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How to deal with emotional vampires

An introduction to emotional vampires

Emotional vampires come in various shapes and sizes. Despite the several sub-types, one factor that they all have in common is that you feel emotionally drained after spending time with them. Besides feeling drained, they often take up your time and in some cases money as well. Emotional vampires tend to run in families. If you encounter one, you will want to avoid it and their family members as well.

Some emotional vampires have money. Those with money often use their money as a lure to entice you into their power. Once you are caught in their power they will take the life out of you. In the case of those with money, they will use your desire for money and greed as a way of keeping you in their clutches. They will use not only money, but also drugs, sex, secrets and anything else to have something on you in order to keep you in their control. “You owe me” is a frequently heard phrase coming from these types.

Some people use the term emotinal vampires. Other terms used are 'users' and 'takers'. We often have a sense about these types although there are different names for them depending on our experiences with them.

Emotional vampires are dangerous to your emotional and physical health

Emotional vampires are dangerous to your emotional and physical health

What are the types of emotional vampires?

The first type is the needy, helpless type. The needy persons often play the helpless role in an effort at getting you to take action. They often interact with a passive way of taking action. They ‘suggest’ or ‘ask’ for what they want from you. Sometimes it is direct, sometimes it is indirect. Whether direct or indirect, they know what they want. For example, if they want a glass of tea. They may make a comment that they are thirsty, or ask you for a glass of tea directly. When I think of this type I often see those large eyed cats that often look so pitiful and helpless.

Another type is the depressed vampire. These are the ones that move slowly. Sometimes they make sounds of struggle as part of their routine. They make every day look like it is a struggle for them. These are easily recognized. They often say very negative things and seem to energize themselves by cutting down and talking about others. They often have a long term frown on their face. When there is laughter it is often forced and almost a cackle rather than genuine belly-jostling laughter. Due to their extreme depressed mood, they often suck the life energy out of you and everything in the room. I have seen these types suck the life out of electric fans and other inanimate objects as well. You can feel these types when they enter a room.

The worst is the necrophilia type. This type is the depressed vampire on steroids. They take depression to a new low. This type does not enjoy life at all, They often talk about their losses, and surround themselves with somber music or even the lack of music. Their rooms are often morgue like, with photos and mementos of life that no longer exists. They items they have reminded them of their losses rather than the happy times they had. When they review their lives, they recall the mistakes, deaths and losses. They talk about death and how life itself is a struggle. If you listen to them, there are often themes of ‘revenge’ or talking about how people do not deserve things. It is this morbid aspect that separates them from the depressed type. Goths may look scary, but these types of persons actually do take the life and enjoyment of life out of you.

How to deal with them

1, Set boundaries. Know ahead of time how far you will go with people. Do not let them violate your boundaries. When they hook you into a crisis, they often violate your boundaries or force you to compromise so that the guilt from compromising your values can be used as leverage against you.

2. Pay attention to your gut feelings. If you gut tells you to stay away, listen to it. When you sense the draining of energy, do not ignore the sensation. The good Lord gave you those sensations in order to protect you from such types of people.

3. Learn how to turn away from guilt. When you can not be hooked, they do not have any power over you. Remember they only have the power that you give them. The more you give into them, the stronger the hold they have on you. Don’t feel guilty if they have hurt feelings.

4. Surround yourself with life and lively things. Listen to lively music dress lively and so forth. Make it a point to enjoy life. Since emotional vampires avoid life and liveliness like the plague, use it to re-energize yourself and keep them away. Rather than garlic, the thing that keeps away these types of vampires is liveliness.

5, Move a lot. Activities like dancing are invigorating. The despondency that often accompanies emotional vampires tends toward extreme passivity the antidote to that passivity is activity and lots of it.

What are their methods?

It is not unusual for emotional vampires to be in crisis and have ways of ‘hooking’ you into their crisis. Once hooked a kind of bonding takes place. Since you went through a crisis with them, they expect you to stay with them. You may hear themes of how only you could understand them, or how only you can help them. There will be other comments of how you are the exception to miserable world in which they live.

Besides crises, they often use crying episodes as another hook. The crying or threat of crying often creates guilt feelings in their victims. True guilt occurs when you violate a moral principle or law. In dealing with them you have broken no law or principle, they want you to feel like you owe them something. Some family structures used guilt as a motivator in raising their children. Children raised in such homes are often more vulnerable to these emotional vampire types.

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I need your opinion


Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 17, 2013:

Boston Mom,

It thrills me that you found my hub helpful. I smiled when I read the unhooking the doorbell, since I did that one myself. In my mind, boundaries need to be set. It puzzles me that your husband does not want you to be firm. Perhaps his resistance to boundaries will fade when you have him "do something" about setting boundaries. He is not having to deal with her. There is something to be said for keeping the peace, yet when keeping the peace mans others violate the boundaries of your home and show no respect, something needs to be done. Perhaps he does not realize how important it is to you for him to protect you. Maintaining your boundaries is part of protecting you. It protects your heart, your sanity and the sanctity of your home. I have problems with men who do not protect their wives or make them feel safe. When people violate my boundaries, it bothers me and raises safety issues.

With her just walking into your home, it is not just being neighborly, it is downright rude and present a safety threat to you and your child.

You may have to give her hints. If that does not work, cut off or cut short the conversations. You can also refuse to answer the phone when she calls. There is no law that says you have to answer the phone. It becomes a form of tyranny with how people rush to answer the phone when they do not have to. It took me a while to learn that one, but it has eliminated a LOT of stress and has helped me keep my sanity when there were many intrusions of boundaries I set.

Like the Kevin Costner move, "If you build it, they will come", When you set the boundaries, they will test them. You have to communicate that you mean what you say. If you do not value your boundaries, they will not either.

I hope this helps you.

Boston Mom on April 25, 2013:

Thank you for writing this article! I've been reading all of the posts on here and it really hits a chord with me. I know like many posters on here the problem is we are too kind hearted--the perfect target for the emotional vamp.

I am 9 months pregnant and have an emotional vampire for a next door neighbor for a couple of years now. She is constantly calling and wants to be BFFs, but she only calls to quickly ask me how I am and then go on about her therapy sessions, her teenagers, and herself for an hour of emotionally draining time. If I don't answer both phones, she rings my doorbell saying "You could be in labor now and you aren't answering so I had to come over because you could be in real danger." IF I don't answer that, I get 4 long text messages about what's new in her life.

She gets jealous when I go walking or do things with friends other than her. If she sees me walking with my 3 year old outside, she asks if she can take a walk with us. She calls me when I am out running errands, asking, "Are you home!?? I need to show you this thing I just bought. Call me when you are at a time when you are home to see it." Then when I get home, she texts or calls again as I am pulling in my garage inviting herself over. When I tell her I am pregnant and need to rest or that we are napping or sick, she responds very coldly on a brief text. Recently a couple of times she has walked right into my house to bring me some magazine when I accidentally left the door unlocked.

When she was depressed months ago she would come over here crying and sobbing. Like many of you I got sucked in because I like helping others and I just felt soooo guilty that I always offered a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. After several months my blood pressure got too high and I told her I just couldn't take it anymore with my pregnancy. She stopped for a few glorious months. Now it's definitely picked back up now that I am due with baby in a few days and I feel so trapped in here with my mini blinds drawn.

What am I going to do with a new baby here napping and someone with poor boundaries ringing my doorbell waking him up?

I have thought about selling our house, disconnecting the doorbell, because the excessive phone call avoidance and door bell ringing avoidance aren't working when a neighbor constantly monitors if you are home or not. What should I do? My husband thinks that being firm (snapping on her) and getting it out in the open will make more problems, and that I should just give her what she wants but try and limit time and keep it cordial (you never want to piss a neighbor off). My husband used to laugh at first and compare my situation to a funny Seinfeld episode. Now it's spiraling into a Lifetime movie. lol. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this post is so long.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 28, 2013:

Stellar Phoenix Reviewer,

Wow! Thank you for your kind comments. I am thrilled that you found the content awesome. Feeling motivated to start your own blog is quite a compliment. You made my day.

Stellar Phoenix Review on February 22, 2013:

This article is spectacular! You most certainly know how to keep a reader interested. Between your wit and your awesome content, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost..ahaha) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! Stellar Phoenix Review

Better Living on January 19, 2013:

Yes, they do suck the life out of us. Thanks for the tips!

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 31, 2012:

clara 27,

That is some HEAVY stuff. I have been hesitant to deal in depth with the psychic type of draining and connection that you have mentioned. That is some serious stuff. I am glad that you got help with your situation. Breaking away is sometimes the best intervention there is. Thank you, thank you for sharing.

clara27 on May 31, 2012:

I dont necessarily believe that energy vapires are monsters or evil. ( some are but thats only a handful of vamps who actually know what they are doing). Those who do it on a subconciouse level are not evil per se, they have their own internal suffering to deal with and the only way for them to stay alive is to take energy from others. I know this because my mother was one.

All my life I gave to her, mostly unknowing and unwillingly, but i think my soul knew and gave her what she needed. She was a very depressed person because of her upbringing and she also had apsberg--so most of her communication was through the spirit since her brain was not all there. She was diagnosed with cancer shortly after i married and left home, so we decided to take her in since i´m an only child. She lived a very health life(physically) to the point that her cancer didn't spread or grow for 10 years! Unfortunately she developed a very close relationship with my son, who in time fell into a deep dark depression for no apparent reason. When he went into therapy, he would speak my mothers words and feelings. We had to cut all ties both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Fortunately he escaped. But that was when my mothers cancer began to spread. So then she hooked herself onto my middle daughter who started having night seizures, migranes and depressive moods. In those 5 years, my mothers cancer again stopped its growth. It was not until my two daughters and myself started feeling pain in the same place my mother had her cancer, that i decided it was time to put my foot down. It was my daughters or her and she had already live for 75 years feeding off of me. two psychics, a hemeopathic doctor (empath) and a family constellation therapist had already alerted me to her not only feeding on us but subconciously throwing her negetive energy at us in an attempt to have us help her carry the burden. I allowed all this to happen because of my love for her and because i was conditioned to do so from a very young age, but my daughters did not have to go through that. During that time, a niece had come live with us because she had become orphaned. She had a mental problem ( learning disability, speech impediment and ADD) my mother hated her and did everything in her power to let her know that. She constantly nagged me abouot me caring more for my my neice than for her. So, after telling her that I needed a break from her, i sent her away to live with a close relative while I got my emotional life in order. A year later, she passed away.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 24, 2012:


Thank you for your comments. From your comments you have a great deal of experience in relationships. Some of the insights that you have gained only come through experience. I appreciate you sharing them with us.

scarlett7 on May 23, 2012:

I aggree with Sue's comment to Laura ( also thank you for my reply), sometimes when were down/deppressed it feels like everyone is out to get you and the world seems like a scary place. Its hard to tap into logic/reason and your just trying to get through each day. Im so glad i have had friends stand by me when i went through it! I know i must of drained them unkowingly this is why i want to give back so much to society. When you finally have something to live for and a meaning to your life you finally realize your not walking around like a zombie but with a purpose lol :) I know that there are people who get off on zapping and controlling others energy. Their charm is off the charts and they seem to relish the effect they have on others ( like a moth to a flame)They groom people to worship them. Its sad this society has created so many narcisistic types who believe the world owes them something! Everyone needs support sometimes we are only flawed humans however its those who expect others to constantly prop them up as they 1) choose not to face their issues 2) they dont think they have any issues 3) they feel others are merely just here to rescue them 4) they see kind giving people and enjoy taking them for a ride. I feel truly sorry for so many people out there living in denial. Of course there are people who have gone through abuse and trauma so intense it may be buried in their subconcious and may take years for them to face it. I take my hat off to those who choose to move forward through all the incredible challenges and setbacks. Peace,love and light xx

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 16, 2012:


Thank you for your touching words. I am glad to hear that things turned around for you. It gives me and many others hope. Avoiding the toxic people is a great start on making changes.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 16, 2012:


A depressed person is not automatically a vampire. There are significant differences between the two. Depression can be helped with therapy and medication. Depressed persons are not 'energized' by doing evil, like emotional vampires are. There are other differences as well but for the sake of brevity, I will leave it at that.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 16, 2012:


Thank you for sharing your comments. I am glad that the hub was useful to you. Although the pangs of guilt hit when you sever ties, it is all forms of emotional control. "Real" guilt only occurs when something wrong has been done. Severing relationships is not a wrong.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 16, 2012:

Annoyed Carer,

I am not always on hubpages. I am doing good to check my mail and respond on a monthly basis. I have approved your comment and concerns. They are good ones and contribute to the dialogue.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 16, 2012:

Mortified Carer,

Thank you for commenting. Your passion definitely comes through. I understand your concerns. In some cases, there are mental health issues that need to be addressed. In some cases, it is not a matter of mental disorders, but rather pure evil. Having dealt with both the mental health population and emotional vampires, I can attest that there is a difference between the two groups.

In the case of the mentally ill, they do not feel good about what they do, in the case of the emotional vampire, they enjoy it. They thrive on the pain they inflict on others. Like a negative energy vortex, the more there is, the more satisfied they are. They do not feel that they can rest unless they have inflicted some pain.

I do not mean to demonize those with mental health issues, only bring attention to the existence of this type of person and the challenges associated with trying to deal with and live with them.

For "Christ's sake" I do present them as monsters, since that is what they are.

scarlett7 on May 15, 2012:

Dear Sue,Thanks for an incredible page. I enjoyed reading your wise words and the heartfelt and honest replies of the readers. I can relate to both sides as I was a needy emotional vampire to becoming the victim of emotional vampires :) it has taken me therapy,soul searching and cutting ties with toxic people to move forward. I now attract positive people,enjoying studying ( to better myself and make a difference in the community)and respecting myself. It has taken me almost 39 yrs to stop feeling sorry for myself and to stop reliving my childhood memories. When you decide enough is enough you will do anything to move forward and to break the pattern that runs in your family ! I had to hit rock bottom several times to snap out of my trance. There is nothing wrong with putting your needs first and to ask for help. Depression is an illness when you live with it its like trying to walk under water. Your mind plays tricks on you. I have had many friends who enjoyed their misery and did not want to change. It takes commitment,courage and hope to let go of toxic people and situations. The day I realized I deserved better my whole world changed. I finally don't have anyone in my life who drains me when people try to pull me into their control drama I now called them out on it a. I feel tough love works better then wrapping people up in cotton ball it actually allows them to wallow in their self pity. I wish anyone who is letting go of guilt and trying to overcome difficult situations luck,hope and love on their journey. I lost myself trying to save others until I realized I needed to save must first. Peace xxx

luna on May 11, 2012:

so a depressed person is a vampire... people always think others are the problem, playing the victim card, what a turn on.../sarcasm

NotForMeThankYou from Winter Park on May 03, 2012:

I am so glad I found this post. I have never heard of the term emotional vampire, and am glad I finally have learned about this.

It has opened up my eyes to the ones I have present in my life, and will no longer feel guilty because of my choice to remove myself from their circle of "friends."

Thank you.

Annoyed Carer on April 18, 2012:

Sue, why did you delete my last comment? Is it the case that anything which may counteract your notion of "emotional vampires" gets deleted? Or did what I say to you hit a nerve?

Mortified Carer on April 17, 2012:

I just happened to stumble upon this post, and I am honestly pretty disgusted by what I've read here. And how many people support this notion of "emotional vampires".

Many of the descriptions you used here could be used to describe people with serious mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, bi-polar, post traumatic stress or schizophrenia.

They might not be the easiest people to deal with or to be close with (especially if it is a parent you find yourself taking care of), but they are still people, just like you.

To liken them to vampires is like turning them into a monster in your mind, and that doesn't benefit you or them.

What you should be doing is helping these people as much as you can whilst simultaneously seeking support yourself so you can cope with the stress. You should never have to deal with a mentally ill person yourself. It only leaves you as bitter, and resentful.

If they will not seek the medical help they need and you are suffering abuse, then walk away. That's all you can do.

But do not claim that the mentally ill "suck the life" from "nice people" and that you need to do this, that, and this, to make sure you stay away from such people and never encounter them. That's an incredibly selfish outlook and one of the main reasons so many people with mental health problems still suffer serious stigma and are prevented from ever getting the help they need.

Do you think these people feel good about the way they are? Of course not! They would love to be bright, and cheerful, and "go dancing" as you put it. But they cannot. Because their life makes them feel miserable and ashamed of who they are. And it is not their fault they feel this way.

A little understanding goes a long way into helping people constructively.

This entire page is nothing more than depressing, spiritually, and from a carer's point of view.

It smacks of a carer gone bitter from bad experiences in caring. And if that is the case, then I do feel for you deeply - I've been in such a situation myself.

But to put out this kind of post that could be read in a way that makes people shy away from those who need help, just so you can vent your frustrations at the world, is selfish. You need to get over whatever your past issues are.

If you are not fit to be a carer, do not do it. Get help, and see a therapist to heal your wounds.

But do not demonize those with mental health issues based on your own bad experiences.

You have people posting here concerned they might be one of these monstrous "emotional vampires" for Christ's sake! What if someone with major depression reads this post and decides they are an "emotional vampire" and doesn't want to "suck the life" from their family so decides to take their life instead?

What would your advice be then?

Apologies if I come off as being rude, but this has infuriated me entirely. It angers me to see carers aiding the stigma against the mentally ill when they should be fighting against it.

Please, do not delete my comment. I feel some perspective had to be thrown on this, and that perspective may possibly help someone reading who feels they are too much of an "emotional vampire" to seek help.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on April 13, 2012:


That is a tough one, in that I focus on assisting the people impacted by vampires rather than helping the vampires. My fist thoughts are to identify activities that energize him and do those things together.

nikki on April 06, 2012:

I think i might be an energy vampire. I'm still unsure as to which one though. During sex, my partner always feels drained and can never continue. He is also a very spiritual being. So i guess you can say that he has alot of energy floating around. But, I do fear that it is taking a toll on his body. help?

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 21, 2012:


Thank you for sharing your story. Dealing with vampires literally sucks the life out of you. In some ways, she seems like a stalking vampire, if there is such a thing.

David on January 29, 2012:

I went from one Emotional Vampire to another.

My off and on ex GF was one of those. I let her go after years of coping. When I let her go, magically a beautiful Asian woman next door decided she wanted to befriend me.

After living here for a year she just started talking to me one day, it was about the awkward silence that came about when she told her boss who was dropping her off that she is divorced. I gave her advice on how guys think and what not. We spoke about past relationships and what ended our last ones. I told her about my ex, who became emotionally distant and self centered. I would feel her sucking the life out of me. She would do things like come over here to not have sex, demote me to friend status and expect me to be cool with it, and book herself to be overly busy so she would not have time for me. The last 2 years of our relationship, I would see her once a month or less than 15 times a year. I was being strung along. It was killing me so I let it go.

About the girl next door. She is not someone I would normally be attracted to, I like large voluptuous women. This one is very skinny with 0 curves, and cannot turn me on. She is very pretty though, and for some reason I fell for her. Is this even suppose to be possible ?

Though I never revealed how I felt. She made it clear early on in our supposed friendship that she does not date friends. And how her partner must be Asian.

Eventually she started calling me more frequently. The conversations are always about her. She has this habit of cutting me off when I am speaking about something. Usually when we speak, it's about the same things, or it is about her failed dates, or other guys, and how she sees me as a brother.

After researching this I've come to the conclusion that I am in what is said to be the friend zone. A dark place between hopefulness and misery for a guy.

I think about her all the time. Now her new thing Is keeping busy. She has her work then she books a self defense and a yoga and belly dancing and volunteering work etc.... Just like my ex use to do. Which is all ok, but it somehow feels like she is throwing it in my face. Perhaps it was a mistake for me to reveal what upsets me. She also tells me about a guy she is on the verge of dating who is not cool with her being so busy. I told her how people want to be with someone who has time for them. Then she went on about how she has time for no one, in a cheerful manner. She then told me I sound sad. Well I did sound sad, and I was really drained. That is only 1 of many experiences I had with her.

I've been trying my best to avoid her. After 3 weeks she contacted me twice this week and it was pretty painful. She rewarded me by telling me I am a good friend, and how she wished her other friends were like me. But she will not add me to her facebook. Why is that ? Is she afraid of what I'll she ? What I think about it, it's probably not something I would want to see.

Another thing. When we go out and ride on public transportation. She will wander off, like I have to keep an eye out for her and actually follow her. Then when we are on the bus or train, she will sooner sit next to a stranger than next to me. I am not some smelly bum or a person someone would be ashamed to be around. I don't understand her game. I've fed her, treated her, raised her spirit, been used as a scratching post, I'm not suppose to like this person.

I found this page when I Googled something along the lined of, "My friend is draining me".

Another thing. We never hug, I once told her I know not to do that or else she would freak out, she said yes she would. On her request I took her with me to a party and she met some of my friends. At the end of the night we were dropped home. She hugged my friends but not me. The friends that dropped us off are a couple, so when the guy called me and told me about how he hugged her and how he has her figured out. I got pretty upset. Is this jealousy ? I think I wouldn't be human if I felt no way about it. My friend and I got into an argument as I was explaining to him what I'm going through, and this was no time to have a popularity contest with me. Today that friend wants nothing to do with my draining friend and advises I keep away from her.

After reading your post, It seems to me as though I am dealing with the as you described "Needy helpless Type" of Vampire. I do not call her cause there is no point, she will upset me, yet she lives next door. When she does not call, it's disturbing. I think I need to move out of here. I cannot focus on important things that better my life. So much detail I left out, but I will finish for now, as I am feeling disturbed and weak at this point. I really would like it if I can help her and I plan on confronting her about her ways very soon before I break. I think when I do that, her and I won't have anything more to discuss. Perhaps I will be free and able to focus on me once again.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on September 02, 2011:

The Blagsmith,

After thinking about your comment, I realized that you are very right about the opposite of emotional vampires. There are those special people who give to others in a good way. Good Point!

The Blagsmith from Britain on August 06, 2011:

There are so many comments and they are still coming. I indeed used the term 'taker' in my own hub (Givers and Takers:Superjuiced) about my own personal experiences of dealing with people in care work environments. However, there are also people who are the opposite of the emotional vampire as you have portrayed here. Who need to emotionally discharge by giving some of their energy to people.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on May 12, 2011:


We all have a lot of work to do on ourselves in healing hurts from our pasts. My work seems to never end. The overuse of the term 'emotional vampire' waters down its impact. I think it is a good term when used correctly. One of the problems that goes with being wounded by emotional vampires is that you often believe the lies and labels they put on you. I found it a challenge to break free from those lies.

I wish you well. It thrills me that I was helpful to you. Knowing that my own 'hell' is helping others takes away a lot of the pain.

Laura on May 09, 2011:

Thank you Sue, I think you are right about me and my human connection starvation. I have a lot of work to do on myself, I can not depend on the reactions or behaviours of others. it's hard but I'm getting there. It's good to hear from an expert in the subject that I don't seem to qualify as one of this horrible beings called "emotional vampires", I hope I never do. I am sorry for the rant, the fact that people use this term in such a light way and to describe anyone who is bothering them in some way makes me angry. Thank u for the reply and for the article, both helped me a lot

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on April 29, 2011:


Thanks for writing. From your comments it looks like there are some people who do not know the difference between wanting to make a connection with another person and an emotional vampire that sucks all the life out of another person.

I understand how being in an environment filled with pain, sadness, loss and other energy drains can impact one's inner being. In such cases, I would think that you were starving for human connection, acceptance and love. It is sad that for many people 'getting real' or emotionally honest is seen as a threat. I suspect something like that was occurring in your situation.

My experiences with emotional vampires is that they drain any kind of emotion out of you, they despise any signs of life or liveliness. Although they may at times put up with such moments, they are out of their element at such times. They surroundings at home are often akin to a morgue or funeral parlor with no signs of life or affect.

There are differences between being starved for human connection and 'looking for prey' to suck the life out of.

Thank you for stopping by.


s on April 19, 2011:

Viviane, just reading your comment was so freaky!

I've a very similar situation with my mother.

I cut her out of my life years ago, but as my younger siblings live with her, its very difficult to make a clean break. she says she has cancer too but that doesn't change anything...The last night she called out of the blue...i hadn't properly spoken to her in about 4 or 5 years and she tried everything to worm her way back into my life. i told her i didn't want or need anything from her, that all she ever did was take and abuse. After i felt good, strong and sure of myself, but the next day the familiar fuzzyness and dizziness returned and I knew she had managed to link me! I talked to the inhouse councellor at my college and she helped me get over the worst of it but since I answerd the phone I've felt lost as if I was a child again.

I want to break the link and make sure she never makes another one again, call these people emotional vampires or whatever, if youv ever come in contact with one and were aware enough to notice the negative affect they have on you, and your life you can understand why i need to do this.

Laura on April 18, 2011:

Hi Sue; I'm sorry for the long post and the bad orthography, not a native speaker. I have been on both sides, I have been "atacked" by an emotional vampire and I have been (or have been classified, or confused? don't know anymore) one. My emotional vampire was a childhood friend,we lost contact for years and then reencountered, she used to call me every day to talk about stuff that was going on at her office, she would talk to me about people I didn't even know, I spent hours on the phone just listening to her talk and talk, she never had money and asked me several times if she could move in with me, fortunately I had the strenght to say no. I got her a temporal job at my office, she messed up and I had problems because of it, I felt drained, I felt anxiety everytime the phone rang. Long story short, I went through the whole guilt thing and finally managed to get away from her. This lasted for about a year.

Now, the times that I have been classified as an emotional vampire. First I have to explain that my life situation has not been easy, due to a lot of circunstances I grew up in a really depresive enviroment and that gave what you could call a "sad" personalitie. I have fixed a lot of it, gone to therapy, etc. but still, it's hard sometimes to get away from the fact that I was tought that life was sad and really hard; I was also tought to live for others and to give a lot, this makes me expect the same from the people I know. Anyway, the first time I was classified as an emotional vampire was by a friend, she's a psychologist, the interaction with her was really hard and "artificial" because everytime I brought up a subject that involved emotional issues she thought I was asking her for theraphy, so I had to avoid talking about what was on my mind, it was exhausting. Sometimes she talked to me about her problems and that's when I felt like I could tell her about mine, I always made sure to ask "And how are u?" because I remembered the bad experience I had with my emotional vampire. Once I had a problem with a coworker that left me crying, I called her... she told me (heard me crying) "I am sorry, I do not have time for this now" I can't describe how bad I felt, I never called her again. Second time: (and this was the one that hurted the most) I have this friend who was actually my teacher in elementary school, she became friends with my mother and was / is like a sister to me. She was always there during hard times, she was always the "go to" person, my mom helped her a lot and she also helped us a lot. Since my mom died she is the closest thing to family I have. I used to call her whenever I had a problem, I didn't feel I was abusing her, it was just the way I learned our relationship, she was a confident. Lately she's been drifting away, never calls, never offers help anymore, we had this tradition where she came to my house for dinner every first day of the year (this happened for 20 years) and 2 years ago she din't come, told me she was going on vacation, I understood, but thought she would say something like "I'm sorry, lets have dinner next week" but no... she didn't make it last year or the previous one either, without any explanation. I have stoped calling her also, I think she got tired of me

I read Liz's comment, I agree with her 100%. I also miss the concept of unconditional love and friendship, I miss when someone told you "you can call me anytime, I'm here for you" and really meant it. I have stoped talking about my problems and put on a happy face for everyone because I don't want to seem needy or clingy, I need help. I need friends, I need to talk about my issues, but I never ask for help because I'm afraid of people thinking I'm an "emotional vampire" or a negative person, it's exhausting. Emotional vampires do exist, I know them, but there are also selfish people who will offer love and frienship IF and WHEN they feel like it, and in order to hide their selfishness they blame it on the person in need calling them Emotional Vampires.

I also see with terror how people are calling sick relatives and friends emotional vampires??? it is not the person that's draining you, it's the illness! yes, it's exhausting to deal with a sick person and to take care of them, but it's not their fault, are they supposed to apologize and take care of themselves? should we just go and drop them in the middle of nowhere because WE don't want to deal with the illness? and of course, these people (the ones taking care of the sick) wouldn't feel so emotionally drained and alone if they had someone there to support them and help, but no, they are left alone because others consider them emotional vampires. This has to stop!!

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on April 04, 2011:


Wow! You get it! The guilt is a tough one to face. Letting go of what is not yours is a good start. Feeling guilt just because someone else induces it gets old fast.

Reading your post is like reviewing many of the hurdles I went through. Cutting them off politely would be nice. I found that polite did not work. Setting boundaries and sticking to them was a big early step. I wish you well in dealing with your situation.

Alison on April 03, 2011:

I am living with one at the moment. It's taken me six months to figure out what was wrong when I started to get insomnia after spending time with her and showing signs of anxiety. The guilt is a tough one to deal with but you really are not obligated to these people. I noticed the signs when I was tired all the time and the fact I was always feeling angry when spending time with them for no apparent reason. They start to do favours for you to try and hook you in. They entice you with all sorts of things in the beginning. Then going for coffee turns into a four hour saga, like driving the longest route home just to talk about failed marriages and other negative topics. Depressing! I think the answer is to just cut them off politley. Be to busy to engage with and start doing things that lift you spirits again. You must be on guard and distance your self from these people at all costs. Sad but true.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on March 27, 2011:


One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was that I had to give myself the freedom to break free. No one was going to do that for me. It took me a while, due to the guilt, but it was worth it.

Andria on March 20, 2011:

Thanks Sue. You're right that reasoning doesn't work. I'm definitely learning that. I'm working on not answering the phone everytime she calls and limiting the amount of time I spend with her. It's hard to ignore her calls. I feel so much guilt but I know it's better in the long run.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on March 19, 2011:


I am glad that the hub was helpful. Your situation sounds like an emotional vampire. There is definitely an emotional drain on you along with the whole dilemma of being trapped. If she wont get help, your options are limited. Although you can not cut ties with her, what kind of boundaries can you set with her? She needs nhelp and friends.

Emotional vampires do not respond to reasoning. It only serves to agitate them. Reasoning will only wear you out.

I hate that you have to go through what you are going through.

Andria on March 18, 2011:

Thanks for this Hub. I'm just learning about emotional vampires. I think my mom is one but she fits several of the categories. I definitely think she's depressed but she won't get professional treatment. She's also very paranoid and everything turns into a major issue with her. She constantly complains and uses me as her confidant. I want to be there for her but it's hard to listen to her complain non-stop even if she does often have reason to complain. She has no friends and is always bitter about things (houses, trips, money) that other people have. She's a perfectionist and if one of her co-workers makes a mistake may their chosen God be with them because she is Hell on wheels. I love my mom dearly but she is draining me dry. Cutting ties is not an option but nothing seems to work. There is no reasoning with her and I constantly feel guilty even if I'm not sure why I feel guilty.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 14, 2011:


The stake has merit. Metaphorically, all vampires need to be grounded. The stake represents that grounding. When they get you and your emotions all wound up, they take control. The stake brings them down to reality. They often can not deal with reality very well.

Tradition also claims that cutting their heads off works well also. They do not use them to think, other than for scheming and plotting more mischief. I think that when dealing with them, one needs to recognize there is no soft approach. One has to deal with the issues 'to the hilt' and recognize that there is no playing nice with such types of people. When you are dealing with them you can not try to protect their feelings. They view any niceness as weakness.

I appreciate you stopping by, giving it a read and leaving a comment.

Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 01, 2011:

Great hub. There is only one method with dealing with emotional vampires. That is to drive a proverbial stake through the heart, in other words, say a permanent goodbye to them and begone with it.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on January 01, 2011:


Thank you for your comments. You are the first who has commented on the comments.

Dealing with the emotional vampires is definitely a challenge that has gotten easier with time, sharing, support and continuing to help others.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on January 01, 2011:

James L.

I loved your comment, "Carry your own bag!" Many times those little sayings and statements are very helpful. I am so glad that my hub was of use to you. It was encouraging to read your response. It sounds like you are a person who has been in the process of growth for some time. Thank you for sharing some of what you have learned. It helps everyone else.

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on December 28, 2010:

A very interesting hub with equally interesting comments too.

I think these emotional vampires are often sick with physical aliments, or perhaps just older and worn out from living. Older people are often unhappy and difficult to deal with because they have a lot going on. Of course they have outlived friends and family, and life may not seem the same for them.

It is best to deal with these people in a positive way. Sometimes it is also best to seek outside help in caring for such a person, however every situation is different.

I feel for you if your mother is one of these vampires, it has to be very difficult. Thanks for sharing, it may help others in the same boat.

JamesL on December 28, 2010:

This is brilliant to read and very relieving. I have realised that after personally being diagnosed with "mental illness" I have come to see that much of "that" has been due to vampires as such. So called friends who just dump their problems at me, a "nice" guy. DON'T BE "NICE" !!! Trust me on this...still be yourself but be firm with others. One cannot help the weak (and the truth is these people are all weak, I say that with marked derision and disgust, by going "down a level".

Use this saying: "carry your own bag", it's helped me. And if nothing else works I think it's okay to finally "lose it" as I did with my drug addicted brother after (too many) years of politeness and tolerance (I got mildly violent but was righteous...this might not have occurred if dealt with years ago and absolutely no pleasure or ego stroking was gained...I felt embarrassed and ashamed at myself somewhat for letting him put me in a position where I acted that way [Ghandhi was "the man"]). It's all about cultivating truth and honesty as a forefront quality and not being afraid of who you really are...and having confidence too.

Some people just have disgusting selfish ways and well...others don't as much...just choose to be around constructors not destructors.

It is hard and confusing as to think that a person would use decency and compassion against another and is very shocking and maybe reflective of different values and upbringings. This is "a" reality or "reality" and see it as a challenge, something to be improved and conquered in your own characters internal defense structures. If that seems like blaming the victim for the crime, another strategy is being physically absent and taking notes of emotional triggers for upsets (ie phone conversations with Mr X for example) and appreciating the small victories if a large one is not able to be presently gained.

Remember (source Life of Brian Monty Python movie) ...always look on the bright side of life....phew hoo phew hoo ...and an old Chinese saying goes something like this : Love thy neighbour but don't tear down the fence.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on December 21, 2010:


I wish you the best. It is good news that you are waking up to her games. From what you told me, she is 'working you over'. The set up of telling you how you know "how truly great" she is and then zinging you with the blame about AA is an obvious set up.

She is pulling out all kinds of emotional cards to play using guilt, praise, etc. A common thread through all of them is her avoidance of responsibility.

Thanks for sharing.


Marie on December 07, 2010:

Loved this article! Explains exactly what I've been feeling/thinking about my older sister for years!

I was lucky enough to live far away from her for the past few years, but have recently moved back to my hometown. I've also been taking care of my mom after her recent major surgery, so my vampire sister has been around more than usual. My mom gets upset when we don't get along and it's one of the few things that makes her cry. So, I tried to give my vampire sis, a distant and tenable, second chance.

Guess how that worked out, lol? I answered her phone call the other night, which I had previously stopped doing. She drunkenly told me I was the reason she didn't complete AA, cause I didn't believe in her enough. As though my previous attempts to help, never happened. I had quit trying before I moved, once I realized how she really was sucking me dry. That, and the other behavior you mentioned in your article (the guilt, the "bribes", the "you owe me", the revenge, the past mementos, the do-it-for-me suggestions, and everything else you mentioned)

She called me her "best friend" and told me I'm the only one who knows "how truly great" she is..

Freaked out doesn't begin to cover it. Should have just stuck with my gut and common sense :\

Boundaries and not upsetting my mom, are once again a balancing act. Wish me luck!

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on December 06, 2010:


Thanks for writing. I am glad that you enjoyed the article. Although it is unpleasant, some emotional vampires do run in families, in terms of repeating some of the behaviors and attitudes. It does not mean that you have to repeat the patterns of the vampires, but more a statement that the possibility is higher in those environments where it has been running rampant.

I can understand your dislike of the term and the association with emotional problems. I am well versed in those matters, and in using the label, it is in reference to people who are more driven by 'meanness' than mental illness. There is a big distinction between such behaviors being done out of meanness versus those who have emotional problems. The attitude and motivation behind each group is different.

I am not sure how society is supposed to deal with such types. My own experience was to "get out and get away!" Fortunately the vampire I struggled with was not able to stalk me using the internet or other such resources although she tried.

I understand your idea of 'goodness'. The emotional vampires I have encountered made it a point to pollute the pure little soul and thrived on destruction. As weird as it sounds, she cussed in her sleep. At times it was directed and at other times, just general cursings. She was such an energy drain, clocks would stop working around her and electrical appliances were drained. It was bizarre to see and even worse to experience.

Liz on December 05, 2010:

I love the article, but did not appreciate the comment about "emotional vampires run in families, so avoid their family members as well." My mother is a complete and total "emotional vampire" but I am not like her. I also have reason to believe that she would not have turned out that way if she had been raised with love and compassion.

She was horribly abused by her stepmother. She's told me tales of being beaten until she couldn't breathe and on a near daily basis. I can't help but think she's suffering from narcissism which is a pattern that runs in families with a history of abuse. Narcissism is a gilded cage. You can bet that any narcissist you've met is NOT a happy person.

All in all, I like the concept of emotional vampires but dislike the permanency of the term. It's as if to say that all people with emotional problems are unfixable and inherently flawed, when that's not the case.

Each of us are born into this world pure little souls and are corrupted by a number of forces. It is better to acknowledge the goodness that lies in each person. This is a pathway to true healing. This pathway lies inside each and every one of us.

Otherwise, what are we supposed to do with these so-called "emotional vampires"? Drive a stick through their soul? The terminology "vampire" is entertaining and lends a us vs. them sort of mythical "scary movie" feel, but is ultimately flawed.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on November 18, 2010:


Thank you for visiting the hub. In terms of being misinformed, I write from my own experience. You may have had another experience or be approaching the topic from another perspective.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on November 18, 2010:


Wow! Thank yo for stopping by and being so honest. Given my experience at the hands of an emotional vampire, I keep my distance. I have tried to understanding them from a distance. Getting too close becomes too painful for me. Your comments are insightful and enlightening.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on November 18, 2010:

Dead Beat Poet,

Thank you for the addition of the poem. It adds something to the site. I had never thought of the topic being poetic.

archangel on October 11, 2010:

i am surprised that so many of u who warn people about e.vamps are so miss informed sorry about my spelling i never have been very good at the subject i am a true e vamp yes i do feed off energy and am blessed with a silver toung and and throug feeding can learns ones most secret thoughts and emotions that is why i stay home alot i while others like me expecialy those who do not know quite what they are exactly or are plain old sociopathic and or narcasistic beliefe that my gift is a curse. if u wjsh to no more u may email me or u cn just toss this a side as another whako

DeadBeatPoet from San Francisco on September 29, 2010:

They are all around us by day and by night,

sucking everyone dry without even trying.

To them they are never wrong and always right,

the rest of us do the work and all of the dieing.

They make us think that we feel for them,

all the time taking without giving a care.

To them they are the flower and we are the stem,

they sometimes think of kindness but don't ever dare.

They think we live to make them great,

making us wince and cry all the time.

To get what they want they use lies sex and hate,

behind their flashy smile lay green rotting slime.

They will take your money admiration attention and love,

until all that is left is your body with some blood.

To them we are all below and of course they are above,

when they say they are helping they are full of crud.

Antisocials are addicted to excitement and Histrionics live for attention,

Narcissists believe they are gods gift and are always seeking youth.

Obsessive Compulsive's seem too good to be true as they often mention,

Paranoids prowl the night seeking their simple one and only truth.

They only need everything whenever they desire,

their power comes from weakness and not strength.

Maintain your self control to connect with something higher,

always have a challenge in front of you for the whole length.

The last thing we need in our lives right now is another emotional vampire.?


lamb79 on September 25, 2010:

Well, I am an emotional vampire.

I am one of the depressive kind and I honestly feel that I need to do this- strictly on a non abusive level.

The reason is- as it often happens with the fictional vampires, there are always... let's say, victims who actually offer themselves. But, have to find more than one at the same time, mostly because they would get too tired of it. Better if they don't even know one another. Sometimes I'll go back after months to suck them dry- so far, it went all unnoticed over the years.

I am not evil in any ways, it's just the way I work. I do not use this to gain any advantage over people or for any financial reason. But there are always two sides of the coin and if there are people who actually need this, then I can turn up and pop them back into balance :) so they can start something new with themselves and I get my listeners. I don't think I'm sick or whatever, it's just the way I work. Quite lonely here at times but got used to it over the years so no problems now.

Wonderful article, it really opened my eyes about myself. Thank you.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on September 24, 2010:


Thank you for your encouraging words. I am glad that you found my hub helpful. Abusive relationships, even from friends is painful. I learned about mine from family, which has its own special pain and abuse.

Your saying "Get a life!" is a good one, especially with these types that try to take it away from you.

Simone on September 23, 2010:

I am so relieved i found this article that catagorised my "friend" as this awful Emotional Vamoire - this is exactly her and after 15 yrs of knowing her have come to the end of my tether and have had to sever the friendship altogether as i could no longer cope with her continual barrage of abuse and put me downs and woe is me's and calling everybody not fit to burn. As much as i tried to turn things around and put the posoitve side to all her moans - she would soon revel in turning it right back round and the strain on me was immmense. She has other friends who are now telling me they feel the same and are nervous about being in her company for any length of time and make excuses for a short visit. Now i am so relaxed and getting back to some normality without her constant drain on my emotions. She is in denial and obviously in her eyes - not to blame!! Get a life - that is what i say. Onwards and upwards :)

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on September 06, 2010:


The emotional vampires do know how to pick us. They have an uncanny knack for it. It is strange how we can see it clearly in others, but end up getting stuck in those relationships again and again and again. I have learned to say "It's not my baby!" and leave those people behind.

Warning lights now go off in my head when people begin wanting to 'share' too much or wanting me to share too much. When they want to be my bff shortly after meeting me, it is a bad sign. I listen to my gut and avoid relationships where I have to be on my guard.

I hope things start improving in your situation. I know that pain that emotional vampires can cause.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on August 16, 2010:


Wow! You have had your share of emotional vampires. There are more of them out there than we care to imagine. Learning how to identify and deal with them is the first step in avoiding them.

Antelope on August 14, 2010:

Hi all

Article and comments are wonderful!! Years' ago, silly me helped out a male friend (ex colleague) when his marriage broke up. He went to counseling, but all the counseling in the world sure doesn't help with apparent narcissistic tendancies. NOTHING was his fault. Even sleeping with that young woman in London. He SUCKED the life out of me - and then went back overseas, saying he wanted to me around in case his ex-wife needed him. We tactfully advised this was not a good idea, and of course he did it anyway, and then he again flipped out when he found out she'd met someone else (and subsequently married). If he comes over this way to visit, I make darned sure I'm tied up with commitments!

Then there's my mother - haven't spoken to her for nearly a month and I feel, well... brand new. I am functioning better; sleeping well, eating better, doing much better at my studies and kicking butt in the pool. My mother has been depressed all her life (my father topped himself when I was young, stepfather was violent). But that was late 70s and 80s, devastating, but you have to move on. She leaves a trail of destruction, with no regard for anyone else. Has also indulged in attention-seeking behavior by claiming she had kidney failure (a check of hospital records didn't show up a thing), and nobody else in the family remembers that one - interesting. She doesn't work/exercise/seek out people or good situations to get in to. She also incessantly complained about people (unless they were running round doing things for her). On my last visit, I noted she wrote on the calendar when I had telephoned/visited and when her (pretty much) only friend visited. That was the last straw; point-scoring as to when I visited and using it against me if I hadn't. Maybe I wasn't making myself clear that I had a life and that all my free time could not be spent with her (listening to how rubbish people are). Now all this has spilled over to others - even my flatmate will now back down when I call him out on bad behavior - was so shocked! Now I think I'll be able to have the next 40 years of my life without blood suckers!!! Have also had to ditch friends (and maybe they ditched me 'cos they were sick of hearing about my mother issues - can't blame 'em), c'est la vie. Best to dump the guilt - it's their problem, not yours.

Thanks for reading.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on July 07, 2010:


You pose an intriguing question as to "Where is the best place for your life energy - a black hole of negativity that can never be satisfied, because the person does not want to change or with your husband,kids, pets etc?"

To be honest, I have not thought that one all the way through. Some of the ways I deal with it is to fill the black hole with more positive things. I try to transform the energy rather than dump it somewhere. When it was overwhelming, I found the coast a comforting place. It was as if the waves had a way of washing away the blackness.

I work at making conscious choices to redirect the energy into a positive and constructive direction. When energy is in motion it can be changed.

As I think about it more, I will tell you more...

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on July 07, 2010:


Your comment reminds me that sadly, many times the emotional vampires are family members. When they are family members, we are torn between love and torment. I wish you well with your sister. Your situation is not an easy one to deal with.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on July 07, 2010:


Thanks for the encouraging words.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on July 07, 2010:


I am so glad that the article helped you with your emotional vampires. They are not easy to get rid of. I find them worse than roaches in terms of irritation and disgust.

Ann on July 03, 2010:

Your comment about feeling relaxed when you think about not having contact is thought provoking. The whispers of guilt of which you speak that entice you back to the vampire and make you feel shame that you would not want to have contact with a vampire which is how they operate, guilt, the pathway into the soul. Where is the best place for your life energy - a black hole of negativity that can never be satisfied, because the person does not want to change or with your husband,kids, pets etc?

Susan on April 25, 2010:

Thank you for this article. It sure struck a chord with me. My emotional vampire is my sister, who's mentally ill. Talking to her on the phone and being around her is so abhorrent to me, I mentally resist it at all costs. It's not the fear of the mental illness, it's her, her negativity, the "poor me" attitude - I just can't stand being around her. Everything to do with her has a "should" in front of it: I "should" call her, I "should" take her for coffee, I "should" involve her more into my life. Yet talking with her is so traumatic, it takes days to get over conversations with her. I keep wondering why I'm so selfish, how can I be so uncaring, etc. I love her, but I hate her personality. She refuses to admit there's a problem or to get proper treatment. I feel guilty, though, for cutting her off, but if I reflect on it, it's a choice that seems, well, wonderful. I relax inside when I think of that - then the guilt creeps in. I feel so ashamed of my feelings that I have to keep asking myself and my husband if I'm doing the right thing. I'm going to re-read the article now. LOL

George Stuart on March 12, 2010:

fantastic article loved it X

2Zong on March 12, 2010:

Thanks for your wonderful article, that helped me out of being with an emotional vampire because I was thinking I might turn to be one if I continue being that close to that person. This is cool! (The Emotional Vampire picture can always scare me anytime I see it lol)

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 15, 2010:


Thank you for stopping by. The topic is scary, especially when you have had to deal with such persons.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 15, 2010:


You have some wonderful insights. I like the way you describe the interaction of people. There are many writers who are now dealing with the "attraction principle" and its associated energies. The issue of emotional vampires is akin to the dark side of such principles.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 15, 2010:


Most of what I wrote is from study I did just to cope with my situation. The material is a mixture of personal experience and the writings of those who have investigated the matter. The analyst Eric Fromm along with those books mentioned below. I recommended them because they were helpful to me during the time I was struggling to cope.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on February 15, 2010:


Cutting off is not always easy, but it is the best way to deal with it. I have found that it is not just about ending the relationship, but also taking care of oneself.

Annette Thomas from Northeast Texas on January 22, 2010:

OOOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!! This is scary! And true. Yikes!

Ann on January 16, 2010:

Phil, if your friends are experiencing you as a positive person then you are not a vampire. I know this term bothers people, it irks my sister as well, but it describes well the exchange of energy between people which can be difficult to put to words. Relationships are about a balance of energy; like a good conversation the energy must go back and forth. A vampire is someone who talks and talks and talks and won't listen to you when you want to talk, a person who shakes your hand really hard when they first meet you. There is no exchange, only taking.

Phil on January 08, 2010:

has this in any way been scientifically proven?

Because people always tell me what a negative person I am while my friends experience me as being a pleasant person.

If I read this then, that would mean I'm one of these...vampires, if you must use that word.

ali on December 13, 2009:

Hi, I totally agree that the way not to lose energy because of an emotional vampire is completely ignoring him right from the beginning. In the moment that you realize that he has this kind of complexes, cut him off. In case it is your close relative, the method is more difficult - you have to cut off just the discussions that lead to emotional exhousting for you. See also this site http://collective-wisdom.in/index.php?option=com_c...

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on December 04, 2009:


Wow! You have been through the grinder with an emotional vampire. Like all vampires, their appetites only grow as they want more and more. It took me a while to wake up to the reality that they wanted more, much more than I or anyone else could give. They also have deeper problems than I could ever imagine. Guilt is what kept me hooked in. I can understand the depth, despair and emptiness of your situation. I wish that I had known about such people as 'emotional vampires' before I was drained.

judeenw on October 31, 2009:

I was in a relationship with a psychic/emotional vampire. He sucked me in and seemed like the perfect man. He had four kids ranging in age from 7 to 12. Soon he revealed the story of his ex-wife and all of her problems. She was really abusive and called him constantly screaming and belittling him.

His kids were really strange and had a lot of social problems, which bothered me, but I wanted to be with him. He used sex and money to keep me hooked in. As time went on I began helping him to deal with the ex-wife and kids, which drained me. I didn't realize how much of my life energy was being stolen by this guy.

We were together for over six years, supposed to be married, but after the engagement I kept putting it off. The problems with his kids and ex-wife made me keep avoiding it. Besides, things were so chaotic that I never thought about planning a wedding. I had my own two kids to worry about, and I kept them away from the b.s. that was going on in his life.

After finally getting him to take his kids to counseling to see what was going on with them at their mom's (he and his ex had joint custody, meaning one week with mom, next week with dad), we found that the kids were undergoing emotional and physical abuse, mom was bulimic and throwing up in front of the kids into the kitchen sink, garbage can, etc., as well as being a chronic alcoholic, and in a very abusive lesbian relationship (no homophobic tone intended).

He finally decided to try and get total custody of the kids, and I helped him all the way. I told him what to do and how to do it. I found myself using all the energy I had to try and make him happy. Finally, he got custody of his kids, which he would never have been able to do without my help.

At that point, I was so drained that I was staying away from him more and more. His kids were with him all the time now, and at the risk of sounding like an uncaring bitch, I just couldn't stand to be around them. They acted like they hated me from the very beginning. These poor kids were so screwed up.

Anyway, as I started pulling away from him, he started up another relationship that I wasn't aware of. For an entire year I tried to break off the relationship with him, but he would show up at my house and manipulate me almost every day, make me cry, miss him, feel like I needed him, and was so sad about the break-up. He always made everything about himself. Everything was about him. I don't think he wanted me any more, but I don't think he wanted to let me go either.

If I ever needed moral support or was upset about something, he would take over and dominate the conversation. All of a sudden we would be talking about him. He would take my problem and relate it to himself and how he was hurting. Eventually, I just never talked about myself and I got tired of listening to him talk about himself.

He thought he was the greatest thing in the world and none of his shortcomings were his fault. He spent so much time talking about his ex-wife and telling me the same crap over and over that he had gone through with her. It just got to the point where I had no more physical or emotional energy left in me to deal with my own life.

With regard to his kids, who were now becoming more normal as a result of my finally getting him to take his kids to counseling and get documented proof of what their mother was doing, he completely denied my contributions. He didn't acknowledge that the reason he had custody of his kids was because of me and my continually pushing him and telling him what he needed to do to get it done.

Things that I never really noticed before were suddenly uncovered to me. I realized that he had been going through my things, personal papers, finances, my drawers, etc. I had been keeping my engagement and wedding rings in a hidden drawer in my dresser and one day they were gone. He had gone through my things looking for the rings, which I found out later, he had traded in to buy his new wife's rings.

The reason I knew this was because two of our sons played baseball on the same team and I had to put up with seeing him and the new wife. I commented to him about trading my rings in and she had a fit. It was almost funny, really, except that it happened in front of a lot of people, so it was more embarrassing than anything.

In the end, I ended up losing everything I had, my house (because when I was looking for a bigger home for my kids and me, he insisted that we buy a home together, so we would have something that was "ours." I didn't want to do it, but eventually gave in. So, when we broke up, I ended up with a house payment that I couldn't afford by myself.

Within ten months of leaving him (he was still coming around), I had a nervous breakdown at work and within a month tried to kill myself.

There are so many things that happened, so many details to explain how bad this guy was, but it would take so much time to put them in writing. We had purchased real estate together, I had borrowed money to put down on an investment property, and in the end, he tricked me into signing it over to him so we could sell it.

If I signed it over to him and refinanced my house, he would sell the investment property and give me my money out of it. He never did as he promised and I ended up with nothing. I should have seen an attorney, but didn't think he would cheat me out of what was mine. How stupid of me.

I took him to court over it and lost. He had a better attorney and was better at lying to make it look like he had done so much for me that I didn't deserve my money back. I now wish I hadn't pursued it because it was so hard going through that. It was so humiliating.

Before the suicide attempt I went into a depression so bad that I couldn't take care of my basic needs. I had to sell my house at a loss and move into my mom's house (which was hell because she's a psychic vampire, too, and didn't want me there).

My poor kids had to go through hell because their mother jumped off the deep end. It's been so horrible trying to forgive myself for being involved with such a person, and for spiraling out of control.

I haven't worked since 2002, and have been so depressed that I'm now on social security disability.

What he stole from me is unrecoverable. By the end of that relationship I had nothing left. If you are in any kind of relationship with a person like this, get out! Don't try to justify anything, and don't deny what is happening to you as I did. He had me so sucked in and dependent on him that I was devastated when he was through with me. As soon as he saw that he'd sucked every last bit of energy from me, he moved on to someone else.

Now I'm the one he complains to his new wife about. I'm the bad person who made his life so miserable, just as his ex-wife was the person he told me made his life so miserable. Always be careful with a person who does this. There is something very, very wrong. It's a huge red flag. Take notice and get away.

These people take no responsibility for their actions in anything. Beware when someone comes to you blaming someone in their past for all of their problems. Beware of people who come into your life and seem perfect, and somehow appear to be the answer to your dreams. This always wears off as soon as they have you firmly under their control. Then they want all the attention they can squeeze out of you. You no longer matter to them, except as a source to feed their egos and insecurities.

If you are with someone who doesn't pay attention to your needs and wants, but demands every bit of your attention and loyalty, you need to get out. You need to be important. What you want matters and there are non-toxic people out there who can give you what you need as you give back to them in return.

Psychic vampires are very dangerous. They will take everything you have and they get off on ruining people who turn against them. They are pure evil, whether some say they are unconscious of their behaviors or not, they are still evil.

With my ex I often felt like my soul was engaged in battle with his, bu

Tabby on October 02, 2009:

Please help - My mother has had a traumatic brain injury, was in a coma for several months. Since then, she's so hard-headed, impulsive, and also very intuitive and psychic. Nobody knows why she passed out and fell, I think some emotional abuse from her childhood finally blacked her out, overcame her and now the old person who was alive...is dead, and she's a shell with only that emotional baggage inside...and now it's eating the rest of us alive.

She is the emotional equivalent of a sixteen year old, she has had almost 20 major accidents, mostly broken hips, in the last 10 years...regardless of how much attention and care her family gives her... She is extremely needy, she doesn't like herself, she blames everything on herself, and refuses to exercise or do therapy to try and get better, and also is Napoleonic about controlling the household and still thinks her children, who are in our twenties, are at the age when she fell, so she talks to us as if we're little kids and she pretends to be this manipulative mother figure. If you talk to her or challenge her about serious things she has another accident and becomes the victim again. She takes an entire cupboard full of prescription drugs. She has my giving Dad and my family wrapped around her finger because of it...if this isn't vampirism, I don't know what is...help!

She is incredibly psychic, she can "read" people so easily it's scary... as her son I feel like there is a tube connected to the back of my head, that she can fill with quiet, irritating mental information and her aura encompasses me and her "feelers" attack my body and drain me, I have no defense whatsoever...I am terrified of it. I just keep saying "this is not my mom! this doesn't feel right" ...and there have been many times we have actually really shared thoughts and almost had conversation while in different rooms, but not in a good way, as if all her baggage was being transferred directly into my brain, passed down. I actually lost control one time and ran into her room and screamed "What are you doing!" and she said in this calm creepy, cheerful voice "I'm just having a conversation with you in my head"...that in itself made me believe in psychic connection. It enrages me because I feel like it is an attack I can't fight back against, there were times growing up I'd wake up early in the morning when she had just awoken, and I could swear I could hear her voice in my brain whispering little irritating, controlling things and it ruined my entire day because it's not really my mom, it's a fractured, broken skeleton of a person reaching ghost-hands into my brain to manipulate me...this would suck the life right out of me... It's as if another person is in her body using her mother-bond to attack me and bring me down, I am becoming very depressed and having suicidal thoughts because I can't think of a way to change my identity so she can't hurt me from inside.

Also, I'm pretty sure the main way her "feelers" function is through the air, smell plays a big part, I might just be crazy but I think her shattered vampiric ego has a way of traveling through air, I can smell her from 30 feet away, that old smell of nauseous air-spray, vitamins, hospital stink, a scent that pushes its way right into my brain, I wake up to every morning even if I'm outside in the garage trying to get away ...I have actually suddenly vomited when coming too close to her before, which scared the crap out of me, I didn't know what to make of it, still don't...and nobody else seems to be bothered.

How do I protect myself from my mother's powerful emotional "aura" of major depression, self-hate, and self-victimization? It's like an invisible cloud of confusion around the house, and whenever I manage to get away (even though I'm supposed to be taking care of her) she has an accident and pulls me back in. She has total control over everyone with her traumatic emotional status, and nobody in my life knows how I feel. There's no support because she knows how to manipulate outsiders to think she's normal and ok.

I have read books about psychic and emotional vampires and I am positive that she is one, the self-victimizing passive aggressive controller. But I don't know what to do now!

I am getting severe anxiety, depression and having trouble coping. I can not just leave her presence at this time, I refuse to take anti-depressants to treat the symptoms, and I don't know what to do...please help.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on September 15, 2009:


Thank you for stopping by. I am not able to update the hubs as often as I would like. Your comment underscored the idea that many of those cliches are cliches for a good reason.

All the Best!

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on September 15, 2009:


It is not by coincidence that in many treatment facilities, they refer to the telephone as the 'relapse box'. Taking unwanted phone calls is one of the ways that the vampires creep into our hearts and lives.

I find that I have to give myself the freedom to NOT answer the phone. Too often people let the phone dictate their lives. You do not have to answer it.

sequoiablessed from USA on August 05, 2009:

Hi Sue, I enjoyed your article but could not help but fall back on a few cliche's that apply here. "It takes one to know one"(and don't take it personal), "What comes around goes around"(use the info to grow your perspective) and my favorite, "Do on to others what you would have done on to you"(Applies in every situation). I realize that these situations can be difficult, but what changed my life is when I realized the source of all energy, Great Spirit(God or whatever you call it). This source is infinite and when we receive from it we can give as much as we want and never run out! In fact you feel better for sharing the energy! Until you experience it you should reserve judgement. The advice you give is practical and good esp. #4 and #5. I really Love the pics and animation! Thanks for sharing this article.

Ann on August 01, 2009:

I let the vampire back into my life for a phone call and it has caused destruction in my life. She called me on my birthday, 8:45pm and left a message from "mommy."

Her "gift" was to tell me that she was awaiting the results from her latest biopsy. She wanted me to be the only one she told. I could feel the pull. I told her my mother in law was here and that I had to go, she wanted to keep me on the phone. She could barely conceive of the fact that I had a mother in law that would come and see me.

I wish I could have been stronger and not called her back. I let her take my energy and took my husbands energy and made a huge mistake which has created a rift in our friendship. He is a good and kind man but has had enough of his energy being stolen. I made an ass of myself in public with him and made a fool out of him through my behaviour because I experienced a moment of deep self destruction; in that moment I was a vampire and sucked the energy out of my husband and those around me. The moment I did it I snapped out of it, but the damage was done.

I have learned a great lesson which I hope can help others.

On my birthday I received a gift from the Great Spirit. A card sent by my dearest friend and one sent by her mother, a lady I have talked with but have never met. She gave me some beautiful words that inspired me and created the total opposite energy of vampirism. She was so kind to me that I want to give her kindness in return. Prayer is the anecdote to vampiric energy. If you are feeling negative or hard on yourself, pray to help someone else so that they may be healed. I have learned that the opposites of vampires are Angels and that every day people are extraordinary Angels who are among us.

Ann on June 13, 2009:

Thank you so much Viviane. Your comment is so insightful and understanding . I keep your words in mind when my mother calls and when I feel the urge to call her. It is amazing how healing it is to be away from the drain.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on June 08, 2009:

Vampire Costumes,

I am glad that you found the methods useful. I had to learn the hard way on how to deal with the emotional vampire critters.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on June 08, 2009:

Drained Neighbor,

Although I hoped my article would help with emotinal vampire, I don't think that it will replace garlic as a vampire repellent. Since we often just react without thinking, having the article on the door will help to remind you about things.

Drained Neighbor on June 01, 2009:

My neighbor is an emotional vampire and trys to stop by every day, invites herself over and talks to us, when we are on our patio, whenever we have people over. She invites herself when we are going for a walk with our dog and trys to invite herself when we are going out with friends or to a restaurant or dance club. We started by being nice and she is always crying and looking for attention. She hasn't been getting the "hint" that we don't want any contact with her. Thanks for the article. I am taping it on the inside of my front door.

vampire costumes on May 30, 2009:

very informative and unique your methods part is my favorite

i will refer this great job

Viviane on May 05, 2009:


It sounds like your mother is a drug and you should go cold turkey.

I feel it's innapropriate for you mother to use you as a confidante/therapist. She also sounds emotionally sadistic, as if she only likes you if you're suffering.

You really need to set boundaries (limiting contact, finding excuses to leave or get off the phone, etc.). However, it sounds as if this is difficult for you. It sounds as if you are still hoping for acceptance/love/connection with her and with people who remind you of her. If you ever get the urge to call her, you're better off dealing with the withdrawal (anxiety, etc), than that nasty drug of a parent.

My recommendation is to cut ties with her for now and do therapy to get past the abuse and detach yourself from her. It might bother you to disconnect from her, but trust me, you're in good company-- one of my friends decided (while doing therapy) to avoid her family. My mother curtailed contact with her own mother. When I'm in town, I will not stay at my parent's place, although I can deal with short visits.

It may be difficult to get your mother out of your life for now, but it sounds as if the alternative is worse. Get help, you need to take care of yourself -- you sound like a very insightful person who would do very good work with a good therapist.

Ann on April 28, 2009:

How can I break a psychic connection with my mother who is an emotional energy vampire? My "mother" was abusive to me from when I was a very young child and I moved in with my Dad at the age of 15 because I knew the only way I would lead a decent life would be to get away from her. I kept her out of my life and my siblings lives until I was in my early thirties- I am the oldest and I am protective of my younger siblings. My friends mother died and I reconnected with her and slowly helped her get back into the family. I facilitated her rekindling a friendship with my Dad after almost two decades of acrimony. She got cancer and I was one of the first people she called. When I began to cry, she told me that she was glad I was upset. When I told her I forgave her for the abuse in my childhood, she did not accept the forgiveness and was again glad that I was upset when I told her it bothered me that she would not accept my forgiveness. I called her last sunday because I felt compelled to and she told me she had been thinking of me and that there is a connection between us, which scares the living hell out of me and yet at the same time I want to trust her. I felt sick after talking with her even though I tried not to let her vampire me but she still did. She is a total taker and does not give back anything. She told me the reason she abused me is that I reminded her of herself and she hates herself. This is a battle that I face all the time. I have had trouble at work because my boss reminds me of "mother" and how she called me stupid and told me I would be a failure. Yet she always asks me about medical information (I have a pharmacy background) and tells me things she won't tell her shrink. I am tired of being her therapist and being a parent to her, but there is a part of me that still loves her despite all the hate she has given. She does not give updates on her progress and I am beginning to suspect that she does not have cancer at all and is just using the family to get attention. She wants someone to be like her and I do not want to be like her at all. This is the worst fear of my seven siblings. To be like her.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on January 10, 2009:


I am glad you found the article helpful. I think that everyone has had to deal with emotional vampires. We often gripe abou them, but it is often scary to examine the subject closely. Vampires do not like their reflections and oftentimes we do not like to take a close look at the vampires or how we got sucked into their world.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on January 10, 2009:

M. I.

Those emotional vampires are 'tricky'. They often have lures and traps that literally take you into their world. The problem is they do not play fair and they do not like to let you leave their world. Like the Hotel California, you can check in, but there is hell to pay if you check out.

M. I. on December 26, 2008:

Dr Valarie mentions putting your own needs first. Conventional morality would have it that this is selfish, but the way I see it is if you don't look after yourself, then you can't look after the people/things in your life who really matter. For example Sam, perhaps your husband has secretly been worried about your energy being sucked away by your "friend", and perhaps this "friend" has to some extent diverted your attention from him and other people who really care about you. (I don't know you IRL so I'm completely guessing here LOL.)

It's a fascinating subject - one which touches on universal themes of morality, altruism, selfishness etc.

Sam on December 26, 2008:

Thank you very much for this article. I just recently separated from a "friend" of 16 years. It was so hard. My husband could recognize her sucking my energy-she would call to talk to me not with me, and would make nicely said disparaging remarks- which I call paper cut comments. I felt guilty if I didn't want to go out with her.The last time I did she ignored me for her other friend and denied it all. I wrote her a heartfelt letter, hoping she would get it; a instead she told me the problem was with me. You have empowered me not to feel guilty about no longer dealing with her.

M. I. on December 26, 2008:

I was almost "hooked" by an emotional vampire about six months ago. She and I were both members of the same voluntary group, which was undergoing a lot of upheavals (these didn't affect us directly, but they did affect a mutual friend of ours - call him John). Anyway to cut a long story short, this vampire (call her Vanessa) enlisted my help to help John. It was something I was only too happy to do, because I was outraged at what had happened to him. Unfortunately, Vanessa used this as the hook to try and suck me into her dramas. She would keep me on the phone for hours with her micro-analysis of what was going on, and it became obvious to me that she was getting a vicarious high from the whole thing. To add an extra twist, she developed an obsession with another male volunteer - despite the fact that he was married with kids - and she would endlessly talk to me about how wonderful he was. It drove me nuts. After a few weeks of this, I cut off all contact with her. I still see her from a distance occasionally (we live in the same town), but I always make sure that she doesn't see me!

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on August 23, 2008:

Thank You Dr. Valarie,

Knowing that others are benefiting from what I have experienced thrills me. It is good to hear your encouraging words. Vampire are not fun for anyone.

Dr. Valarie on August 17, 2008:

As a clinician, I loved your article. As someone who had to clearly (when "being nice" didn't work!) separate from a vampire neighbor, your advice to us all was right on.

Emotional vampires have an uncanny sense as to who is "nice," and therefore vulnerable to their abuse. Putting one's own needs first is key. Certainly the vampire won't consider the boundaries of someone else.

Sue St. Clair (author) from I would rather be in Paris on July 23, 2008:

Than you JD

Being new to hubpages, I am still learning my way around


J D Murrah from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas on July 23, 2008:


I enjoyed your hub. You have some fascinating insights.