10 Characteristics of Emotional Vampires.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Emotional vampire.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Emotional vampires take your energy.

There are those people who drain the energy of everyone around them. They can suck the happiness right out of a room. In the beginning, you may think they are your friend or they are in need of help, maybe they are family. Over time you discover that they are feeding off your emotions and leaving you exhausted. Sometimes you ask yourself is it you? Or is it them? Others tell you that you are being emotionally abused.

Here are ten ways to spot an emotional vampire before they drain you of all feelings.

1. Their problems are always worse than yours.

You listen to them tell about their trials and tribulations all the time but should you ever face a difficult situation do not expect anything from an emotional vampire. No matter what difficulty you are having they have a story to top that. Every conversation turns to their troubles current and past. They have no interest in hearing about your problems because only their issues matter to them.

2. They take and never give.

You help them out because they need it. But let one time arise that you need a little help they will have a hundred excuses why they can’t. You may start to feel resentful when they ask you for something and then you question yourself. You should help out your friend’s right? But one day it dawns on you that they are never there when you need them. Emotional vampires take with no thought of giving back.

3. Nothing you do is ever good enough.

They can find fault with any and every gift they have ever been given. You try to please them and they point out your shortcomings. The gift is never good enough and the deed is never enough. Whatever you did for them you should have done more, done it faster and someone else does it better than you.

4. They can find a problem with good news.

Happiness destroyers can never see the positive in anyone or anything. Tell them that something good just happened and they will quickly tell you why this boon is nothing. They get a job and tell you that they know that it won’t last, the place is just trying to take advantage of them. You graduate from school and they will say with that degree you will never find a job. When they get a compliment they throw it back saying no one really appreciates them.

5. They make you walk on eggshells.

When you go to say something, you think first about how they will react. There are things you can’t talk about, people you better not mention, and topics that are off-limits.

When talking to an emotional bloodsucker you worry about every word you might use, being the one to set them off. Your time with them is spent worrying about what you need to do and say to not upset them.

6. It is all about them.

Everything that happens has happened or will ever happen is all about them. Every conversation turns to them and how it is always someone else’s fault they are miserable. Introduce a new topic of conversation it quickly turns back to their misery and their expectations that others will let them down. You need to constantly placate them and do for them and still, it is not enough.

7. You are a tool to get them what they want – manipulation

Feel like you are constantly being manipulated? You probably are. Emotionally abusive people believe that if you spotted their game you would not play. Do you feel that this person never comes right out and asks for what they want but tries to use guilt and manipulation to get their needs meet? Are they feeding off your emotions to make themselves feel better?

8. They look for ways to hurt others.

Emotionally abusive people are bent on revenge. They have a list of enemies and expect you to be on their side in getting revenge on that other person. Emotional vampires will make you chose, them, or the other. If you do not prefer them over everyone else you become an enemy also. For emotional vampires, friends of their enemies are their enemies. Anything short of total loyalty to them is a reason for them to lash out at you.

9. Their life is full of drama and it sucks you in.

If you have family or friends who are always in the midst of drama you will find that this is not healthy for you. Each day in their life is another soap and they expect you to be their constant sidekick in all this drama. Eventually, you will come to feel that your life has followed theirs down the drama queen highway. Your own life is always in second place to their current crisis.

10. They always need to be right.

People who are emotionally needy find it impossible to ever be wrong. They will keep the argument going till you finally give in and agree that they are right. Even after you agree with them they will continue to insist on how they are right. Any contribution you make to the conversation will be dismissed and may be interpreted as yet another disagreement with their always correct position.

Have you had emotional vampires, emotionally needy, and abusive people in your life? How have you protected yourself from them?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Friends can be like jumper cables or emotional vampires.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Jumper cables

Energy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Friends either get you started or drain you of all your energy.

Are your friends helpful or do they drain your batteries?

Do your friends help you get going or do they hold you back? This thought, that a good friend is sort of like a set of jumper cables, came to me the other day when I discovered that in my haste to get to work and get going I had left the lights in my car on. By the time I noticed, the battery had gone dead.

Most of us have had this experience. Some people carry jumper cables in order to be prepared. The cables, of course, are not the only thing you need. You need someone with a good battery to help give you a jump.

Not only do you need a willing person to help you jump-start your car but their battery and charging system needs to be strong enough to run their car and start yours.

Trying to find someone who not only had jumper cables but was willing to give me a jump got me thinking. At this point, it occurred to me how much like a jump-start our friends can be.

Some people do nothing but drain you. No matter what sort of help you go to them for, they need you to do something in return or do something before they can help you. The experience of going looking for help is so draining that you leave thinking that you are now in worse shape than when you started.

Some people described these emotionally draining people as Emotional Vampires; they suck all the joy and pleasure out of your life. Asking them for help is like requesting an emotional bloodletting.

Many recovering people discover that those around them, the ones they call their support system are not very helpful. Some so-called friends want you to fail. Others have so little energy left that they drain you rather than recharging you.

Friends should be someone we are close to and we can trust emotionally. Too many of the people, we call friends are in fact acquaintances. People we have to be around because we run into them often, but who are not especially dependable or close.

One of the dictionary definitions of a friend is an “ally or someone who is not an enemy.” From a lot of people’s descriptions of their friends, it is hard to tell the allies from the enemies. Does your friend encourage you to live well and happily? Or is that person in a friend disguise telling you to go ahead and stay in your addiction or disease? Do they build you up and encourage you to move forward or are they telling you that it is someone else’s fault and there is nothing you can do in life?

Does that person encourage you to be a victim or a survivor?

There are those people in our lives that brighten our day anytime we see them. We all need more of those kinds of friends. Happy positive friends are out there but they can be hard to find especially if you don’t look in the right places.

Clients tell me they can’t trust those around them. They have trust issues. Their friends are unreliable. How did you meet them, I ask?

The most common answers I get are in bars, dope houses, a friend of a person they met in jail, and so on. If you look in hospitals you will find sick people. If you want to improve your support system and have friends who energize you then look in places where people are trying to improve themselves.

The word friendship includes not only being on good terms but also giving mutual assistance, approval, and support. That is something we all can use, support in times of struggle. A full dose of approval will go a long way also.

In looking for this supportive friend be sure that the relationship is mutual. Good friends get tired of you if every time they see you, you have your hand out for something. This works in two directions. People who are only your friends for what they can get out of you are abusers, not friends.

Look for people who are full of enthusiasm and love life. People who want to spread recovery and not those who want to stay in their disease.

This does not mean you should avoid other recovering people. Far from it. If you have a mental illness, look for those who have overcome their emotional problems. They have something to share with you. Those who use their diagnosis as an excuse to stop trying will drain your battery. Those who have recovered or are well along in their recovery can help energize you.

What kind of friends do you have? Are they the kind that energizes you or the ones that drain your batteries?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel