Sunday, June 6, 2010

Staking Emotional Vampires

Beware the emotional vampire; someone who can suck the life out of a room in mere minutes. Many believe vampires to be fictitious characters that only exist in novels and movies. There are people out there in the world, however, who thrive off of sucking the energy from others. These people are referred to as emotional vampires.

Despite the efforts of these vampires to appear superior to others, the underlying cause of their emotional neediness often lies in the form of a poor self-image and low self-esteem, generally the result of amental disorder or illnessthat may not be immediately apparent to the outside observer. It is important to remember this when confronting an emotional vampire. They generally feel the need to bring others down in an effort to build up their own self image.
The Most Common Types of Emotional Vampires

•The Victim

Unlike other types of emotional vampires, this person does not play himself up so much as he expresses his belief that he has been greatly wronged in this life and that all should feel sorry for him. This type of vampire seems to be consumed with a feeling of self-pity and leans heavily upon others to agree with him and give into his neediness.

People often are tempted to act as this person’s therapist. Over time, these attempts become fruitless, simply bringing others down with him. The best way to keep from being taken in by the victim’s problems is to try to simply avoid attempts at giving this person advice. We need to realize that by playing therapist to the emotional vampire, we are not helping him; we are simply playing into his attempts at bringing people down.

The Controller

The controlling vampire attempts to make others believe that he knows everything. His way is always best, and no one else’s opinion really matters. The Controller often will try to dominate every situation and is extremely unyielding and matter-of-fact. In his eyes, his way is the only way. The best way to deal with the controlling vampire is to stand your ground. Don’t give into his attempts at drawing you into an argument.

The Narcissist

The Narcissist is in love with himself, or at least it seems like it from the outside. Everything is about him. He possesses a strong need to be the center of attention and turns every conversation around to focus on himself. To deal with the Narcissist, it is important to remember not to give into his attempts at getting attention by complimenting or praising him. Do not take it personally when your needs and wants do not seem to be of importance to this person. We must remember that this type of behavior is the result of a deeper mental illness and a lack of confidence.

The Splitter/Drama Queen

This vampire creates drama around virtually every situation. Like the Narcissist, he has a need for attention and will be extremely friendly and charming while he has it. However, he can quickly turn on you and make you feel as though you have wronged him in some way. This person has a way of making you feel inadequate and as though you need to apologize for something. Don’t be fooled by this vampire’s charm. Realize that, while he may be friendly today, he could be enraged tomorrow. Try to avoid arguments or debates with this person.

The Criticizer

This person is extremely critical of others, pointing out their flaws in an attempt to make himself appear superior. Like the Controller, the Criticizer appears to think very highly of his own opinions, believing that only he is right. The best way of dealing with this vampire is to kill him with kindness. Don’t take it personally, simply thank him for his advice and don’t get defensive. It is again important to remember that this person very likely has an underlying problem that is the cause of his actions.


Article excerpted from: Helping Psychology, brought to you by Argosy University.

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