Saturday, October 15, 2016

Energy Vampires?

I guess we all have heard about so-called "energy vampires". Do they really exist? Without going into any psychic or shamanist stuff, energy vampire appears just to be another term for a narcissist. And yes, I tend to believe they do exist. They come in many disguises, but you recognise one if communication with him/her is constantly giving you bad emotions, if you basically feel lousy afterwards, mentally and sometimes physically.

Some of them are presenting themselves as overly successful know-it-alls who bully everyone around them into submission to their opinions, some are chronically unhappy and whine about everything, others are jealous and covetous etc etc. (Here is a comprehensive list). They all have something in common, they apparently have a huge void in their life which they are trying to feel by basically making others just as miserable as themselves. They are emotionally needy. And they are trying to control and manipulate you for their own personal gratification.

So what to do about them? The easiest way is to cut them out of your life completely but often it's impossible because they are your family, colleagues or close friends. I've read several articles giving various advice which included taking a shower after dealing with a negative person (I'll certainly try this one) or creating a "protective shield" in your mind while talking to them.

Personally I believe this problem is not new and shunning people totally doesn't work unless you want to live as a medieval hermit which is hardly possible nowadays anyway. My parents told me the way to deal with such people is really to ignore them. To grow thick skin. I also believe that we shouldn't engage them. Don't react to provocations, don't argue, don't lose your temper or get emotional. That is what "the vampire" desires most of all (internet vampires are called trolls and spend their whole life goading others into reacting emotionally). Just don't oblige them.

Also set up boundaries. Don't allow them to go too far and if they start meddling into your own family affairs and cause problems, don't hesitate to show them the door as your family always comes first.

It's also important not to turn into such a person yourself. We all have a tendency at times to complain or to go around spreading doom and gloom or become too clingy. In reality, nobody likes such people! I think what really helps to create inner calmness is getting a creative hobby like all sorts of crafts, drawing or learning to play a musical instrument. In fact, this article claims that a simple act of writing on paper for a quarter of an hour trains your nervous system, how much more playing the guitar does?

It's also noteworthy that both articles on how to deal with energy vampires and how to improve your nerves recommend such things as meditation and self-reflective practices including cooking (I should say that a prayer would help as well).

In short, we should build our inner strength so that others won't be able to bring us down even if they try.


  1. This is very, very true. Definitely people like that do have some sort of inner void. I've dealt with generalized anxiety in the past and I refused to take medications for it. Instead I learned to work on my own behavior. The one thing I learned was called the "locus of control" which is basically where the control of your actions and emotions lies-either within yourself or without. A strong internal locus of control means that you, not outside forces, control your behaviors. No matter the emotions or anxiety you feel you remain in control of what we do. Most of what happens to us in life is based on how we respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in. When an a--hole does something to us we can either allow them to make us lose control and often end up ruining ourselves or we can just shrug it off or, if necessary, take appropriate action in a socially approved way if need be. It's never worth hating anyone. We protect ourselves and set strong boundaries but hatred only gives the enemy power because it means their attitudes and wrong doings control us and we no longer control ourselves. I've had people strongly hate me and even yell and cuss and you name it. What did I do? Laugh mostly. I just shrugged it off wondering why they would hold so much hatred for me when I felt nothing towards them. In fact, I kind of liked them. Oh i'd walk away from an abuser for sure but there were no hard feelings. I didn't care. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. When you are indifferent you can't be manipulated, but love and hate are powerful emotions that run along the same pathways in the brain, giving the object of either our hate or love enormous power over us. I feel sorry for bullies and narcissists. I distances myself and have no contact with abusers but I don't hate them, I do indeed pray for my enemies because there is something wrong with their lives. Most of us grow up at some point and no longer feel the need to bully others because we develop a strong sense of self. But some never seem to leave high school and some, such as narcissists, stay emotionally immature for a lifetime, manipulating others because inside they are an empty void. As it is, 10% of life is what happens to you 90% is how you respond. When haters hate, I don't respond. They aren't worth it.

  2. I've also had people try to scapegoat me and hurt me in the past. I just maintained my strong internal locus of control and told them to do and say as they will. What happened? They soon gave up as they couldn't control me nor find any true evidence or any way to hurt me. Most bullies are lazy. When they can't get a reaction from you they generally move on quickly to an easier target. Besides, all people are self-absorbed. They may notice you and your flaws but they quickly forget and refocus on themselves. Embarrassed? Shrug it off, people soon forget. Water under the bridge, as they say. It's life. Just laugh and live.

  3. Radical, yes, definitely! I have an idea that such people feel a weakness in you the way dogs smell blood. They will attack you when you are down but leave you alone if you just shrug it off.

    1. Yes! Narcissists will also go out of their way to target you and toy with you. I figure I must be pretty important if they put so much effort into and spend so much time just on little old me! They have to create drama and conflict in others just to survive. They might get to you at first but over time they just get old when the spell wears off. Just ride the emotional roller coaster ride and keep that strong internal locus of control. They can't control your emotions forever. And lo and behold if you attempt to disengage from one of them or call them out on their behavior! Then they generally resort to character assassination, smear campaigning, triangulation and recruiting third parties to show how bad or wrong or even "insane" that you are. The best response is silence as anybody with any sense will soon see right through them in no time at all. It's sad people have to be that way, it must be exhausting to live your life just simply to get at other people. Bullies and narcissists usually go into a rage or sink into depression when they can't manipulate others or run out of their "narcissistic supply." Sad, but true. We can just feel sorry for them and hope the best for them.

  4. Many psychiatric deseases start from the super ego the patient has been nurturing. The more others reject such egocentric behaviour, the more insane that sick person becomes. Facing one's real face as unpleasant it may be is part of any psychotherapy. Insane people are so eager to prove their value, that they ignore and fight the cruel reality if they don't get recognition. Having such pathological feelings is against our nature. We should feel safe and happy when we love others and admire the accomplishments of others, because this is the way we enrich our heart with noble feelings and others will soon respect our true achievements should these prove to be really valuable.

  5. I think a lot of these people are jealous and insecure. There is an old saying "misery loves company". Some people are simply unable to feel happy for others as they feel it's depriving them of something. Plus our culture is insanely materialistic and bragging of your accomplishments is viewed as something normal.

  6. Great article and comments. Bullies and narcissists also live under a constant fear of exposure. That's one reason why they always try to silence their critics. They prey upon people whom they sense are vulnerable; but they also can sense people who can see through them. They hate and fear such people and will either ignore them or try to ruin them.

  7. I'd like to point out that "energy vampires" aren't all necessarily bullies, they come in many disguises. Some of them like to be perceived as victims and whine and complain all the time, others are "wet blankets" and like to spread doom and gloom. Energy vampires are people in your life who make you feel lousy after an encounter with them.

  8. Housewife from FinlandOctober 17, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    I know couple of ladies who are not narcissist or bullies but they are most awful energy vampires. You know that white trash hippie -type who's life is neverending chain of self-inflicted problems and who do not have the stiff upper lip to keep their problems to themselves.

    They whine about their problems all the time, even to complete stranger who they meet in hobbies etc. People like that can be very exhausting. It is very difficult to set up boundaries in a polite manner, because they do not understand it.

    People like that can also drag you to their level. So it is very important to limit the interaction whit people like that -just like Hyacinth Bukée does with her relatives. :)

  9. Yes, and what's also important is not to encourage them!:)