How to Deal With Energetic Vampires

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Good Vibes, Good Life" by Vex King. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How do you deal with emotional vampires? How does feeding emotional dependency compromise your own happiness?

It can be hard to cut off emotionally dependent people but may be necessary to keep your sanity. Emotionally dependent people are like energetic vampires—they suck out your energy by burdening you with negativity.

Here’s how to deal with emotional energy vampires.

Don’t Give Yourself to Energy Vampires

King explains that your energy and good vibes can be drained by people who rely on you as a support system. Even your closest friends can be energetic vampires. When we have a person in our life who’s struggling—whether it be with a breakup, financial issues, or depression—we often feel obliged to support them emotionally. However, this can be extremely draining when we’re pouring our energy and good vibes into them.

If you feel you’re in a good place where you’re strong enough to support them without being negatively affected, then go for it; however, if you leave the interaction feeling drained or depressed, you have an obligation to yourself to take a break and regain your energy.

How to Stop Emotional Dependency

Experts explain that the phenomenon discussed by King—one person being dependent on another person for emotional support—is called emotional dependency. While King explains that being in a relationship with an emotionally dependent person can be detrimental to our health, experts add that being the emotionally dependent person can be even more detrimental. So, what do you do if you’re the one who’s emotionally dependent on someone else?

Experts explain that emotionally dependent people often don’t realize they’re emotionally dependent, and that can be an invisible barrier that’s preventing you from reaching a state of positivity, or good vibes. They list a few signs that may indicate emotional dependency: You have an idealized image of your partner, life is meaningless without your partner, you fear rejection, you need constant reassurance, you feel empty or anxious when spending time alone, you need other people to build your confidence or self-esteem, and you feel jealous or possessive of your friends and partners.

If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself, you can stop your emotional dependency by acknowledging your emotions (as King recommends in the section “Turn Your Bad Emotions Into Good Ones”). You can also find ways to fulfill your emotional needs separately from other people or explore the things that trigger you and why.

How to Deal With Energetic Vampires

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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