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How to Safely Love an Energy Vampire

How to Safely Love an Energy Vampire

Even the people we care for the most can inadvertently harm us.  If you find your partner frequently returning home in a foul mood or clingy, you may be in love with an energy vampire.  Energy or emotional vampires leave people feeling tired and depleted, while they benefit with renewed vigor.  Pay attention to sensations like heavy eyelids, feeling unappreciated or dismissed, feeling ignored during a conversation, avoid certain topics, feeling like you walk on eggshells, or desire to numb your feelings.  If you are noticing one or any of the previous symptoms then you should be ready to have conversations with your partner about their energy vampirism.

The following are frequently occurring types of emotional vampires you might be in love with, and how to effectively help them heal.

The Nagger

Is your spouse sounding like a broken record and unrelentless with demands until you comply?  Then it is time that you set define limits in clear, concise and kind tones. Try a phrase similar to “Honey, I love you, but your requests are making me feel pressured.  Could you try to let me know about your most pressing concern so I can address it more fully?”

The Perennial Victim

The “woe is me” attitude can quickly grow stale and tiring.  When you feel like you hear your mate is always in contest with the world, it can be hard to know when the situation is truly dire and when they are acting like Chicken Little.  It seems like no solution you can offer is even good enough and as such you find yourself have the same discussion with them over and over and over again.

Protect yourself by sympathizing but listening to them for a finite time.  When it becomes to make gentle tell your partner that you need a break and walk away for a period of time.  Use that break to allow you both to formulate feasible solutions that let you both refocus the situation in a more positive way.

The Critic

Does it feel like no matter what you say, your partner always has something to nitpick?  Dealing with a critic can make people feel unnecessarily guilty or incompetent.  Even when they offer helpful tips, it can add to feelings of inadequacy since they so frequently point out short comings.

Protect yourself by responding to the feedback in a light, calm and positive tone.  Try saying something like “I appreciate the way you are trying to help me, but I’m finding you to be critical and it’s making it tougher for me to process your insight.”  You could also try finding a middle ground if the criticism is over a task.  Divide up duties between the both of you.  For example, if your partner is not a fan of the way you handle laundry, offer to focus on the area that isn’t being contested and like your partner handle the area they wish to improve upon.  Bring up these conversations in a way that helps diffuse and tension with respect and sweetness, while honoring their desire to make the situations “easier” for the both of you.

The Egoist

If you are getting tired being around someone who has to make every situation about them, then you may be dealing with an energy vampire who drains due to self-insecurity.  They are highlighting their experiences in a way that negates everyone else around them because they feel powerless in a situation in their own life.  Protect yourself by responding empathetically to your partner.  Validate when possible their point of view, but address how their lack of interest in your perception hurts you.  Typically, people are unaware that they are acting self-obsessed, but are willing to correct their behavior once altered to the problem.

The Transferrer

If your partner is overwhelmed in their career or natal family obligations it makes sense, they will bring that emotional baggage back into your shared home.  They want to share and process, but their heavy emotions can take such a toll on your that you aren’t able to listen effectively.  Protect yourself by setting limits.  Its helpful to budget breaks into conversations for you both to be able to walk away and process the situation, and return with a renewed spirit and fresh perspective.  Also, you must both prioritize self-care.  Before delving into sharing your day, allow for a few minutes to adjust to being at home and leaving the tension of the work day and commute outside your door.  Take regular walks, meditate, workout or even decompress with your favorite video game, show or song.

It is essential in relationships for couples to understand and respect each other’s energy needs.  You both have a right to protect your energy too and understand how exchanges can impact each other.  There is no reason to feel guilty, hindered or selfish.  Without healthy energy flow you are not able to be present in your own life, let alone be able to contribute to anyone else’s well-being.

About Maria Higgins

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