Does your friend drive you up the wall with endless rants and criticisms? You may be dealing with an energy vampire who’s sucking the happiness out of you.
Needy, controlling, negative, manipulative, and sad people. In short, energy vampires. These are those types of people who just can’t seem to be happy in their own lives or for other people. They simply suck the life and happiness out of you.
How to tell if you’re dealing with an energy vampire
Energy vampires are totally, utterly draining. Hence, the term. They suck out all your energy leaving you exhausted and miserable. If you want to avoid being their next victim, look for the following signs so you can steer clear.
#1 Backhanded compliment. “Whoa, your shoes look good on you. Not everyone can wear such weird shoes—you have weird taste anyway.” “You could almost pass off as a doppelganger for Johnny Depp, but your chin looks like Kanye West.” Ever had those kinds of pseudo-compliments thrown at you?
Well, those are backhanded compliments that only a bona fide energy vampire can give. You know you’re around energy vampires when they are supposed to compliment you on something yet it somehow makes you feel insulted. Actually, they just can’t appreciate anything.
#2 Attention whore. Energy vampires like to be in the spotlight, whether by gloating about their achievements, acting like a victim, or putting other people down. They just feed off all the attention and they easily get upset if they don’t get it. So watch out for your successes whether in school, at work, or in your personal life. An energy vampire will not be happy that you are getting accolades and will do anything to stomp them out if they’re not headed their way. [Read: 16 clear signs your friend is a real attention whore]
#3 Pity party. Since energy vampires love all the attention, they often play the role of the victim to get it. Today, most energy vampires even post their pity parties on social media just to get extra satisfaction by basking in the “likes” and “poor you” comments from people. Little do these people know that the energy vampires are in fact leaving out certain details so they come out in better light. It’s like they’re sucking out the energy from other people yet wasting it over their own self-made misery.
#4 Critical Christy. They are very critical of other people, even of events that actually no one has any control over. When you’re around energy vampires, all you hear are criticisms. If you tell them how the new intern is doing great, they will easily find something bad to point out. Well, everyone has shortcomings and it should be a matter of understanding and acceptance. However, for energy vampires, everyone has a problem, when in fact the only problem is their attitude. [Read: 12 ways to ignore someone who mentally stresses you]
#5 Always right. It’s one thing to be stubborn and it’s another thing to be energy-vampire stubborn. Energy vampires are always right and there’s just no going around it. Even if you reason with them or parade the blatant truth in broad daylight right in front of their eyes, they will still believe their way and will never admit that they’re wrong.
#6 Two-faced. Energy vampires also tend to be two-faced. This is when they treat you like their bestest best friend ever, but the moment you turn your back, they mercilessly and horribly attack you. They will never sum up the guts to tell you straight to your face what their problem is.
They will go through all lengths to “work with you” yet, at the same time, secretly keep tabs of the things you do wrong *at least in their eyes* and rat it off to other people, therefore making you look not only bad but also clueless.
#7 Cold and calculating. Energy vampires will do everything in their power to get what they want, even if it means stooping so low. They lack empathy towards other people, so they use them like robots or puppets to achieve their own goals or even their whims. They feel like other people are put into this world for them to control, and so they do just that, without any regard for other people’s feelings or circumstances. Deep inside, though, they know that they can never get through anything without having people to control and manipulate. [Read: How to pinpoint narcissistic traits in a person quickly]
#8 Dispiriting discourse. Forget about confiding to energy vampires. They will just take your worries and turn it against you, making you feel even worse. Energy vampires are experts when it comes to convincing you that you are a loser, worthless, stupid, ugly, or just not good enough. They are great at repeating these things to you over and over, at every opportunity, and if your guard is down, you will easily believe that what they are saying is true.
#9 Under the magnifying glass. Energy vampires are also well-known to have laser and microscopic vision. This is, however, only towards anything negative. Even the smallest, slightest transgression is such a big deal to them, and they will make you feel like there’s something seriously wrong with you.
When you try to correct what you did wrong—even if you really did nothing wrong—the situation just escalates into a cardinal sin that, for the energy vampire, is utterly unpardonable. However, it’s just their tactic to make you feel tied and obligated to them. [Read: 10 ways to recognize selfish people and 5 ways to detach from them]
#10 Memory of an elephant. Not only do energy vampires notice every small error and make it a big deal, they also have such great memory retention. This is a killer combination that will make you forever wrong or awful in their eyes. You forgot to greet them on their birthday? You accidentally broke their crystal vase? You failed to return on time that coffee maker you borrowed? Energy vampires have a long list of your mistakes and shortcomings that date so far back you don’t even remember what you did. But oh, they do.
#11 Suffer spectator. If there’s one person who likes to watch people suffer, it’s the energy vampire. Energy vampires take pleasure in the pain and strife of other people, even those who consider them as friends or loved ones. When someone laughs or delights when you get into hard times or even just accidentally hurt yourself, you know that they do not care for you and they just feed off your pain. No matter how you look at it, their entertainment is all at your expense. [Read: 14 things fake people do no matter how hard they try to hide their traits]
#12 Complaints, complaints, complaints. That officemate, that classmate, that family member—you know, that person who just yaks and yaks, spewing complaints about everything? That’s an energy vampire. You ask them about their day on a bright sunny morning and their disposition just makes it all dark and cloudy again. It doesn’t matter if they have the best job, the perfect house, or are just living the life—energy vampires see way past all these blessings to find one small mar in their life to endlessly rant about.
#13 Depressing. Since they are not happy with their lives and suck off everything negative around them in their own personal vacuum, they have nothing to give back but negativity. They see nothing good about anything, and they have nothing good to say, either. So they’re left radiating darkness and negativity that can also affect you and eventually dampen your otherwise sunny disposition.
No matter what you do to help them or make them feel better, energy vampires are just trapped in their own negative world and probably their lost hopes and dreams, leaving themselves empty and hollow, with no recourse but to leech off other people’s energies just to survive. No wonder you feel depressed and drained when you’re around them!
If you know people who do the things mentioned above, get out of their way, pronto! Don’t associate with them and try to avoid them at all costs. Hanging out with energy vampires will lead to either you being their next victim, or you being transformed into a soul-sucking energy vampire too!
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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...