Emotional Vampires

How to Fight Back Against Emotional Vampires

by Joanne Richard

Vampires just don’t come out at Halloween.

Emotional vampires are lurking everywhere – at home, at work, parties, the gym…

From belittling bosses to nit-picking spouses to hyper-needy friends, they suck all your energy and “leave you feeling depleted, depressed and sabotaged,” says Dr. Judith Orloff.


Intentionally or not, these emotional leeches often make us feel depressed, defensive, angry and wiped out, says Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Harmony Books).

Negative behaviour is their MO, stresses Debra MacLeod, relationship author and expert. “Emotional vampires – also called toxic people – are more devoted to the dark side. Totally self-absorbed, they rarely acknowledge or apologize for their inappropriate behaviour. If they do, the apology is insincere or meaningless.”


Protect yourself, stresses Orloff, or risk unhealthy fallout, including overeating, isolation, mood swings or fatigue.

“These difficult people are often attracted to people with big hearts who don’t know how to set boundaries,” says Orloff, of Drjudithorloff.com. ‘No’ is the stake in the heart. They’ll move on and find other possible prey.

These master manipulators look for weaknesses in their victims to prey upon and exploit.

According to MacLeod, guilt, jealousy, anger, condescension, fear or manipulation is often used to get what the emotional vampire wants.


Happy Halloween

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Down with Fairy Tales

A few weeks ago I read a wonderful post by blissfulblurbs, which asked the question: “Are we brainwashing girls with fairy tales“? Which led me to write this following rant (since this topic has been running around my head for a number of years) and to start by answering the question with a resounding “YES”.

Based on my knowledge of psychology and memories of my preschool years, I’ve realized that we make some of our most important decisions about what we believe about life and how it works and how we should be, before we even enter first grade; all future decisions are only refinements. We make it based on what surrounds us and if we’re surrounded by information that has little or nothing to do with real life, can we make decisions that will serve us well?

For example, in the world of fairy tales, my favourites were The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. In the first story, the girl kills herself rather than see her prince suffer; in the second, the girl keeps loving the beast until he turns into a beautiful prince. You can imagine what my love life (and how I relate to people in general) looks like today. I’m not kidding. And I realized that there is a fairy tale connection only when I was well, well into my adulthood.

I knew, as a child, that these stories were make-believe, but the imprint had been made regardless.

I’m not saying that it’s all the fault of the fairy tales that I enjoyed as a child, but the pattern is clearly there.

Would we not do better if gave our children a more realistic perspective on life (maybe letting them learn about nature, animals, other cultures) instead of exposing them to illusions in a misguided effort to preserve their “child-like innocence”?

Yup, this one is still waiting for her prince

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Enhance Creativity in Australia

A lovely Infographic by PaintersofLouisville.com, an exploration of the truth behind colours, and how we subconsciously react to them.

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To this I would only add that enlightenment comes when all illusion and fear disappear…and we become ourselves. (Or, maybe it’s better said that when we become ourselves, all illusion and fear disappears.) Nice post:)

Monk's Catacomb


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