If you’ve never dealt with an emotional vampire, you’re lucky. However, it could be that you don’t realize that a friend or loved one is like that. These types of people will drain you of your energy and emotions, and, to make matters worse, they won’t care.
For your health, it’s important to recognize when someone is an emotional vampire. Once you identify this energy zapper, learn to deal with them pleasantly while keeping them at arm’s length.
Know the fifteen signs someone might be an emotional vampire
Here are 15 red flags for which you should look.
1. They always turn the topic to themselves.
For some reason, no matter what you’re talking about, they’ll find a way to make it about themselves. Are you talking about your college grades? Somehow the conversation will turn in to how your scores affect them. What about a great date that you had yesterday? Yep, all about them.
If you’re feeling left out of a conversation with someone all the time, this is a significant, glaring indicator. This self-centered friend is incapable or possibly unwilling to allow someone else to be the center of attention in a conversation.
2. They always seek validation.
They probably have low self-esteem, so they require constant validation. The crazy thing is that you probably know this on some subconscious level, and you feel bad that they have low self-esteem. Therefore, you try to be friendly and supportive because you care.
They feed on this caring emotion from you. Indeed, they may even always fish for compliments. No matter how tiring this gets for you, they’ll continue to do it until you put a stop to it.
3. Emotional vampires thrive on and seek out drama.
Problems, negativity, and drama have a lot of energy. Energy suckers are naturally drawn to drama because it feeds their personality. Sometimes they may even go to extremes to instigate drama.
Continually seeking out drama is childish, but emotional vampires don’t see it that way. Instead, it’s a thrill to them. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself squarely in the middle of their drama simply because you’re associated with them.
4. They are emotionally unavailable.
If you think that your energy-sucking friend will be there for you when you need a shoulder to lean on, think again. They are selfish and emotionally unavailable. They will suck away all of everyone’s emotions, but they are unwilling to share when you need some.
Of course, they may be so wrapped up in themselves that if you tell them exactly how you’re feeling, they’ll dismiss it and change the subject to how they’re feeling. Even worse, they might make you feel bad that your bad feelings are making them feel bad. It’s a crazy cycle.
5. They always seem to have a negative vibe.
If you are a spiritual person, you may be able to detect people’s vibes when they come around. An emotional vampire will always project a negative vibe or aura. It can be so strong that it’s hard to ignore.
If you keep yourself around such a strong negative vibe, some of it may rub off onto you. Even the healthiest people might be slightly affected. The best thing you can do is stay away from people with negative vibes.
6. Every situation is always a crisis.
You may notice that your friend over-dramatizes every little thing. The most superficial problems that can easily be solved seems like the Titanic is about to sink again. What’s worse, it may seem that your friend is always having these minor-major issues.
People who suck up energy and emotions need to turn everything into a crisis so they can get more power and feelings out of you. It’s a vicious cycle in which you’ll continuously feed their needs until they wear down your last nerve.
7. They hold ridiculous grudges.
If your friend is holding grudges from elementary school, this is a big red flag. It seems that they can’t let anything go, ever. You can be sure that your friend will be holding grudges on their death bed.
This grudge-holding stems from their desire for drama all the time. If they forgive people, there will be no more drama. That means no more emotions for them to suck up, and they can’t have that.
8. They will complain about everything all the time.
It may seem like nothing is ever good enough for your friend. They have a problem with everyone and everything. They never have compliments or anything good to say.
Life can be very dull and harsh, being around a person who complains about everything. They’ll try to suck all of the joy out of whatever you’re doing so you’ll be as miserable as they are. If you’re a healthy person, you can fight against this, but it doesn’t make it any less irritating.
9. These friends seem to be unaware of others.
A person who is an emotional vampire doesn’t pay any attention to the fact that there are other human beings on the planet. They can happily go through life, never connecting with people, giving them credit for anything, or even recognizing that they have feelings and emotions.
Examples would be dismissing the excellent job that their waitress did or ignoring how their partner feels about them forgetting their anniversary. They can be cold, cruel, and seemingly heartless.
10. These folks never accept responsibility for their actions.
As much trouble as your friend can cause, they will never accept responsibility for their role in the drama. According to your friend, everything is everyone else’s fault. They play the victim role exceptionally well.
Even when it’s obvious that your friend is to blame, they will deflect that blame elsewhere. There is no reasoning with a person like this. You’ll only drive yourself crazy, trying to get them to see the light.
11. Emotional vampires continuously try to one-up you.
Unfortunately, they don’t just suck up negative energy. They suck up all energy. This means they want the power of being “the best” at all times. They won’t celebrate in your successes. Instead, they give you an empty compliment and immediately compare it to something they’ve done better than you. Here is an example.
“Oh, you finally lost that ten pounds? Great. Keep working at it, and you might be able to look as good as I would in that dress.”
It’s an empty compliment. This phrase is not a compliment (because they are incapable of giving real compliments). It’s just your friend trying to prove that they’re better than you.
12. They think that only their needs matter.
This makes sense because a person like this doesn’t pay any attention to people around them anyway. It’s almost like they live in a bubble, and they only pull you in long enough to drain your emotions. In their bubble, no one else’s needs matter.
Just keep in mind that if you keep this person as a friend, they’re not going to care about what’s happening in your life genuinely. They are more of a “surface” friend. They’re incapable of caring about your needs.
13. They are masters at guilt trips.
Emotional vampires seem to be skilled at making you feel guilty. They can even make you feel guilty about something that you had absolutely nothing to do with. Before you know it, you’ll be caving into what they want in an attempt to apologize for nothing.
Sometimes it can take a little time to recognize that they do this to you. However, when you realize it, get out of it. They’re not going to stop guilt-tripping you. It’s just who they are.
14. Emotional vampires are bullies.
People like your energy draining friend are unpleasant to be around. They have a nasty personality. They’re mean, selfish, insecure, and hostile. They are also bullies.
Bullying doesn’t work on everyone, but emotional vampires seem to have an innate quality that allows them to sense weaker people. They’ll bully these people into giving them what they want – energy and emotions.
15. Talks nonstop.
After reading the other fourteen red flags, it shouldn’t be surprising that all those energy suckers talk nonstop. If they don’t even acknowledge the people around them, it’s not going to occur to them that people have an opinion (or maybe they don’t care that people have an idea). To them, they are the only ones that exist or matter, so why would anyone else have anything to say?
They may rarely give you a chance to even reply to what they’re saying. Why? Because they don’t care what you think or how you feel.
Final Thoughts on Dealing with the Emotional Vampires in Your Life
Throughout this article, we’ve referred to the energy sucker in your life as your friend. However, let’s be honest. This person is not a friend. They’re a leech. They’re simply a parasite in your life feeding off of your energy and emotions. They’ll keep mooching off of you until there is nothing left, or until you put a stop to it.
Don’t allow emotional vampires to consume you. Use these 15 red flags to recognize them for who they are. Then cut them off and enjoy your life.