Are You Tired?

I recently participated in an online class where we were asked to reflect on a few things.

One prompt was “what is one thing you would like to get out of your life?”  Someone wrote in the chat “emotional vampires”.

Surprisingly I had never heard of this term before but realized I have dealt with people like this at certain points in my life.

According to Psychology Today, the five types of emotional vampires are: The Narcissist, The Victim, The Controller, The Constant Talker, and The Drama Queen/King. 

After reviewing this, I decided that some people are even a combination of these.

What I really felt mostly when reading about each one is that they drain me; truly suck the blood out of me and make me tired.

In my trainings, I usually have one person who talks to me after and mentions the emotional vampire(s) they are dealing with. 

This person sounds so depressed and lethargic; it really is sad.

However, when I ask what they are doing about it, they make excuses for that person, such as “they have a hard life; they live with a difficult spouse; they have money issues, etc.” 

Well don’t you have issues that you are dealing with? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone listened to you about your problems? 

The workplace emotional vampires (WEVs) are even more challenging in some ways than family and/or friends. 

These WEVs can move from one person to another in the department feasting on their blood.

When they get shut down by one person, they just move onto the next.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to bring out the garlic and other things that WEVs find offensive.

You not only need to set boundaries for yourself but encourage your subordinates to do the same.

To do this successfully, you have to be assertive and take these WEVs head on.

If confrontation is tough for you, practice a few sentences you can use.

I recently had to face a WEV and by role playing it out with a friend, I felt more confident which not only showed in the words I said but also through my non-verbal communications.

Unfortunately, WEVs are very clever in picking up mixed messages so what you say and how you act have to be aligned otherwise they will bite you in a different place.

They are sneaky so be careful!

I am not sure if climate change, the economy, or whatever else is going on is a factor but there appears to be more WEVs and F/FEVs (family/friends emotional vampires) than ever before.

It is imperative that you face these toxic people head on or they will drain you.

Instead identify the people in your life that are energetic, resilient, and nurturing.

Reflect after you spend time with them about what makes them the way they are and how you feel around them; in other words, what is it about them that brings you up versus knocks you down? 

Write out your thoughts and keep reviewing that list – especially when you are faced with someone that you suspect is an emotional vampire.