Part 3: Are You an Emotional Vampire?
If you’ve been questioning “am I an energy vampire?” or if you’ve realized “I’m an energy vampire” or “I drain people’s energy” and you’ve been wondering how to stop being an energy vampire, then this is for you. I am well aware that this blog may not be easy to read, acknowledging our negative traits is always a hard pill to swallow. So don’t worry if you have just discovered you’re an energy vampire. I know when I first realized I was at times, I felt horrible and ugly. It’s not a nice thing to become aware of within yourself, that you’re sucking the life out of people you love and care for. I felt awful and disgusted with myself especially since I could see it so easily in others (and judged them for it) but didn’t realize I was doing this to my friends and family.
I want you to know that we have all been energy vampires at some point. Here’s the thing: if you have emotional wounds, you have the potential to be an energy vampire, in other words an emotional vampire.
Although we may call them “energy vampires” and say they have negative energy, the exchange of energy that is happening is emotional. So energy vampires are emotional vampires. They feed off people’s negative emotions as well as their positive energy. Emotional vampires are toxic people and emotional vampirism is basically toxic behaviour.
Emotional wounds that are not healed and consciously integrated can play out as emotional vampirism.
If you are unconscious of this emotional wound or if you’re not seeking to truly heal it (perhaps because you’re unconscious of it), you will be seeking toxic validation instead. Meaning you are seeking for someone to emotionally satisfy your wounded needs and this is where energetic vampirism begins…
The problem is, if people give you this toxic validation and satisfy your wounded needs, it feels good, in an unhealthy way of course. You get a little boost of satisfaction from having your wounded needs met — however it’s never enough. The energetic or emotional vampire is never satiated because the more you energetically vampirize others to satisfy your wounded needs, the bigger the wound gets…
The bigger the wound, the more you need to drain people around you to quench your vampiristic thirst. Think of the energy vampire within like a tapeworm, it makes you ’emotionally’ hungry and gives you specific cravings, which is the toxic validation for feeling superiority, righteousness, control etc. You think you are ‘eating’ for you in the healthy sense getting your emotional needs met but in fact, you are feeding the tapeworm (energy vampire) which only grows and gets bigger the more you feed it. This then becomes a perpetuating cycle which turns into an emotional addiction. You are never satisfied and it’s never quite enough.
Just like a drug addict, you become emotionally addicted to the toxic validation from others that feed this emotional wound.
As long as you are not aware of it, it grows and is always unconsciously seeking the next fix. You are willing to do whatever it takes, compromising your integrity, blaming others, projecting fear or hatred, shaming, selling yourself short, sucking other people’s energy to get your emotional addiction met.
I have lost friends through drug addiction so this really hits home for me. If you have ever witnessed a drug addict, you will clearly see they are not themselves. They are totally consumed by the addiction and it’s very hard to get through to them if they are unwilling to see themselves and take responsibility for their behaviour.
Asking an energy vampire to stop feeding off people’s life force is like telling someone to stop eating, they may get triggered, defensive and have this feeling that you are going against them, abandoning them or that you just don’t understand them.
Over time, this emotional wound (or should I say vampiristic desire) will consume you. It takes over your psyche, influences your behaviour, choices, decisions and you think you are doing all this consciously when in fact you are possessed by your emotional wound.
Emotional vampires are deeply wounded and unconscious of it, you can’t see yourself and how you are behaving. To become aware of where you may be energetically and emotionally vampirizing others, you must first have a sincere desire to know yourself. You have to want to see yourself, your behaviour, attitudes and acknowledge your emotional wounds. This requires you to look within at your underlying motives for your actions and behaviour rather than outside of yourself when you have any form of emotional reaction or addictive impulses. The problem is that most people want their emotional addictions met, they like their emotional addictions and don’t see it as a big problem. People see these emotional addictions as harmless but if you look at the bigger picture, this is exactly what keeps you stuck in negative patterns.
If you do not have this desire to know yourself, you will not allow yourself to see yourself and how you are energetically vampirizing others! These parts of you will hide from you and you will use all sorts of justification, intellectualization and rationalize your behaviour, attitudes, choices and decisions. You will defend your emotional wound and need for toxic validation. You will get angry and judgmental of those that do not allow you to suck them dry when in fact, if you humbly look, it is you that is completely in the wrong and being unloving emotionally.
I have found over years of working with clients that seeing themselves — meaning seeing their true emotional condition, their shadow traits, which can be ever so subtle and easily dismissed or minimized — is what most people fear.
To truly see yourself and your vampiristic traits requires humility and a sincere desire to heal and grow spiritually in love.
Here are a few questions to reflect upon if you are emotionally vampirizing others:
- Do you constantly call your friends only to complain endlessly, criticise others or have a rant about your problems? (basically call them to dump your emotional baggage on them)
- Are you quick to criticise and put down everything anyone says that is positive?
- Do you get mad when your friends say no, set boundaries or are not able to be there for you when you need it?
- Do you find yourself constantly talking when you meet people, going from one story to another without giving people the time or space to speak?
- Do you find that you constantly need acknowledgement or validation from others?
- Do you love a bit of gossip and eager to share gossip when you hear it?
- Do you find friends avoiding you, constantly cancelling on you or keeping you at arm’s length?
- Do people all of a sudden stop communicating with you, block you or refuse to communicate with you with no explanation?
- Do you get upset when your friends don’t see your heavy judgement of others the same way you do? Or if they defend/stand up for their behaviour or actions in relation to you?
- Have you been told you’re too clingy or emotionally needy?
- Do you have a tendency to emotionally blackmail and threaten your friends and family to do what you want?
- Do you secretly love creating drama or making a big fuss out of nothing?
- Do you find yourself avoiding holding yourself responsible or accountable for hurtful things you have done and twisting the bad behaviour making yourself the victim instead?
My 5 Steps to Stop Being An Energy Vampire:
1. Desire to heal
All healing starts with having a desire to heal because after all, you have free will, you can choose to engage in your emotional addictions or you can choose to heal — and healing, from my humble opinion, is a choice. It is a choice you make inside your heart (not in your head). It is a desire to grow and evolve spiritually, mentally and emotionally. This means that you must take emotional responsibility and accountability for your actions, behaviour, how you treat people and how you treat yourself.
Set a sincere heartfelt desire to know yourself and follow this up by healing your emotional wounds associated with these vampiristic traits that come up. The only way to break this energy-sucking pattern is to heal the core of these wounds.
When you truly want to know yourself, you will start to see yourself and have insights into how you are behaving in ways that energetically drain others — which brings me to my second point.
2. Become aware of your vampiristic addictions
You must start developing self-awareness. This starts with what I mentioned above — a sincere desire to know yourself — and see these vampiristic traits, no matter how ugly or ashamed you feel. Just remember, this is not about shaming yourself. Since if you’re still reading this, you do have at least the intellectual desire to look within and do the inner work to heal, evolve and become a more loving person.
After reflecting on the questions above, if you answered yes to any of them, notice when you feel these emotional impulses, the need or urge to act in the same negative vampiristic pattern that perhaps you see in others.
You can start with intellectual awareness by reflecting on these behaviours and where you are seeking toxic validation, and perhaps journal about this and where it might stem from.
Also if you are judging other people for being an energy vampire, it is highly likely that you also play out these traits on some level or perhaps in a different context, so contemplate on this.
3. Learn to listen
Learning to listen requires humility, I also believe that true listening requires empathy.
Learning to listen, in any given situation, is not just about hearing words but feeling the other person, being mindful of what is not said and perceiving if they feel uncomfortable in any way. This way, you will be able to pick up where you may be starting to drain others or not giving them space. For example, if your vampiristic trait to drain people is by non-stop complaining or speaking too much, you will notice after a while the other person may seem a little distant, almost dissociated or not fully present. This is the moment where you must catch yourself and draw the boundary on your emotional addiction. If this is a person you trust, feel safe with and love, then you can do the exercise I mention in step 4.
If the other person has plucked up the courage to share with you how you may be draining them, empathetic listening is also listening without thinking about how you will answer to defend yourself, which is what most people do – they defend by justifying their behaviour or unconscious intentions. Empathetic listening is listening with your whole body, with all your senses being fully present, receiving the information the other person is sharing without needing to react and cut them off when you feel offended, triggered or if you feel they have perceived your behaviour or intentions wrongly. You keep your emotions in check holding that boundary with your intention and by being humble not allowing your wounded ego to react. You allow them to speak until they have finished before taking a moment to respond and validate their message.
Know that those that truly love you and care for you will tell you the truth even if they know it may hurt you initially. They are calling out your addictive pattern or vampiristic traits and not attacking your essence – which can feel like an attack when you have identified with the emotional wound. Plus, you know in your heart when someone is being sincere or if they are intentionally trying to hurt you and put you down. When you know and feel the person is being sincere about these emotionally addictive traits, you feel this and the empathetic listening part is where humility is needed to truly listen and receive this.
I believe that real relationships and true connections are formed when two people can hold a safe and loving space for these difficult conversations to take place. The more you have the courage to face the darkness within and point out in a loving way how the darkness has taken over others with loving intention, the more you both can grow spiritually and emotionally on your soul journey. This ultimately is what also creates a heart to heart connection.
4. Set boundaries for yourself
Once you become aware of how you energetically vampirise others, create a list of boundaries for yourself.
What vampiristic behaviours will you no longer engage in?
What boundaries can you set in place for yourself to support you?
What healthier behaviour or action can you replace this with?
If you notice you are emotionally draining someone you love and you feel safe being vulnerable with them, expose this vampiristic trait! Share that you have become aware of this negative pattern and realize it’s not healthy. Perhaps make an agreement that any time you or your friend notices your inner vampire emerging, you will both stop and take a moment to be present, set a mutual boundary, hold a space of compassion for this wounded part of yourself and not allow you to engage in emotional addiction.
For example, let’s say you still can’t believe your ex broke up with you, three months ago. Whenever you get together with your girlfriends, you bring him/her up and you stir the conversation towards “emotionally processing” what they said and did. Every. Single. Time. You may even exaggerate stories and heavily judge them in the hopes to get toxic validation from your friends. Your friends might try to change the subject or talk very little when you start on this topic. In order to disengage from the emotional high (and following hangover), to break away from your emotional addiction of energy vampirism, you could ask your friends to hold you accountable to stop talking about this person. It’s over and you’re now choosing to move forward with your life, if not forgiving them. Choose not to feel defensive or to justify yourself if your friends call you out on your promise. They can say softly “Hey, you’re bringing the topic back to your ex again :)”. Take a moment together to let you feel (in silence) your emotions and acknowledge you’re still feeling emotional about this. Then, come back to the original conversation topic. Of course, it’s your responsibility after to take action and start your healing process with regards to healing your broken heart.
Exposing the darkness within takes its power away!
Of course, you don’t have to do this with everyone you meet! Open yourself to being vulnerable with people you trust, not with a stranger or even an acquaintance. Until you heal the core, you must catch yourself in the moment and become aware of your emotionally driven impulses to act or behave in these energetically vampiristic ways. At the moment you notice it coming up, set up a boundary for yourself by holding yourself responsible and accountable just with your intention and using your will. You consciously choose not to act on this emotional addiction. It helps by becoming fully present. I like to focus on my breath and to notice all the feelings and emotions arising in my body. The idea here is to FEEL how much you want to act on this emotional addiction while holding the boundary up with your desire to heal this by basically choosing not to act! You do this with no judgment, just observing and having compassion in your heart for this wounded part of you. The emotion should subside if you stay present with it long enough, and you may just become aware of the underlying reasons this keeps coming up.
Another example, if you feel an urge to call that friend only to complain, stop yourself. Take some deep breaths and it is from here that you can start doing your inner work as shared above. FEEL how much you want to indulge in your emotional addiction to complain, have a rant or dump your emotional baggage on your friends. Sit with this feeling without judging it, just be present with it. If you fully embrace the addictive feeling meaning allow it to be there without acting on it rather than buy into it or resist it you will find it will soon subside and you will naturally be able to access what’s beneath this emotional impulse to complain.
5. Forgive yourself
When you start seeing your shadow traits and ugly emotionally draining behaviours, of course, it doesn’t feel good but this is not about shaming yourself. The only reason you energetically vampirise others is because you are wounded and you are trying to heal (albeit clumsily). The parts of you that do this need your love and compassion more than anything. Shaming yourself is not going to help you heal.
Forgiving yourself is part of how you stop being an energy vampire once you have acknowledged these traits because it allows you to move forward and take action. This starts as I mentioned above by being emotionally responsible and holding yourself accountable and humbly owning these traits and not blaming your behaviour or action on anyone or anything ‘out there’ – this includes your circumstances, situation or even fear.
The first part of self-forgiveness requires you to be willing to feel the effect this life-sucking behaviour has had upon others in your own heart and process this emotionally. Second, you must, as I mentioned above, process the emotional wound causing you to act out in this way. Lastly, you can then turn to yourself and genuinely forgive yourself, just by setting a sincere heartfelt desire — and yes emotions may come up here too!
If you need support on your healing journey and want more personalized guidance check out my Intuitive Coaching & Emotional Healing Sessions.
All techniques and information I share are considered coaching, self-help or complementary therapies. I am not a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor, I have a degree in Health Sciences in Complementary Therapies. Everything I write and talk about comes mainly from my own experience in healing myself and the tools, techniques, and resources I learned throughout my own inner journey.
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