Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Emotional Vampires

Wow! I'm drained just thinking about this post! Emotional Vampires are what I call people who suck the life out of you when you have to deal with them and is a characteristic of a Takist that I did not cover in my post (Serial Takists) last week. After experiencing the burst of adrenaline while dealing with a Takist, you are left drained. Add to that a guilt trip and multiple dealings and it all leads to some serious fatigue. Over time, just anticipating having to deal with a Takist zaps your energy long before the actual, unavoidable confrontation occurs. But, while ALL Takists are Emotional Vampires because of this energy drain, not all Emotional Vampires are Takists. In fact, they are two totally separate things for a reason.

Here are some quick similarities and differences. Unlike Takists, Emotional Vampires are not violent. However, like Takists, Emotional Vampires seek control. Their tactics are VERY passive as they utilize guilt playing on sympathy to get their way. Most of them have a very low self esteem and are in constant search for validation. Emotional Vampires rely on others to make them "feel good" and will latch on to anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest in their plight. Also like Takists, the Emotional Vampire complains A LOT. Their complaining is geared toward influencing a persons sympathies. Their chief complaints, many times, will be centered around their health... or rather the lack of. Be careful with this when dealing with a Vampire because unlike Takists, Vampires present themselves as very pleasant all the time. Emotional Vampires will play the martyr when someone they're dealing with doesn't fall for their tactics. Instead of getting outwardly violent, they bully themselves with internal emotional torment that lends to propel the dealing with the next person (more ammunition for sympathy if you will). In my experience, Emotional Vampires will very often choose to be with a Takist. The two seem to give each other what they are looking for. The violent Takist gives the Vampire pity stories to share with others for sympathy while at the same time receiving control they are after when the Vampire martyrs themself. I have seen this relationship dynamic work very well for both although quite uncomfortably for others when the two are in the same room. They both seem to have mastered the codependent relationship and constantly give the other what they need. We all have that friend who tells horror stories about their spouse. For years you have consoled them or cried with them always asking yourself and them, "why is such a terrific person with such a monster? You deserve better." OH, BIG MISTAKE! As I said, be careful. That wonderful person is playing into your sympathies. If this is the sixth time you found yourself saying that about and to the same person, then you're dealing with a Vampire.

I'm going to conclude this by saying that it is my opinion that both Emotional Vampires and Takists subconsciously know that others cannot deal with them and that they will get their way because of it. In most cases, it's just easier to give in to get rid of them. I do not believe that either of them are purposeful drains on anyone, but rather have been programmed by everyone they have ever interacted with who did not tell them that their behavior was inappropriate which leads to quite a dilemma... they just do not know any better and have no clue how to change. What could have been easily corrected while they were young has become a compulsion that, like a drug addict, will have to result in hitting rock bottom before they can change. Unfortunately, like Takists, older Vampires are usually sad lonely people. By the time the Vampire is old, the Takist has either moved on to another victim or has died from physical manifestations of the years of constant self-poisoning from anger. It is a sad ending for the Vampire who could never quite feel love for themselves. The Takist on the other hand....


Roxanne said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, I know one of them and deal with them daily!!

Aeryn Kelly-Reitmeyer said...

This is someone I know to a T. I've had to separate myself to just a cordial relationship over time because of the traits you described.