Vampires are not fictional; they’re real. Except they are not blood sucking creatures but rather energy draining people and you probably know one. Energy vampires are quite easy to spot if you know what traits you’re looking for and no, it’s not fangs. Usually, by having a few conversations with someone you’ll be able to tell if they’re an energy vampire.
Spotting a Vampire
If the majority of your conversation is complaints and negativity there’s a chance this person is an energy vampire. Sure, they may be having a terrible day so judge this trait off of a few interactions not just one.
Taking but never giving back
Another trait is someone that expects much from you yet never holds themselves to the same standard. They may expect you to go out of your way in terms of your time or favors yet never offer help in return.
The way you feel
Pay attention to how you feel after interacting with this person. Are you overly tired? Maybe you even feel the need to complain about this person? The way you feel is the best indicator this person is indeed an energy vampire.
What if you’re the Energy Vampire?
I’ll admit, I use to be an energy vampire. I went through a horrible breakup in college and relied on my friends to get me through it. While it’s perfectly acceptable to lean on friends and family during a hard time, at some point you need to learn to pick yourself up. I started to notice the support of my friends decreasing when my misery continued over a few weeks, I started to get the response “I’m not sure how to help you” quite a lot.
At this point I realized I needed to do something myself because I as asking too much from my well-meaning friends. Luckily, the university I was enrolled in offered free counseling sessions. I took advantage of this and through a few sessions I started to feel like myself again. I was no longer an energy vampire and my friends could enjoy our friendship without being my unpaid therapists.
How to Slay the Vampire
If you’re an energy vampire or someone who’s relationship you value is one—you can break the cycle.
Try to say more positive things than negative. There’s a common saying “misery loves company” so whether you’re the vampire or it’s your friend, being negative is doing no one any favors. Positivity or seeing the light in a situation is one way to break the cycle.
Get to the Root of the Issue
Find out what is causing the negativity. For me, it was obviously my break-up. However, through counseling I realized it was much more than that, I was afraid to be alone. Once I came to this conclusion I was ready to find a solution.
Find a Solution
If it’s your friend you can help them find a solution by guiding them to the right resources but ultimately they must be ready to help themselves. The step to willingly receiving help is something only they can do.
If it’s you then first you can try to come up with a solution on your own. Journaling or spending time in nature is a great way to self discovery. But sometimes a bit of professional help is the key to finding a solution. For me, counseling worked and as a college student it was free. Tapping into resources from your school, workplace, or community is a great place to start.
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