Dealing with emotional vampires leaves people drained and depleted. This Halloween, learn how to deflect against their hypnotic ways with tips from Judith Orloff, M.D., author of The Empath’s Survival Guide. In an exclusive interview with Mandatory, Dr. Orloff explains the magnetism of these mythical creatures you encounter in your everyday life. Not only that, she breaks down how to deal with them so you come out unscathed.
Identify Your Emotional Vampire
In order to deal with emotional vampires, you have to be able to identify the different types out there. According to Dr. Orloff, they are the Narcissist, the Victim, the Chronic Talker, the Drama Queen, and the Passive Aggressive Person.
She says when it comes to the Narcissist, everything is about “Me, me, me.” They are self-absorbed and punishing if you don’t do things their way. The Victim is a whiner who feels the world is against them. They drain you with their endless complaints.
The Chronic Talker corners you at a party to tell you their life story or a long saga. This person doesn’t even take a breath so that you can interrupt them. (Eye roll forever.) The Drama Queen makes everything into a drama and leaves you on empty thanks to their endless hysterics. The Passive Aggressive expresses anger in a passive way and with a smile, saying things like, “Oh dear, you’ve put on weight but I think it looks fine.”
Set Your Boundaries
Once you can identify the types of emotional vampires, you can manage how much they can take from you. Dr. Orloff says the best way to do this is having strict boundaries.
“Do not ask them how they are doing, particularly if someone is a drama queen,” she says. “Don’t let yourself be emotionally triggered and say something you will regret. Emotional vampires love it when you get upset because they feed off of this energy. Stay calm and centered. Be kind but firm when setting boundaries.”
If the emotional vampires in your life won’t adhere to the limits you’re setting, Dr. Orloff says as a last result you may need to “eliminate peripheral emotional vampires who you don’t need in your life.”
Give ‘Em The Ax
Anyone can be an emotional vampire, even mothers, which make it hard to cut them out of your life. But when it comes to non-essential people who are emotional vampires, like a hairstylist or a particular cashier at the store, just avoid them entirely. Part of the solution is making decisions to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of some people in your life.
This Halloween, put an end to the biggest scare of all: the people who drain you of your happiness and energy.
Have you had to deal with an emotional vampire? What did you do to manage how they make you feel? Let us know in the comments!