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What is an Energy Vampire? 19 Signs to Spot Them In Your Life ASAP

People known as an energy vampire will suck your energy and exhaust you until you have nothing left. So here are the signs to spot them in your life.

energy vampire

Needy, controlling, negative, manipulative, and sad people. In short, an energy vampire. These are the 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.

There’s nothing about energy vampires that makes them uplifting or good to be around.

From the term energy vampire, they will suck your energy and anything good you feel in the moment. All they can contribute to your life is negativity and doubt.

When you’re with an energy vampire, whether it’s a friend and especially a partner, they’ll encourage you to live a miserable life. We’re not even the slightest bit exaggerating, but this is what it feels to be around them.

[Read: How to deal with negative people and stop them sapping your energy!]

Why are energy vampires the worst to be around?

When you’re around an energy vampire, there’s nothing about them that feels good to be around. They’ll drain and exhaust you from your energy until you have nothing left. If your friend or partner is an energy vampire, they won’t motivate you or encourage you.

They won’t bring out the best version of yourself or your best potential, but they’ll do the exact opposite. The moment you constantly surround yourself with them, your life will be miserable and awful.

They thrive in manipulating and controlling others purely for their benefit, which is just one thing that makes them exhausting to be around. [Read: Do you feel emotionally drained? 15 reasons and cures]

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 bonafide 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.

They pass them off as compliments when in reality, they’re actually insults. They’re incapable of giving a genuine compliment because of how unappreciative they are. [Read: Backhanded compliment – How to react kindly or give back in kind]

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 quickly 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. An energy vampire is the biggest attention whore, and it’s because of this, they’re draining to be around.

If the focus isn’t on them even for a second of a moment, they won’t be happy. [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. 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 leaving out specific 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.

Ever come across attention-seeking posts like these? “I’m so ugly…” “heartbroken and cheated on…” or “I always try to tell the truth and lose friends because of my honesty…”

A pity party post on social media isn’t put up with the intention of sharing news, it’s done with the intention of drawing energy from others. [Read: How to stop feeling sorry for yourself & end the pity party]

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 quickly find something terrible to point out.

Well, everyone has shortcomings, and it should be a matter of understanding and acceptance. However, everyone has a problem with energy vampires, when the only problem is their attitude. They’re ungrateful individuals, and it seems like they always have something to criticize with everyone.

They always manage to point out your flaws every time, and it makes you miserable to be around them. [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.

This is just one of the many aspects that makes an energy vampire intolerable to be around. They always have to be right, and there are never instances where they admit their faults and wrongdoings. If you’re friends with an energy vampire, you’ll always feel exhausted by their need to be right.

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.

Being two-faced is why it’s practically impossible to trust an energy vampire. They’re incapable of being real with you.

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. [Read: How to spot a fake friend – 13 signs they can fake but can’t hide]

7. Cold and calculating

Energy vampires will do everything in their power to get what they want, even if it means stooping low. They lack empathy towards other people, so they use others 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 draw energy from, so they do just that, without 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.

They always want to be in complete control to manipulate others, so they always have the upper hand. [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 them 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.

You know another thing that makes them so exhausting to be around? They will naturally bring out your worst aspects, even without trying. You’re just more insecure when around an energy vampire.

9. Under the magnifying glass

Energy vampires are well-known to have laser and microscopic vision. This is, however, only towards anything negative. Even the most minor, 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 is utterly unpardonable for the energy vampire. However, it’s just their tactic to make you feel tied and obligated to them.

This is also connected to energy vampires not being able to say sorry. So even if you did nothing wrong, you end up making up for it anyway. [Read: 20 ways to recognize selfish people and stop them from hurting you]

10. Memory of an elephant

Not only do energy vampires notice every small error and make a big deal out of it, but 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.

They have the sharpest memory just so they can use all this information against you when the time comes. Don’t underestimate the ability of energy vampires to remember everything. [Read: Should you forgive and forget? 15 guidelines to follow]

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 friends or loved ones.

When someone laughs or finds 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.

They thrive when you’re hurt, and this is the most obvious evidence that their love for you isn’t genuine and real. [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.

They’re highly ungrateful for everything in their lives, so they also complain about everything. Whether it’s on minor or major things, they still complain. [Read: Playing victim – 13 signs & reasons why it makes your life way worse]

13. Depressing

Since they are unhappy 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.

Being around an energy vampire is so exhausting and draining because they’re also living a negative life. They reflect negativity because they’re living miserable and unsatisfied lives. [Read: 15 signs a friend is using you & draining the happiness out of you]

14. Can’t take responsibility

The charm of energy vampires is frequently uncanny. When things go wrong, they may be able to slink away due to their attractiveness. Every time, they can find a way to blame the issue on someone else.

They can’t bear any responsibility for their part in any conflict or dispute. Often, you’re left with guilt and, in some cases, the blame.

15. Always involved in some kind of drama

Energy vampires are constantly in the face of problems, their emotional and theatrical conduct leaping from target to target.

When they’ve landed on you, they hope that you’ll absorb this drama, solve it, and right their ship so that they can go on. [Read: Drama queen alert! 12 steps to calmly deal with the diva]

16. They always one-up you

An energy vampire isn’t interested in sharing the spotlight with anybody else, not even their own lover or family. This is one of their narcissistic traits.

They have difficulty expressing their absolute and utter joy in someone else’s company. When meeting their emotional needs, they prefer to take energy from others in the form of negativity.

17. Act like a martyr

The energy vampires place all of their burdens on others to feel better about themselves. Most of them even refuse to take responsibility for their actions, which have made their lives more complicated than they should have been in the first place.

They’re always on the search for emotional support to boost their self-esteem and ego. [Read: Martyr complex: How to recognize signs of martyr syndrome in you]

18. They intimidate you

Intimidation is a strategy that some energy vampires use when they need to stir up some emotional fuel, and it is a step away from criticizing or bullying you.

Fear is a robust emotional response that occurs in many people. If an energy vampire can make you feel uncomfortable, they use it to feed their egos.

19. Rely on guilt trips

Energy vampires commonly use guilt trips to get their way. They realize that shame is a powerful weapon in the battle against kind and considerate people.

If you’re going to get someone to do something they don’t want to do, you may as well get them to do it by making a request *guilt trip them!*. [Read: Guilt-tripping in a relationship – What it is & how to respond to it]

How can you deal with energy vampires

No matter what you do to help them or make them feel better, energy vampires are just trapped in their own hostile 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!

There’s not much you can do to fix them or help them change, so the next best thing you can do is give yourself a wide berth and stay away from them.

[Read: 15 signs of envious friends to recognize the very harmful ones in your life]

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! They will make you lead a miserable and unhappy life the longer you tolerate them. 

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...