6 Ways to Spot an Energy Vampire and How to Deal With Them

year ago

An energy vampire can literally be anyone around you, even if it’s a family member or a close friend and this might be a person that you feel overwhelmed and exhausted around. Constant energy drainage can lead to significant physical and emotional distress. That’s why it’s important to deal with them, and recognize who they are by finding out their energy-sucking strategy.

Because energy vampires are not very easy to recognize, we at Bright Side decided to share with you the most common but missed or ignored signs. Also, we have a few tips on how to deal with them.

1. They are in the middle of the drama.

Due to their wave of dramatic and emotional behavior, energy vampires tend to be the center of a catastrophe. However, when they get their hands on you they throw the drama on you hoping that you will absorb it and right their wrong.

What to do:

  • Tell them you are too tired. If they try to call you and bend your ear, don’t fall into their trap and get away by saying that you are tired or under the weather. They will most probably leave you alone and go to another source because they need someone who has energy to harvest from.

2. They tend to criticize their target.

Energy vampires are usually insecure and they will try to find a tactic to criticize you in order to keep you insecure too. If this is the case, you might feel like you owe something to this person, especially your attention, and you might continue to work and stop any unknown attacks.

What to do:

  • Look stone-faced and give short answers. These people can use even your nonverbal cues (facial expressions and body positions) to put you on the hook. It can tell them whether you are willing to lean in and give your energy to them. So, try to look as stone-cold as possible and answer their questions with short answers — this will help you keep your energy all to yourself.

3. They use ultimatums.

The key is that they know shame is a powerful weapon, especially against people who are caring and compassionate. They’ll rely on your guilt trips and get what they planned to get from you. The same goes for ultimatums, they use them to get your attention and then coerce you into doing something that you most probably wouldn’t do in a different situation.

What to do:

  • Have a way to get back into reality. Find out who can help you do a reality check on a given situation. This can be someone you trust, a family member, or a friend. So, when you notice that the energy vampire in your life is starting to act up check with your trusted person and affirm your feelings. See that your gut feeling is true and not what the energy vampire is trying to put on you.

4. They use the good in people.

The main targets of energy vampires are those who are compassionate and also sensitive. Those who have a kind heart, listen to their troubles, and have endless energy available. They will use this against you and drain your spark.

You might notice that this person might want to spend most of their time with you, even if it means monopolizing your time for going out. Also, they know that your guilt won’t let you turn them down for a dinner or a coffee date, so they will ask you almost all the time.

What to do:

  • Put up some boundaries. It might sound easier than actually implementing it but it’s important to have areas in your life where you won’t allow energy vampires to enter. Start small, avoid attending social events with them, like going for a coffee or dinner, and then expand.

5. They are always in emotional need.

Energy vampires are codependent and are involved in this type of relationship. However, they can hardly recognize that they are in one. They use the bond (most of the time romantic) to spread more drama and emotional need.

What to do:

  • If possible, cut them out of your life. If your energy vampire is not a person you can just avoid (maybe a family member or boss), try to cut off contact as much as possible. Avoid speaking to them directly and instead text them.

6. They try to intimidate their prey.

Aside from criticism, energy vampires might try to intimidate you, especially if they want to start up some emotional drama. In this case, fear works perfectly for them which means they will harvest your energy and increase their ego when you become upset or scared.

What to do:

  • Act like you don’t care. Don’t give them a response no matter what happens. Also, don’t entertain them. Soon enough they will lose interest in you.

Bonus: stories from Reddit users

  • My ex and I had dinner with my cousins. The conversation somehow got onto the topic of shopping, and we lightheartedly joked about leaving the SO’s behind because they were shopping for too long. She suddenly yelled, “You’d better NEVER leave me anywhere, because I’ll leave you!” Everyone got quiet. Feeling disrespected, I replied, “What, like that’s some big loss?” © KMFDM781 / Reddit
  • He wants to spend 4 hours talking to you about his awful life? Cut it off after 5 minutes. Attempt to redirect the conversation, if it doesn’t work, physically walk away. © Princess__Nell / Reddit

Do you have someone close who drains your energy? If so, have you tried to deal with them? How?

Please note: This article was updated in August 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit KMFDM781 / Reddit


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