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.