Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

The Emotional Vampire Survival Guide

Judith Orloff - Wednesday, December 02, 2015
 

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

'Tis the season to be with family, friends and co-workers. Some of them will make you feel positive and elevate your mood. Others will suck optimism and serenity right out of you. Vampires do more than drain your physical energy. The super-malignant ones can make you believe you’re an unworthy, unlovable wretch who doesn’t deserve better. The subtler species inflict damage by making smaller digs which can make you feel bad about yourself—for instance, “Dear, I see you’ve put on a few pounds” or “You’re overly sensitive!” Suddenly they’ve thrown you emotionally off-center you by prodding areas of shaky self-worth. To protect your sensitivity, it’s important to name and combat these vampires. The concept struck such a collective chord in my book Positive Energy that in Emotional Freedom I illustrate how it applies to protecting your emotions and not absorbing other people’s negativity. In the book I discuss these vampires to watch for and ways to deal with them.

SIGNS THAT YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED AN EMOTIONAL VAMPIRE

(from “Emotional Freedom” by Judith Orloff MD)  Read More

How to Deal With a Drama Queen

Judith Orloff - Friday, October 09, 2015
 

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ”Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”


The rollercoaster antics of a drama queen can put you on overload, and wipe you out.

They’re the Sarah Bernhardt of energy vampires. They have a breathy flair for exaggerating small incidents and make them off-the-charts dramas. Life is always extreme, either unbearably good or bad. They spend life flitting from crisis to crisis, energized by chaos and histrionices. We dare not ask how they’re feeling--they might tell us. As a psychiatrist I’ve observed that a drama queen’s parents often equated concocted “disaster” with intimacy.

Years ago, I was amused to see that a magazine had a “Drama Queen for a Day Contest.” They described their winning contestant as, “She came. She puked. She conquered.” A stark truism about how this vampire operates on a subtle energetic level. The way they drain is to exhaust our life force with intense emotion; then they go in for the kill.

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4 Ways to Break Up with a Narcissist

Judith Orloff - Thursday, July 02, 2015
 

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

In my psychiatric practice I’ve seen how hard it is for my patients to break up with a partner who’s a narcissist. Narcissists can make you fall in love with them so hard that it feels like you're giving up a part of your heart to leave them. And they use every manipulation in the book to get you to stay.

On the surface narcissists can seem charming, intelligent, caring—knowing how to entice and lure their way back into your life. But once they reel you back then they revert to their egotistical selves. Their motto will always be “Me First!” Everything’s all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, crave admiration and attention. They can also be highly intuitive, but use their intuition for self-interest and manipulation.

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6 Tips to Deal with Anger Addicts

Judith Orloff - Thursday, June 04, 2015
 

(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Power of Surrender: Let Go and Energize Your Relationships, Success, and Well-Being)

Anger addicts cope with conflict by accusing, attacking, humiliating, or criticizing. Unchecked they can be dangerous and controlling.

Anger can tyrannize relationships. One woman I treated had stopped having any male friends because she was afraid of her partner’s unrelenting jealous anger. If she went to lunch, for instance, with a male colleague from work her partner would barrage her with cell phone messages during the meal. Initially, unable to set boundaries, she appeased him by giving in. My patient told me she didn’t want to “create a war at home” by doing anything to provoke his wrath. Clearly, we had our work cut out for us in therapy. She didn’t want to leave her partner but she needed to be strong enough to assert healthier limits in the relationship.

The common dynamic with anger addicts is that they use anger to cope with feeling inadequate, hurt, or threatened, whether the person acts out occasionally or not. Anger is one of the hardest emotions to control due to its evolutionary value of defending against danger. When you’re confronted with anger, your body instinctively tightens, the opposite of a surrendered state. It goes into fight or flight mode. Adrenaline floods your system. Your heart pumps faster. Your jaw and muscles clench. Your blood vessels constrict. Your gut tenses. In this hyper-charged condition, you want to flee or attack.

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How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People

Judith Orloff - Thursday, April 02, 2015
 

(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Power of Surrender: Let Go and Energize Your Relationships, Success, and Well-Being)

Passive aggression is a form of anger, except the anger is expressed with a smile instead of the typical expressions. Passive aggressive people are experts at sugar coating hostility. They often use procrastination, bumbling inefficiency, and the exasperating excuse of “I forgot” to avoid commitments or let you down. They appear eager to please, but know exactly how to make you mad. They can be infuriating because of their seductive or innocent veneers.

Here are some examples:

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