Psychological Vampirism

A couple of years ago a coworker introduced me to the term “psychological vampire.” For the longest time, I thought this was a clever term my coworker had made up, but a quick Google search reveals that this is a phenomenon many people have experienced.

Basically, a psychological (aka emotional or energy) vampire feeds off the energy of other people. But rather than a synergistic or symbiotic situation, wherein both people come away from the experience energized and happy, the vampire leaves his/her victim feeling drained, exhausted, and often depressed. When I first heard the term and its accompanying definition, I could not believe how well it fit some people in my life at the time. Individuals who operate as psychological vampires are usually immature, self-absorbed, and shallow people who believe everyone’s attention and time should be spent on them. They often use and manipulate people to get what they want. When a friend or relative is no longer useful, the psychological vampire will discard that person and look for a fresh victim.

I’ve been thinking about this term lately and wondering if the psychological vampire even KNOWS that he/she is sucking the life from the people around him/her. Are psychological vampires aware of their behaviors? Also, is a person a psychological vampire ALL the time, or can a person experience phases where they become more clingy, needy, and manipulative because of difficult or stressful circumstances?

I guess I’ve been thinking about this because someone recently insinuated that I was needy and demanding. I made the most pathetic mistake of trying to find friends on Craigslist – yeah, I know – and was exchanging emails with a woman who sounded like she had a lot in common with me. We made tentative plans to meet but when I emailed to confirm those plans, she did not reply for over a week. Then, she cancelled. When I suggested that maybe she did not have time in her schedule at that point for friendships, she went off on me saying I had insulted her and then insinuated I was needy and demanding.

Though I apologized for, apparently, wording my concerns badly, I never heard from her again. Since then, I’ve wondered if I am perhaps something of a psychological vampire without realizing it. I tend to shy away from friendships anyway because of disappointing and hurtful experiences in the past so perhaps when I meet someone I would LIKE to become friends with, I overcompensate. What do you guys think, can someone be a psychological vampire without meaning to?

Just in case you find YOURSELF in the clutches of one of these soul-suckers, here is an interesting article I found on World of Psychology about how to defend against their vampiric ways.

On an up note, I did later meet ANOTHER woman through Craigslist. She is a fellow writer and, though we are not best friends or soul-mates, I do enjoy her company and feel we have a lot of things in common. Thus far she still seems to like hanging out with me.

So, using Craigslist to find friends can sometimes yield pleasant results… just saying.

Discuss Amongst Yourselves

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s