit has been the same. They’ve left me completely void of motivation, balance,  and positive energy. I know that I can’t afford to continue in this state, I have too many goals to accomplish! A pause for consideration is very necessary when I find myself engaging people and activities that take away from my goals.

Luckily for me I’ve become better at identifying emotional vampires. I’ve long struggled with both communication and setting boundaries so, if anything dealing with emotional vampires helps with this process. It also helps me with letting go since there is no way that I can maintain a relationship with an emotional vampire and be mentally/emotionally healthy.

What’s funny is that I had no idea what to label these people until just recently.  I never heard of the word emotional vampire until a friend introduced me to the term. It’s pretty fitting, and sounded right. Curious I did do a little Google research to see what the virtual experts had to say about emotional vampires and came across an interesting article by Judith Orloff. She states

As a physician, I’ve found that the biggest energy drain on my patients is relationships. Some relationships are positive and mood elevating. Others can suck optimism and serenity right out of you. I call these draining people “emotional vampires.” They do more than drain your physical energy. The malignant ones can make you believe you’re unworthy and unlovable. Others inflict damage with smaller digs to make you feel bad about yourself. For instance, “Dear, I see you’ve put on a few pounds” or “You’re overly sensitive!” Suddenly they’ve thrown you off-center by prodding areas of shaky self-worth.

She goes on to identify the signs of when one has encountered an emotional vampire.

  • Your eyelids are heavy — you’re ready for a nap
  • Your mood takes a nosedive
  • You want to binge on carbs or comfort foods
  • You feel anxious, depressed or negative
  • You feel put down

Lastly she describes five different types of emotional vampires; The Narcissist, The Victim, The Controller, The Constant Talker, and The Drama Queen.  What’s interesting is that there are those who can be more than one type of emotional vampire. I know those who are both The Narcissist and The Controller, The Victim and The Drama Queen. Regardless of the type it helps to know who/what you’re dealing with. Lessons learned as I spend time replenishing my positive energy and purging the negative I’ve been left with.


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