Toxic Life Vampires and How to Avoid Them
There will always be people in your life will drain the life force out of you, like vampires except, but instead of draining your blood they drain your energy, self-confidence, and happiness. Some criticize, some complain, some disrespect, some gossip; some take advantage, some blame, some guilt, and some even abuse.
These types of people thrive on making others miserable. In almost every case, toxic people see something unworthy in themselves and seek to make themselves feel better at others expense. These “toxic vampires,” can have a measurable impact our mood, our happiness, our health, and our sense of self-worth and confidence.
Give these people wide berth, avoid them whenever possible and take steps to neutralize them when necessary. If you cherish your happiness and sanity, surround yourself with uplifting and positive people instead who offer encouragement and support rather than manipulation and disrespect.
Types of Toxic Vampires
The critic is always judging, and pointing out flaws. They may put you down, criticize or discount your ideas, chastise or berate you, even ridicule you. They never seem to notice the good things you do, but relish in uncovering any shortcomings, whether they actually exist or not. They tend to unleash their barrage of criticism in front of others to devalue and embarrass you. Even worse, they may try to convince you that it’s for your own good and they’re only trying to help.
Everything that happens in life is all about the narcissist. Their desires and needs are the only things that matter. Somehow, they always find a way to redirect the conversation so it’s about them. They have a general attitude of entitlement and self-importance and they truly believe that everyone else is less important than they are. They dismiss your needs as irrelevant and ancillary, making you feel somehow extraneous.
The pessimist always looks for and expects the negative. The glass is always half empty. They complain constantly making everyone around them miserable and frustrated. They always look for what is bad instead of what is good. They expect failure and are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. They often fail to see or appreciate anything that is beautiful, good, and joyful in life. Be careful that the pessimist’s negativity doesn’t rub off and color your positive point of view.
The bully is all about disrespect and power. This type of person will try to intimidate you in their quest for domination. Their behavior is often inappropriate and cruel. Sometimes bullies can be less overt; they may not directly terrorize you, but instead seek to harm you and less noticeable ways. They may pretend to be a friend, but gossip about you when out of earshot. They very much operate with a “the ends justify the means” philosophy.
The taker can never get enough. No matter how much you give, how much you do, how much you sacrifice, they will always want more. They are needy in the worst kind of way. They won’t reciprocate your generosity nor are they truly grateful. There is no balance in this type of relationship. The giving only goes one way. Nothing you can do will ever make these people happy. They have often made a mess of their own lives by making bad choices and expect you to take care of them. Yet they don’t support or nurture in return. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can help them turn their lives around.
The manipulator uses cunning and guilt to control feelings, actions, and situations. They are usually very smart and very shrewd. These people know how to push the right buttons to influence how you feel and act. They may offer help and then make you feel guilty for the sacrifice they have to make. They may appeal to your sympathy to get you to help them or rescue them. They may push the anger but to provoke an argument, sometimes just because they can. It gives them a sense of power over you. Be especially wary of this toxic vampire. They are often so adept at manipulating that you don’t even realize you are being manipulated.
The abuser is the worst kind of toxic vampire. Their damage may be physical, mental, or emotional. Once again, their motive is power and control. Though this is may be the most obvious type of toxic person to identify, they are often the most difficult to break free from. The pattern of our relationships with these people has become habitual and familiar and we may feel some sort of obligation to them. The damage the abuser causes can be severe and lasting making them the most critical to neutralize.
No matter which type of toxic vampires you find yourself exposed to, there are things that you can do to insulate yourself from these people and their influence. It’s also important to accept that you cannot change them. That will not solve the problem and only lead to greater frustration and pain.
Some Strategies to Save Your Sanity
In many cases, the most expedient way to deal with toxic people is to avoid them altogether if possible, if not minimize contact when you can. This is the simplest solution, but not always the easiest.
Draw firm boundaries
In a very honest and clear manner let, these toxic people know that you will no longer tolerate their behavior. Tell them what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. Be very clear about how you expect to be treated and stand firm. Do not compromise on your boundaries or they will not be respected.
Refuse to play their games. Change the subject of conversation or simply smile and don’t engage them. Don’t ask for or expect any help from these people, because you likely won’t get any and if you do it will come with strings attached.
Use your radar
As you become familiar with the different types of toxic people and how they behave, you will start to recognize the signs. Use this radar to protect yourself from even beginning any kind of relationship. If you can’t avoid a relationship of some sort as in a work situation, at least you can prepare yourself to minimize the damage.
Remember it’s not about you
Stop feeling guilty. You don’t owe toxic people guilt or compliance. Life is much too short and much too precious to allow toxic vampires to drain your energy and suck the joy out of your life. They are unhappy and miserable and want you feel the same. Remember you are not powerless. You ultimately control the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you act. If you don’t give toxic people control, you remove their ability to influence and manipulate.