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Identify & Ward Off Vampires: Emotional Freedom Pt 2

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Identify & Ward Off Vampires: Emotional Freedom Pt 2

Five types of toxic personalities.

If you read part one of the Emotional Freedom series about combating emotional vampires, you got a sense for how to know when someone is sucking you dry. In part two, we’ll tackle how to hone your X-ray vision so you can spot an emotional vampire from miles away, so you can protect yourself from getting depleted from those who long to suck your life force right out of you.

But first, a bit about Dr. Judith Orloff’s classification of emotional vampires (all of this info comes from Dr. Orloff’s rockin’ book, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life — thanks, love!).

Types of Emotional Vampires

Type 1: The Narcissist

You know the type. Regardless of what you’re going through, it’s all about them. Me me me me me! Narcissists can be compelling, attractive, even addictive. As long as you stroke the narcissist’s ego, she purrs like a kitten. But the minute you stop, beware — the narcissist can get downright vicious. They also tend to have very little insight into their own shortcomings. Trust me, I know. My ex was a classic narcissist. After a really nasty fight, we agreed to write each other letters so we could express how we were really feeling. I wrote a ten page letter about what was wrong with me and what I was willing to change. My ex also wrote a ten page letter about me and what I needed to change. I was sobbing the whole time and his response was, “Shut the f-ck up.” Ouch.

Dr. Orloff says, “These vampires are so dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love.” Tell me about it. I’ve forgiven him, but I learned a valuable lesson about how to protect my own energy around people like this.

Are You In A Relationship With A Narcissist?

You can tell if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist if you answer yes to at least one or two of these questions (ignore the gender pronouns — this can apply to men or women!):

  • Does the person act as if life revolves around him?
  • Do I have to compliment him to get his attention or approval?
  • Does he constantly steer the conversation back to himself?
  • Does he downplay my feelings or my interests?
  • If I disagree, does he become cold or withholding?

How To Deal With Narcissists

If you can avoid dealing with toxic people — do. But invariably, we will all be faced with emotional vampires in our lives — in our families, work relationships and friendships we choose to continue. So what’s a girl to do?

  • Keep your expectations realistic.
  • Never make your self-worth dependent on them.
  • Show how something will be to their benefit.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
7:33PM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

I have a "friend" who is a vampire and utterly exhausting.

11:50PM PDT on Jun 14, 2011


2:09AM PDT on May 25, 2011

Uh oh, I recognize more than one family member in this.

2:44PM PDT on May 19, 2011


4:28AM PDT on May 16, 2011

Leave, I did. It's amazing how thoughtful, pleasant, and admiring he is of me - from a distance. Must say I prefer it this way. Better than being trod upon and humiliated when together. The narcissistic controller is now at bay. Thank God.

1:57PM PDT on May 15, 2011

Coping with difficult people is another one that covers having to deal with these different types of personality types as well. Especially in the workplace. I went to find the book for the author however it is missing from my shelf, thereby I lent it and never had it returned. That's how helpful it is lol. I find these types of books/info helpful as well to recognize if we are any of those things or what our triggers are when we encounter these personality types, and what we need to understand to cope with those that will not recognize their short-comings, and then run like hell!!!

10:52AM PDT on May 15, 2011

Interesting. I always feel completely drained whenever I interact with my mother-in-law, but I'm not sure I'd call her an EV. Perhaps she is. Sure, her intentions are good, but it's nearly impossible to set boundaries with her. And if you give her half an inch she'll sprint off and never look back. The whole butting into everything is so annoying, but you can't tell her to back off because then she'll throw a temper tantrum. Unfortunately due to the economy, my fiance and I live with his parents and she seems to think I'm her best friend/personal attendant. She likes to try to drag me everywhere and take up all of my time when she's not at work. I can't wait to get working again to save up enough money to move. I'm only half joking when I tell my fiance that we won't be seeing his parents for a full year once we're out. Won't happen of course, I fully expect her to show up completely unannounced and expect me to go shopping with her regardless of what plans I had. It's exhausting!

9:12PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Great post.

6:08PM PDT on May 14, 2011

There's a classic book out there that you can pick up used for just a few bucks:
"Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them : When Loving Hurts and You Don't Know Why"

Another good book is "Loving Madly, Loving Sanely," which is sort of a field guide to all the high-functioning mentally ill people we encounter....that's about one out of seven of us, according to some estimates.

6:34AM PDT on May 14, 2011

This list of emotional vampire types is not exhaustive.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Simple for me, I don't use or drink any kind of milk.

Thanks, I'll add this to the other "milks" I enjoy!


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