Ask Dr. Orloff

How do I deal with an energy vampire who is a family member?

Question: Dear Dr. Orloff,

I recently discovered that a family member is an emotional vampire on 5 levels (narcissistic, dependent, controlling, critical, and a splitter) and it has literally been sucking the life out of me. I am in the process of taking back my own life and breaking free from this person and would appreciate any advice. I wonder if it is possible to have emotional freedom from someone like this and have them in your life even on a limited basis?
Seattle, WA

Answer: Dear Lauren,

Yes, and you must find emotional freedom with everyone, even difficult people. The way to do this is to stay very calm, set clear boundaries, do not engage negative energy with the family member, and keep your interactions short and sweet. This is spiritual training, learning to keep your cool and not engage negativity. I would suggest limiting your contact with the person until they prove they can change their behavior. If they cannot you have a choice. You can either accept it and let it slide off of you or keep limiting your exposure to the person. They must see there are consequences to their bad behavior. Good luck. I know you can do it!
All the best,

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