HIDE YO’ KIDS, HIDE YO’ WIFE.
There are some people you simply shouldn’t have in your life. In addition to the standard rapists, murderers and psychopaths, energy vampires are a particular breed of human you should avoid like the plague. They’re IRL Dementors and sap you of your psychic energy. They also make you feel wanted, emotionally blackmail you so you stick around, and, after you’ve given them everything you can, they vanish when they’ve taken as much as they can from you. But worst of all? You bloody love it.
Energy vampires are a tricky lot, because they’re usually very lovely, seemingly compassionate, and super charming. They make you feel special and needed and validated. You probably feel flattered by the attention they give you. But this is obviously completely confusing, as this is how normal people behave around people they like. So how do you spot the energy vampires? We’re here to demystify the minefield that is energy vampires’ mindfuckery. And we’ve thrown in some Expecto Patrona (pl. Patronum) for good measure.
HOW THEY ACT
THEY S CLUB 7 AND BRING IT ALL BACK TO THEM
The biggest sign you’re with an energy vampire – like, red flag, Do Not Pass Go – is when you start to notice that every conversation ends up centering around them. You always end up feeling as though you’re playing the supporting role in the production that is the energy vampire’s life. You don’t realize you’re playing this role until you’re already in it. But by then, it’s too late. The energy vampire’s established the power dynamic.
THEY TREAT YOU AS A FREE THERAPIST
Some energy vampires milk the victim card and draw you in with their wounded puppy act. They share intimate information with you and you think this is you forming a bond, as if you’re their confidant, but slowly you become their emotional dumping ground. You just keep holding the shit they pile on top of you. After a while, the burden becomes too much.
THEY’RE ALL TALK
They’ll promise you this, that and the other, but will they follow through? If you look back, like really take a step back, you’ll probably see a bunch of empty statements with zero commitment from their end.
There’s always some catastrophe going on in their lives. They invite chaos and drama into their world, and because you’re their pillar of support, they’ll share the fun with you. Oh, and bonus: If ever you bring this up with them they’ll be “deeply offended” or “hurt” by you asserting yourself.
Be it through outright dominance or subtle manipulation, they ultimately control every situation. They twist it around so that they have the power, and you are simply a vessel or portal for them to get what they want.
HOW YOU FEEL
Energy vampires can’t help but drain you of your—wait for it—energy. Underlying most energy vampires’ sucky behavior (pun intended) is egoism and insecurity. As a result, they might be incredibly narcissistic and not realize/not give a shit how much they drain you mentally, emotionally, and even financially.
…and/or overwhelmed. They’re one in the same when an energy vampire’s concerned. There’s a degree of expectation with every interaction with you. Their selfish motives are usually from being given everything when they were younger, or being completely neglected. Regardless, you get stressed by silly things you shouldn’t get stressed about, such as: not returning their missed call straight away, helping them out with something despite already being stretched too thin, or being able to pick them up from somewhere.
This piggybacks off of the first point that energy vampires bring everything back to them. After a while, this gets fucking boring. It’s dull! One-sided convos are dull! So, if you’re feeling bored by what they’re saying, it’s probably because they’re not interested in your life or your thoughts and opinions.
…to give them something you don’t want to give them, or pressured into a situation you don’t agree with/don’t care to be in. Their inimitable ability to make the time you spend with them feel really special/cool/rebellious is what compels you to go with it, but, it’s usually a bad idea and you get nothing out of the experience.
Deep down, you know whether this person is good for you. Your gut never lies. You always know if someone’s fundamentally bad news. Something will always stop you from fully giving yourself to them, and this is your intuition saying, “No deal.” Listen to it.
HOW TO RESPOND
LIMIT YOUR TIME WITH THEM
If, for whatever reason, you’re forced to keep them in your life, minimize your time with them as much as possible. Ultimately, the greatest loss you incur when placating or humoring an energy vampire is time. You waste time, one of life’s most expensive commodities, from burning it with them. Protect yours!
By giving your energy vampire a strong reaction or questioning what they say, you spur them on, and trying to convince them to see a different perspective is futile. They thrive off antagonism and don’t really listen to what you have to say if it doesn’t align with their viewpoint. Save your breath and just smile and nod, just smile and nod.
IDEALLY, WALK AWAY
How you will ever really tell if someone is an energy vampire is by emancipating yourself from their grip, by showing yourself enough self-love to walk away. Saying I’m going to love you and leave you is the only way to escape their energy-sapping behavior. You will know that you have given yourself the most precious gift of all: your freedom.