Scary, Spooky People: Energy Vampires

Vampires are scary.  They’re also en vogue these days, thanks to the whole Twilight/True Blood craze.  I’m not a fan, but I can respect that Hollywood has done an impressive job reinventing the vampire image to be sexy, contemporary, and on trend (usurped only recently by a new, ghoulish fad: zombies.  Go figure). Previously popular on Halloween alone, vampires now experience year-round popularity, and, for this, I’m happy for them.  It must have been hard to endure a bum rap for so long, trotted to the fore only once a year, in late October.

I’m less understanding of a different breed of vampire—a more stealth variety, often undetectable by appearance alone: energy vampires.

I am unsure of the origins of their nomenclature, but I learned the term from a former colleague who used it to describe petty people who sap her power. Immediately, I understood this species and knew I’d witnessed its work. Without the markings or, ahem, tastes of conventional vampires, an energy vampire seems less frightening, but don’t be fooled.  Energy vampires maintain many of the same blood-draining, soul-sucking, terror-inducing talents of their spookier counterparts.

As a community service announcement on Halloween, here are some ways to identify and avoid the destructive behavior of energy vampires before they have a chance to latch onto you and exhaust your precious soul.

Identifiable Features:

  • Unpleasant, snarling, or judgmental facial expressions.
  • Inability to exist in isolation.  (They require energy from others at all times).
  • Low or toxic energy emissions (e.g. gossip, pettiness, backstabbing behavior).

Common Behaviors:

  • Incessant complaining.
  • Frequent criticism of others.
  • Debilitating levels of envy, especially regarding others’ success.
  • Disrespect for boundaries.  (They need your energy and stop at nothing for it).

Recommended Precautions:

  • Limit exposure.
  • Seek experiences and people who nourish your energy to counterbalance any negative effects of vampirism.
  • Never mirror the behavior of energy vampires to fit in.  (This is the first scary stage of conversion!).
  • Use witticisms, topic changes, and general sincerity to avoid conversations with energy vampires that deplete you.
  • Be kind but clear about your boundaries; vampires are less likely to prey on you if they know you are a strong, positive person.

Happy Halloween!

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  • Megan

    I completely agree. This is a great post. Unfortunately, I just recently had to cut ties with an energy vampire. But, thankfully, I feel infinitely more relieved. :)

  • Julie

    Rebecca, when I grow up I want to be as clever as you! Oh wait, I’m grown up and still not so clever. I’ll just keep hanging around and see if you rub off on me.

    I’ve never had a problem “cutting people out” in the past (as my friends who are still around will remind me); so I think of energy vampires in my work life more than personally…

    I’ve introduced this term to some of my colleagues. I’ve found it an effective and humorous way to say “If you don’t stop doing this , something very unpleasant will happen to both of us,” but the funny twist makes it a little more tolerable at work.

  • Bella

    Atleast they are good at inversions