“They are out there masquerading as regular people until their internal needs make them predators. They seek not your blood, but your emotional energy.
They have the power not only to exasperate you, but to hypnotize you, to numb your mind with false promises until you become ensnared in their spells. These emotional vampires attract you and then empty you.
Emotional vampires are warm and friendly neighbors when in front of you, but behind your back they spread rumors.
In the beginning, they seem better than ordinary people. They are bright, charming. You like them, you trust them, you expect more from them than from other people.
You expect more, but receive less and in the end they capture you. You invite them into your life and it is rare that you are aware of any problem until after they have disappeared, leaving you feeling empty, your wallet empty, or perhaps your heart broken. Even then you wonder… Was it them or me? It was them. Those emotional vampires.”
Extract from the book “Emotional Vampires” by Albert J. Bernstein.
Just like the other relationships that we develop throughout our lives, the emotional ties grow one way or another depending on how they are nurtured. Naturally, if we feed them sadness, envy, complaints or constant anger, what we will create are unhealthy ties.
It is well known to all that there are relationships that may be excessively harmful to us, creating drama of enormous dimension and attacking our emotional balance.
There are people who, intentionally or not, can make us feel depressed, overwhelmed, angry or can even destroy us emotionally.
The truth is that, without effective self-defense strategies to keep them at bay, we become a delicious dish for emotional manipulators, which makes us end up developing unhealthy behaviors and symptoms (overeating, isolating yourself, mood swings, feeling constantly tired …).
They have been called by different names: toxic people, emotional vampires or predators, parasites, etc. However they are called, and although this classification has no scientific basis, there are people who are exhausting and make us fall into a state of emotional collapse that we find difficult to bear.
“They are not intrinsically bad, but their immaturity lets them act without thinking about whether their actions are good or bad.” Albert J. Bernstein
Below we will define 5 types of people who are toxic to our emotional health, sucking our energies like a vampire and stalking us like a predator.
1. The passive-aggressive person
They are experts covering up and sugar-coating hostility. They express their anger with a smile on their face or with excessive worry, but always with a restraint that is exasperating.
Most of us have used this technique at one time but, these people abuse it, causing us to lose our cool before them.
The best self-defense strategy is to direct their behavior, fully maintaining our convictions, by creating boundaries and sticking to them.
We deserve to be treated with love and sincerity and we must not let them speak to us “as if we they were pardoning our life.”
2. The narcissist
They believe they are the center of the universe. They are self-centered, conceited and are hungry for admiration and attention. They can show themselves as smart and lovable people, until they see their guru status or intellectual authority threatened.
They can work as enthusiastic and creative people as long as your goals are the same. However, when your needs are incompatible, they pull out their fangs.
Since their motto is “me first,” getting angry at them or expressing our needs in an assertive manner will have no effect on them. Since they usually lack any empathy, or they have it well buried, they can have difficulty in understanding unconditional love outside of themselves. They are the first and when that is not so, they create conflict.
Thus the best self-defense is to enjoy their good qualities, but be realistic with your expectations when it comes to them. Meanwhile, do not allow yourself to be crushed nor made to feel inferior, understand that their narcissism is their need.
You can always get their cooperation whenever you appeal to their own interest and you show them how your request will benefit them.
3. The angry person
This vampire spends his time accusing, attacking, humiliating, criticizing and creating conflict. They are addicted to anger, they hold back and punish people frequently. They can break you into a thousand pieces with their anger.
The best self-defense strategy is to protect your self-esteem so that their anger does not make you lose your calm. Take your time, make a break and breathe deep. Try to stay balanced against their attacks and do not respond until you are calm.
In this way, you may be able to disarm this person, making him aware of the importance of recognizing you and considering your opinion on the matter.
These people suffer much from their attacks. Handling their requests in a calm manner will help us to empathize with them.
4. The martyr
The martyrs are the kings and queens of drama. They can be found anywhere. They know how to make you feel bad about something. They are constantly pushing the buttons of insecurity and rubbing salt in your wounds.
The best self-defense is to dismiss the idea that we must be perfect and responsible at all times. Everybody makes mistakes. However, when you feel guilty about something, it is best go to another place, think about what is hurting us and cry if necessary.
You can also respond to their attacks with a positive statement like this: “I understand your point of view, but when you say __ it hurts my feelings. I would appreciate it if you would stop saying it.”
5. The jealous and gossipy person
These are the nosy people, those who delight in talking about others behind their backs, dragging down their reputation and spreading malicious rumors. When they do this, everyone around them feels humiliated and belittled.
The best self-defense is to not worry about what this person says about you and not taking their gossip personally. The right attitude is to step up and ignore them.
On the other hand, if we are in a group and they start talking about someone, it is best to change the subject and never share any gossip.
However, it is appropriate to make it clear that you know what they are doing and that you do not like it. We can turn to them and say something like “Your comments are hurtful. How would you feel if I said that about you? Please stop talking about me.”
Identify the people who cause you emotional pain and generate your self-defense mechanisms so that your psychological well-being is not run down.
Separating yourself some distance from complicated people with improve your health.
Main source: “Emotional Vampires” by Albert J. Bernstein