How to handle emotional vampires
People in your life can drain your energy for many reasons. They could be narcissists who constantly need attention and praise. Maybe a little dramatic, negative or a lot of complaints. On the other hand, they can cause toxic positivity, giving you a wonderful turn to everything in a way that makes you feel fake and tired. Or maybe they are very good people, but the game is just bad for you.
Whatever the scenario, if you’re dealing with an emotional vampire, there are things you can do to manage the situation and protect your energy.
“If you avoid this person, that’s my first recommendation,” says Dr. Natalie Dattilo psychologist Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It simply came to our notice then [an option], get fixed and set boundaries and hold on to them. “
“It’s important to limit contact,” says Dr. Susan Albers, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. “You don’t have to answer the phone. You do not need to reply to an email. Always have an escape plan. If you answer the phone, you can say, “Oh, there’s laundry so I can only talk for 5 minutes.” Setting boundaries is the key. ”
Another important step in handling the emotional vampire in your life is to recognize what your problem is.
“It’s easier to point the finger at other people and say, ‘This is how it is,'” says Dattilo. “But you can’t do anything to change them. It’s always a good idea to start with self-awareness. Recognize how you feel after the interaction.”
Ask yourself: what exactly makes you feel emptied of this person?
“It’s important to differentiate between what a crisis is and what drama,” Albers says. “Is what this person is really a crisis or is it dramatic?” Reducing your feelings and reactions can help you store energy around you when you need to spend time around.
“You can feel like they have a potato,” Albers says. “They throw feelings at you and they want to catch you. You can turn that around. Tell them they can handle that. It’s not your responsibility. “
Self-care and compassion
Practicing good self-care can help. “When we’re in a better place, we communicate better and tolerate others,” Dattilo says. “We’re going to be drained because life is stressful. But when we take care of our emotional needs, it protects us from other people and their emotional needs.”
It also suggests looking for ways to regain control. Reformulating the situation in your head can help. “Use it as an opportunity to cultivate compassion, to be present, to suffer discomfort, to be attentive, to listen. Otherwise you can participate as you feel more than the opportunity. You have something to say about this. You can control the experience of this person. That’s a good way to protect your energy. “
It also helps them prepare for and interact with these interactions. For example, Albers says if the person who is wasting energy is a member of the family, ask the spouse or someone else in the family to back up or not leave that person alone.
A little creativity also helps sometimes. Albers says if they don’t like the word “no,” there are other ways to say it. Try “I can’t do it right now”, “Let’s do it tomorrow” or “I’ll look at you again”.
Energy vampires at work
Another place you can meet emotional vampires is at work. In this case, it can be particularly difficult to avoid people or set boundaries. This is especially true when the emotional vampire is your guardian or boss.
Dr. Joel Carnevale, an assistant professor of management at Syracuse University, has been studying the impact of narcissistic leaders in the workplace. His research shows that leaders who seek attention underestimate their employees.
When employees don’t feel valued, their productivity falls, Carneval says. People are willing to talk less. They value the energy of the work as less.
It’s probably not an option to avoid your supervisor, but there are a few things that can help. First, try to understand why people do it. If your success is threatened by a supervisor, e.g. stroke their ego asking for help. It may also be helpful to have a narcissistic leader at work who would benefit from playing in ways that are more inclusive, cooperative, or enjoyable. At the end of the day, everything comes back to you.
“Pay attention to what you can control,” Carnival says. “You can’t control their behavior, but technically that’s not what causes fatigue. It’s your reaction to those situations. I’m a fan of mindfulness and meditation. It can be a useful tool to learn how to react to these situations and how not to deal with them. “
When to seek help
If you are so deep in the situation that you cannot reach your own consciousness or calm, a mental health the professional can talk to you and help you sort things out.
“A counselor can help you find clear and pleasant ways [to address the problem]”Albers says.” They can also calm you down by taking good care of yourself. Energy vampires can make you feel guilty. “
According to Dato, the counselor can be especially helpful if the energetic vampire in your life is important to you, such as a parent or partner. In this case, the counselor can help with communication, especially if the relationship is interfering with daily life. And if your relationship turns into emotional abuse, seek help.
“That’s not something you want to learn to tolerate better,” Dattilo says.