Beware Of Emotional Vampires
- Next1 of 11Glo
- Previous Next2 of 11Interview With The Vampire: Warner Brothers/Photofest
- Previous Next3 of 11Fright Night: Columbia Pictures/Photofest
- Previous Next4 of 11Bordello Of Blood: Universal Pictures/Photofest
- Previous Next5 of 11Interview With The Vampire: Warner Brothers/Photofest
- Previous Next6 of 11True Blood: HBO/Photofest
- Previous Next7 of 11Queen Of The Damned: Warner Bros./Photofest
- Previous Next8 of 11Twilight: Summit Entertainment/Photofest
- Previous Next9 of 11The Vampire Diaries: The CW/Photofest
- Previous Next10 of 11True Blood: HBO/Photofest
- Previous Next11 of 11Bram Stoker's Dracula: Columbia Pictures/Photofest
- Beware Of Emotional VampiresWhat Your PDA-Style Says About Your Relationship
- 10 Things Guys Think When They First Meet You
- 12 Dating Rules to Break Now
- 9 Things Men Should Never Say to a Woman
- What to Watch, Read & Shop in June
- 8 Things Men Learn in the First Month of Marriage
- 9 Conversations To Have Before Marriage
- 10 Things Men & Women Will Always Disagree On
- Fights Grown Women Have With Their Moms
- Best Movie Quotes for Getting Over a Breakup
- 10 Best Beach Reads for June 2014
- Life Lessons Dads Can Teach Their Daughters
- 11 Reasons to Consider Dating a Divorced Man
- 8 Things That Make Guys Feel Insecure
- 8 Proven Tips for Moving On After a Breakup
- 8 Proven Tricks to Strengthen Your Marriage
- Best "Non-Required" Reading for Moms
- 8 Life Lessons From "Sixteen Candles"
- How to Overcome a Creative Block
Intro_v01a1 of 11
Vampire 1012 of 11
While a mythological vampire takes a victim's blood in order to remain immortal, an emotional vampire feeds off you mentally, emotionally or financially, says Wanis. The goal of both is the same: to take for their benefit, even if the process ends up harming someone else. You might recognize some of the common emotional vampire types: drama queens, narcissists, control freaks and people who constantly play the victim.
Spotting A Sucker3 of 11
There are only two types of relationships, says Wanis: symbiotic (when two people mutually benefit each other) and parasitic (when one person feeds off the other). "We can equate an emotional vampire to a parasite," he says. "When we're around one, we'll feel sleepy or drained. Ask yourself, 'Does he or she care about me aside from what I can do for them?'" If the answer is no, then you're dealing with an emotional vampire.
Why Me?4 of 11
If you're already plagued by low self-esteem, then an emotional vampire is more apt to make you their prey, says Wanis. "And the worse you feel about yourself, the easier it is to fall victim." But in some cases, he says, vampires can allure us by appearing exciting. "Drama queens and narcissists in particular tend to have larger-than-life personalities," he says. "Before you know it, we get sucked into their webs."
How To Deal5 of 11
"Sometimes, even when we are aware of them, we don't know how to break free from the bites of vampires," says Wanis. And in certain cases, we can't. If you have emotional vampires for family members, then you may be obligated to spend time with them, particularly around the holidays. While you probably can't change their ways, he advises adopting the following tactics to manage your interaction.
Distance Yourself6 of 11
When trapped in conversation with a vampire, Wanis says to maintain your composure by reminding yourself that, no matter how hurtful or hysterical the person gets, you're not responsible for his or her behavior. "Separate yourself mentally and emotionally by saying internally, 'I understand that the way others respond to me is about them,'" he says.
Keep Your Calm7 of 11
"When you hold tension in your body, you respond with tension," says Wanis. Breathing deeply allows you to release that tension and make mental space to "remind yourself that an emotional vampire's whole intention is to get a reaction." He advises taking their power by not giving them what they want from you.
Play Pretend8 of 11
Imagine that you're dealing with a 5-year-old, suggests Wanis. "Vampires are limited in their emotional awareness and by their negative emotions," he says, noting that they may not know how to break through the issues that make them they way they are. When you pretend that you're dealing with a child, you'll have more patience, he says, and you'll also be firmer.
Fight Back9 of 11
At some point, you will need to confront the vampire. "You can say, 'If you want to continue to have a relationship with me, then I need you to speak to me another way,' or, 'I know I've done some things wrong in the past, but if you continue to criticize me, then I will end our relationship,'" says Wanis. He also warns against socially isolating yourself. "Don't give the vampire all your time, energy or heart. Build new, healthy relationships. "
Don't Be A Victim10 of 11
"We teach other people how to treat us by the way we allow them to treat us," says Wanis. "When you state your boundaries, you'll feel better about yourself." For example, if you tell a needy friend that you will no longer answer her late-night phone calls—and stick to it—she will learn not to call you after the time you designate. "The better you feel about yourself, the better you'll make sure other people treat you," says Wanis. "You won't be a victim of an emotional vampire for very long."
Do You Suck?11 of 11
"If your primary behavior in your relationships is playing the role of the victim, the drama queen or the criticizer, then you're the emotional vampire," says Wanis. But don't fear if you fit the profile. "All of us have the ability to gain awareness," he says, suggesting you change your behavior by practicing its opposite. "If you're a criticizer, you likely grew up with a critical parent and also criticize yourself," he says. Start praising instead of putting people down.