An emotional vampire is exactly what they sound like: they suck the lifeblood out of you by demanding all of your emotional energy and resources until you have nothing left to give anyone else, including yourself.
Here are six clear signs you’re dealing with an emotional vampire.
1. You’re emotionally exhausted after spending any amount of time with them.
It doesn’t matter how long you were actually around the person in question. It could have been something as brief as a five-minute phone call and you’re emotionally exhausted. While there is something to be said about paying attention to how you feel while you’re with someone, sometimes the bigger truth rests in how you feel after you’re with them.
2. Your body literally tenses up when they text or call you.
You’ve started to notice that whenever you see their name pop up on your phone, your body literally tenses up and you start to experience anxiety. You almost feel like you have to brace yourself before interacting with them. Because you can’t help but wonder when you hear from them, What do they need from me this time?
3. They complain about everything but make no effort to change their situation.
Something is always seemingly going wrong in their life. While there are definitely some factors out of their control, they tend to stay fixated on the issues they very much could do something to improve. And they just…don’t. Instead, they dump their frustrations on you over and over and over again. It’s annoying at best and toxic at worst.
4. The relationship feels very one-sided.
Put simply, it’s basically never your turn to vent or have a bad day. You find yourself swallowing your own pain because their problems always seem to be bigger and more important than yours. And, on the rare occasion, you actually do try and bring the focus to yourself, it’s met with little interest or engagement before they bring back the attention to themselves. It makes you anxious, it makes you tired, and it makes you feel bad about yourself, too.
5. You resent them.
Like, a lot. You may even find yourself discussing your relationship issues with this person with others to circumvent the resentment you’re feeling towards them because you honestly feel like you can’t say anything to them about how you’re feeling. You’re afraid of how they’d react or turn on you. And so, you stay quiet.
6. Friends and family have expressed concern over your relationship with this person.
Finally, other people in your life have noticed the draining energy this person has on you and have told you that they are worried about the healthiness of your relationship. They don’t think this individual treats you the way that you deserve and have maybe even suggested parting ways.
If you’re dealing with an emotional vampire, boundaries and open communication are absolutely essential for maintaining your peace. It is also important to remember that sometimes an emotional vampire is truly unaware of the impact they’re having on you and others. Simply explaining how you’re feeling and what needs to change boundary-wise can go a long way to repairing your relationship. They may respond better than you think. Ultimately, though, you can’t control how they react. But you deserve to have your truth heard.
On that note, if they still don’t respect your wishes after your conversation, you may need to consider cutting ties. Life is too short to waste it around emotional vampires.