Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


On Halloween: 5 Emotional Vampires — and How to Combat Them

posted by Beyond Blue

vampire.jpg

In the spirit of halloween, I thought you’d all appreciate some vampire talk. In her new book, “Emotional Freedom,” UCLA psychiatrist Judith Orloff identifies five kinds of vampires that are lurking around and can zap our energy if we’re not careful. Here is an excerpt adapted from her book.

Emotional vampires are lurking everywhere and wear many different disguises–from needy relatives to workplace bullies. Whether they do so intentionally or not, these people can make us feel overwhelmed, depressed, defensive, angry, and wiped out.

Without the self-defense strategies to fend them off, victims of emotional vampires sometimes develop unhealthy behaviors and symptoms, such as overeating, isolating, mood swings, or feeling fatigued.

Here are five types of emotional vampires you’re likely to encounter, and some “silver bullet” tips for fending them off.

Vampire 1: The Narcissist. 

This vampire is grandiose, self-important, attention hogging, and hungry for admiration. She is often charming and intelligent–until her guru status is threatened.

Self-defense tips: Enjoy her good qualities, but keep your expectations realistic. Because her motto is “me-first,” getting angry or stating your needs won’t phase her. To get her cooperation, show how your request satisfies her self-interest.

Vampire 2: The Victim. 

This vampire thinks the world is against him, and demands that others rescue him.

Self-defense tips: Don’t be his therapist, and don’t tell him to buck up. Limit your interactions, and don’t get involved in his self-pity.

Vampire 3: The Controller. 

This vampire has an opinion about everything, thinks he knows what’s best for you, has a rigid sense of right and wrong, and needs to dominate.

Self-defense tips: Speak up and be confident. Don’t get caught up in bickering over the small stuff. Assert your needs, and then agree to disagree.

Vampire 4: The Criticizer. 

This vampire feels qualified to judge you, belittle you, and bolster her own ego by making you feel small and ashamed.

Self-defense tips: Don’t take what she says personally. Address a misplaced criticism directly. Don’t get defensive. Express appreciation for what’s useful. Bounce back with a massive dose of loving-kindness.

Vampire 5: The Splitter. 

This vampire may treat you like his BFF one day, and then mercilessly attack you the next day when he feels wronged. He is often a threatening rageaholic who revels in keeping others on an emotional rollercoaster.

Self-defense tips: Establish boundaries and be solution-oriented. Avoid skirmishes, refuse to take sides, and avoid eye contact when he’s raging at you. Visualize a protective shield around you when you’re being emotionally attacked.

Judith Orloff, MD (www.judithorloff.com), is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA. Her new book, upon which these tips are based, is “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life.”

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Noah Beacom

posted October 28, 2011 at 10:47 am


When I first read this, I read this as different vampires within the self. And I think this might actually work – recognizing and dealing with the narcissist in oneself for example.

NB



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home care charlotte nc

posted October 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm


Great article! Unfortunately we all know at least one of these “vampires”… great tips on how to deal. Thanks for sharing!



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jami

posted October 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm


Excellent post in the spirit of Halloween! Thank you. I will take note of those vampires and revisit my boundaries.



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Veronica

posted October 29, 2011 at 10:41 am


So actual. My daughter is the victim vampire and she is draining every bit of life out of me. I am trying to talk myself into letting go. I am trying and praying. I ask for your prayers. God Bless.



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Waterlove

posted October 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm


I had to cut myself to the closest person in my life, my mother. She is the queen of criticism and a controller.



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Renee

posted October 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm


This is a great article, thank you for sharing it! I read this and had a clear image in my head with each vampire and someone in my life that is just like them.. THEN, the aha moment came when I realized that if I can see it within them… I can certainly see those qualities in myself and it allowed me to let the judgement go on me and on them. Nice little gift in a moments read. Thanks again. :)



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