Could You Be An Emotional Vampire? How Do You Know?

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We’ve all got a smidgeon of vampire in us, especially when we’re stressed. So, cut yourself a break. It’s admirable to admit, “I think I’m emotionally draining people. What can I do?” Can’t be free without such honesty. Then you can change. These are some common indications that you’re becoming a drainer.Emotional freedom

  • People avoid you or glaze over during a conversation
  • You’re self-obsessed
  • You’re often negative
  • You gossip or bad-mouth people
  • You’re critical, controlling
  • You’re in an emotional black hole, but won’t get help–this strains relationships and won’t free you

The solution is always to own up to where you’re emotionally stuck and change the related behavior. For instance, one patient in computer graphics kept hammering his wife with a poor-me attitude about how he always got stuck with boring projects at work. Instead of trying to improve the situation, he just kvetched. She started dreading those conversations, diplomatically mentioned it to him. This motivated my patient to address the issue with his supervisor, which got him more stimulating assignments.

Similarly, whenever I slip into vampire mode, I try to examine and alter my behavior or else discuss the particulars with a friend or a therapist so I can change. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance when you’re stumped. Also, review the types of emotional vampires in Emotional Freedom (the Narcissist, The Victim, The Controller, The Criticizer, The Splitter)  to make sure you’re not one of them.

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

 

Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her companion book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She blends the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Gateway Asia. Her other books are Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at www.drjudithorloff.com.

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