Emotional vampires are some of the most toxic people you will ever encounter.
Most emotional vampires are extremely passive through how they withdraw your emotional blood.
Some do it subconsciously.
Some narcissistically take advantage. They feed off of how validated you feel by them taking the time to zero in on you, find an emotional vein, and draw from your emotional neck.
Just like with gaslighting, emotional vampires often do their work gradually.
Their insecurities are so deep, their emotional body cannot manufacture its own blood. If it could, they wouldn’t need yours.
Looking back, it’s weird because no matter what the avenue of “blood withdrawal” was in past relationships, my instinct was conscious of how emotionally drained, exhausted, depleted, and “not enough,” I always felt.
The problem was, I took those feelings of depletion to mean that there was something wrong with me; that I had to work harder to be “good enough.” This disabled my ability to acknowledge that I was not only running on fumes but that I had allowed the withdrawal/depletion in the name of my own delusion – seeing what I wanted to see.
I get frustrated when I see articles breaking down the obvious characteristics of emotional vampires. Not only is it pretty self-explanatory, but breaking down the obvious makes you that much more dumbfounded as to why you EVER got in the position of exposing your emotional neck to these people.
It’s okay though. We all have.
If you struggle with self-esteem and confidence, emotionally vampiric friends, lovers, family members, and co-workers will push your buttons and emotionally paralyze you while they de-pedestal you into their own personal doormat. As this happens, you feel more lifted, turned on, and special than ever before. Why? Remember, the worst relationships have the best MOMENTS. That’s all they can ever have – moments – that are only elevated because of all the bullsh*t they’re surrounded by.
If you eat moldy food every day and then once in a while, get a beautiful little macaron from Paris, the moment that you have that little macaron is going to be monumental. Not because it means that your diet is now balanced, but because the crap that you constantly eat surrounding the macaron moment, renders you THAT much more hungry for and appreciative of any little crumb that gets thrown your way.
I was talking to my Mom about some emotionally vampiric acquaintances and exes recently. She brought up a fantastic point:
Emotional vampires can be so appealing because they tap into your innate attraction to hunters (this goes back to our hunter-gatherer days). The only problem is, they are hunting YOU. Don’t be the deer that feels special just because the hunter has its red laser light on it. Hunters HUNT. If they could connect and empathize with their prey, they wouldn’t shoot. The fact that the red laser light is on you has nothing to do with you being that much more noticeable or special than the other deer. It has everything to do with you STICKING AROUND LONG ENOUGH for the light to remain on YOU.
They say that sunlight will kill a literal vampire and I believe that this true for emotional ones. The only thing that will disable and disinterest emotional vampires is your light. And only you know where your amplifier is.
But how about when you find yourself in the darkness of your triggers?
What should you do when an emotionally vampiric fake friend or ex comes back into your life and apologizes?
Here’s what you need to know about emotional vampires and how to replenish your emotional blood…
Once you know the makeup of something, it’s much easier to disable the power that it has over you – whether it be your own triggers, fears, beliefs, getting over an ex, toxic people, weird relationships your partner may have, fake friends, addiction, failures, need for validation, lies, etc.
As far as emotional vampires go, I’m going to quickly break down the anatomy of their operation:
- Emotional vampires are one of the most insecure beings of the entire toxic species.
- Because they are so insecure, they have a never-ending need for validation, acknowledgment, and attention.
- Emotional vampires are masters at attention mongering. As they seek the validation that they so desperately need, they drain and invalidate others.
- Emotional vampires turn into convenient victims only when it serves them and propels their agenda.
- These people truly feel that they can do no wrong and that there should not be any consequences for their actions.
- They feed off the reactivity of others.
- They don’t know what to do when their ex does the one thing that they can’t – speaks with his/her actions and cuts them off.
- Emotional vampires are narcissistic and emotionally disconnected. Some can even be sociopathic.
- I always say that it’s better to have no idea who you are than to have a false sense of who you are. Emotional vampires have zero self-awareness and because of this, are empathetically bankrupt.
- They are bullsh*t artists.
- Amidst their insecurities, emotional vampires are, at the core, extremely entitled. They feel like they have a right to your emotional blood – which is made up of your mental health and unique light.
I can honestly say that I have embodied nearly all of the above bullet points at one time or another in my life.
The only difference is, I had empathy and suffered from reverse narcissism (making the actions of the narcissistic person I was in a relationship with, all about how I wasn’t enough. I still making everything all about me, just in a reverse way).
And just like the emotional vampires felt entitled to drain my emotional blood, I felt “entitled” to allowing the drainage because I didn’t think highly enough of myself.
Here’s how to replenish your emotional blood and disable emotional vampires from busting your boundaries ever again:
– Understand that emotional vampires are just as thirsty for validation as the people they draw emotional blood from. Once you take the time to observe THEIR level of thirst, you’ll be able to quench your own.
– When you retaliate against your own abandonment issues and fear of being alone by cutting an emotionally vampiric lover/friend/ex off, understand that ALL you are losing is an illusion. This person will NEVER be able to empathize nor be aware of your pain, needs, and position. Remember who you are and what you are worth.
– If they ever do apologize, their apologies never include bringing up specifically what they did wrong. Most of the time, they don’t know exactly what you know. So, instead of risking it, they just use whatever you’ve expressed in the past to make it seem like they understand.
– Emotional vampires are just a projection surface. And because they are never who they present themselves to be, they lack the ability to be authentic or real. Without authenticity, there is no trust and without trust, there.is.no.R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
– Emotional vampires have nothing that would provide any real value or enrichment to your life.
– You CANNOT change these people.
– Remember: we are ALL suffering from a terminal condition. It’s called LIFE.
Always be aware that your time on this planet is limited. Your time is not a given, it’s a privilege. Focus on how you want to spend your life evolving, kicking ass, and delivering your unique gifts in the light of gratitude from lessons learned.
Yes, It will take time to heal, but you’re already on your way to healing or you wouldn’t still be reading this post.
That’s the replenishment of your emotional blood supply.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
Powerful piece, Natasha!
“Remember who you are and what you are worth” – beautiful and wise words.
There is nothing worse than being emotionally sucked dry, and it’s even more painful when you realise it’s happening with someone you care for and love. A lot of this is going to stop though when people read this post! This is a very ‘kick ass’ message. I love the words you wrote: ‘the light of gratitude from lessons learned’. ??
Yes, yes, yes! One can truly glow when lessons have been learned! To be grateful is a feeling of deep magnitude. It fills you up.
I was just saying to someone today that when you do something loving, caring, sweet, thoughtful or generous for someone and they fail to show appreciation or see the goodness in you and your gestures, it doesn’t detract at all from the value of what you did. It might feel like it has because they are unable to show you some heart and gratitude back.
Those empty shells. Those empty vessels. Those people who you describe as ‘being thirsty’ – like you say they will never have enough and they lack authenticity. No wonder they can never appreciate or recognise authentic transactions.
Good bye Vampiric souls. You’ll have to hunt elsewhere now. Natasha has got your number (and now we all do too)….
Thank you, Natasha! I loved this post! ? xxx
Happy you liked it! 🙂 Thanks Lorelle. xxxx
Crying my eyes out reading this because I just can’t seem to move on at all I’m so broken hearted and angry that I’ve allowed the same man to do this over and over to me and this time I’m really struggling to cut the cord. What’s wrong with me.
I just want my life back to how it was before I allowed him to return yet again and make a fool of me. Never felt hurt like this. I will keep reading and reading this post. I pray for the day I will just forget. Just not convinced it will ever come this time tho. Why can’t people just be honest and nice!!
Excellently, spot on! Thank you, Natasha!
🙂 Glad it served you! Thanks Gina! xx
Yes Natasha, and until we women hold men to a higher standard, nothing changes. And we can only do this by esteeming ourselves and staying away from crumbs. By giving attention only to men who treat us well. By letting the low-effort men organically to fall away without our trying to change them. Attempts to change them are self-defeating. We are not their mothers or teachers. The men who step up and make their own efforts to please us are the ones worth spending our time with.
Agreed ?? As I wrote, this definitely applies to women and friendships as well. Xx
Hey Natasha, I loved this piece, just like I do for every other ones you have posted
I’ve never left a comment before, but I just had to share with you how much nearly every post (still trying to catch up lol) has helped me for the past two months. I go back to specific, several posts all the time, especially during times when I have felt low, doubtful. I can’t express enough how much this has helped me in my healing process. I feel that when I read your posts, i’m receiving advice from a sister i’ve always wanted/never had. I can definitely say that your posts are more helpful than people i’ve tried to reach out to in my personal life, the abundance of advice blogs online, etc. Thank you girl!:’)
Hi cc! Thank you so much – that made me tear up. I am so happy and honored to have helped. You are loved, understood, supported, backed, believed in, and never, ever alone. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for being a part of this tribe.
All my love to you soul sister. XX
Hello Natasha. All I can say is wow!! First, this post touched me so very much that I broke down and cried. I just never even had a clue about these vampires. It is a different set of glasses to look through. It is so scary that I had more than one of these in my life. This is the part that was so powerful!!!!
– When you retaliate against your own abandonment issues and fear of being alone by cutting an emotionally vampiric lover/friend/ex off, understand that ALL you are losing is an illusion. This person has/will NEVER be able to empathize nor be aware of your pain, needs, and position. Remember who you are and what you are worth.
I wish I could go back in time and reverse the the damage and get my emotional blood back. I can’t but I sure know how to protect myself. You are right that we can’t change these vampires nor should we be waiting for them to change. Why would they change?? It is who they are at their core as you have spoken before.
Natasha, I wish I could hug you and your beautiful mother. Thank you for the power in this post.
I love you and all you give. As you have told me, you are appreciated, loved, and not alone.
Thank you. ????. Miss you!!!!!
Linda – I am eternally grateful for the vampires in both of our lives because they allowed us to meet. You are an angel in my life and I think about you so often. Thank you for taking the time to not only express your love, but to give a voice to so many who, after reading you beautiful words, feel less alone in their pain, experiences, and fallibility. Thank you for being you. Love and miss you more! xx
Hi Natasha, I just love reading your posts! Ever so uplifting and always reminds me how far I’ve come in the last 18 months. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I always take a little bit of something from each post. I hope you’re well, you look stunning, I love you’re outfits. ?Xxxx
Hi Jules! AWWW thank you so much 🙂 You go girl. So proud of and happy for you. I’m cheering you on always and sending big love to you sister. XO
This post hit me so hard Natasha. Every single thing described my ex to a T. I have tears as i type this. Not only did i allow this emotional drainage for way too long which in the end only robbed me of my digniry and self worth but it brought me to my knees and nearly destroyed my soul.
I had given so much emotional blood during the 3yrs that i had almost nothing left inside of me to give to myself. He needed and fed off my supply because he didnt know how else to survive without it. It doesnt matter if it was subconscious or not because on some level they know what they are doing and as long as the source is compliant then they will just keep taking until there is nothing left or a fresh new victim comes along.
It breaks my heart and makes me sick when i think of who i became over the course of our relationship. But it also gave me a wake up call and really snapped my ass back into reality and made me face my own fears and start looking deep within myself of my own issues.
Thank you again my dear sister for your honesty, love and friendship. I cannot wait to see what momma has to say on the blog. ?
Love and blessings to you both. ???
I love you so much Vicki and am so happy that this post served you. Thank YOU for being such an inspiration, source of connection, and light to us all. You are incredible – you made it through and we are ALL here for you, always. XOX
Oh and thanks! Mom sends her love and reads all of your beautiful comments 🙂
Thank you so much!!! I needed to read this today to remind myself I am doing the right thing and finally healing from a f*cktard that does not deserve me in any shape or form. This also reminds me I’m on the right path and to stay strong and stay on this path. Thank you once again!!!
YAAA! You go girl. I’m so happy to help! Thanks Melissa 🙂 xx
Oh I love the last two paragraphs Natasha. I think I will make that my mojo.
I’ve been doing so well that I thought myself to be safe and yet out of the blue came a huge relapse and its intensity left me gasping for air. The feeling of still caring about someone who is able to not only hurt you but to abandon you and then come back claiming they love you is very very frustrating. It takes a while to have the brain, soul and heart to be on the same page.
But you know what? Despite the agony, I managed to not give in. Your messages are deeply encrypted in my psyche I think! Phew…It is scary that we can be so willing to offer our blood to the deceptively beautiful creatures that need us to survive. All that amazing love and attraction is a distraction for us to not feel the pain as their fangs sink in.
I am looking forward to the day when I will be clean for long enough that seeing the substance of my addiction will no longer have any effect on me and to be strong like you are Natasha. Gas lighting, intermittent reinforcement, cognitive dissonance, C_PTSD are words I wish I never had to become familiar with and yet here we are.
I love your analogies. They make the whole tragic situation seem somewhat more bearable. And once the lesson is learned, there is much to gain. Gratitude. Love and kindness toward ourselves. We are all survivors and we’re gonna make it. Love to all of you soul sisters here. 🙂
Michelle, your comment made me cry because I can see and feel my own pain in yours. I think that is the most beautiful gift one could ever give.
I am honored to have helped and so happy that the post served you. You are a phenomenal writer and incredibly old and beautiful soul. Love you sister. XOXO
I am a young lady with a history of anxiety, depression, and romantic obsession. I’ve been on a journey of self-improvement for the past few years and I’m getting to be in a good place. Sending “thank you” notes to all the women authors who helped me get here, and you are one of them!
So: THANK YOU!!!
I am honored to have helped. Your connection, sisterhood, love and support mean everything to me.
So proud of and happy for you. Thank you for being a part of this tribe.
Sending you so much love. XOXO
This post is so timely because this week I have been trying to distance myself from negative, parasitic friends. Reading this is reassuring that I don’t have to let anyone in my company. Thank you!
I am usually pickier about friends, but I just moved. Still, I’m seeing that spending time alone is better than hanging out with someone who makes me feel as unhappy as they are.
YAY! 🙂 I’m happy that the post helped! Thanks for being a part of this tribe Teresa. All my love to you sister. xx
It’s just eerie how accurate this is in my own circumstance. The woman I was seeing for nearly three years SEEMED like she cared for me, loved me, was interested in me. But I was just a means to an end, a vehicle for her to satisfy her own emptiness. “Draining” is the right term – it was all me giving, listening, dealing with her seemingly limitless list of issues while getting in return only vague promises and assurances. What I learned (as mentioned in this article) is that I could never change her and that it was fruitless to try. People like her simply transmit their damage from one partner to the next – and there is ALWAYS another, because they are never, ever satisfied. She went behind my back with another man early last year and I found out- I tried (stupidly) to maintain a friendship of sorts with her, but her actions had destroyed any sense of trust I once felt. I was met with a barrage of gaslighting and denial – “I didn’t mean for it to happen”, “I didn’t think it would matter”, “It was a lie of omission”. We went no contact in September and, as agonizing as it has been, I know that it is necessary. Whenever I grow weak and want to contact her, I remind myself of a lot of the very points made in this article. The lies, the false apologies, the baffling need for validation through me while still carrying on with someone else – it’s all a toxic stew that is best left in the past. I don’t wonder why I fell for her and stayed for so long- I loved her, and, oddly enough, a part of me always will. What I wonder is why I was so blind and lacking in self-regard as to tolerate the terrible way she treated me in the end.
Hi Tom! Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I am so happy that the post served you. We have ALL been there and put up with relationsh*ts way past their expiration date. In my experience, it is not love that is blind – it is our triggers, undealt-with trauma, and limiting belief system in regard to ourselves. You are understood, supported, appreciated, and never alone in any of this.
This was timed perfectly Natasha. I was just at a concert last night at Red Rocks and ran into my ex’s old friends who after 8 months of being broken up told me, he cuts the women he dates (in a relationship) out of his life every 9 months, regardless. He still reaches out to me. In fact I heard from him last month. I fell off my white horse and responded. But naturally, it was a text to make sure I was still his blood supply. He will never know the damage he did to me, this guy. I don’t know who I gave my heart to but I do know, last night and THIS article made up for the last 8 months of my life that I have spent hurting myself and obsessing over what I could have done to save us. There never was an US. Only an illusion. I needed this. This was Universe’s timing I believe.
You are the SHIT Natasha. I don’t know you personally, but from the many articles I read, you are a strong, wise and beautiful person. Your words have got me through some of my toughest, darkest, weakest most vulnerable times. You will forever be a favorite of mine.
Much love and respect,
Thank you! Yup – AGREED! So proud of you 🙂
I’m so happy to have helped and glad that the post served you.
It takes one to know one – You are incredible. So much love to you sister. xx
Thank you for this post!! Reading it made me realize that a couple of the vampires in my life are people that I cannot remove from my life but this was literally so on-point, I think the next time I’m in their presence I will “see” the vampire in them and know they are living from a place of emotional emptiness and that knowledge takes away all their power. Learning to see everyone in their real light, or lack thereof, makes it much easier for me to remain true to my own light and strong in my self protective boundaries.
Thank you always for the thought provoking encouragement!!
So happy it helped! 🙂
Thanks for sharing and for your love, sisterhood and support Teresa. XOXO
I just finished dating one of these twats… this is bang on! They fool you into thinking YOU are the problem. I was nothing but kind and got crapped on over and over. GFY.
Happy it helped! 🙂 Thanks Linz! xo
Thank you, Natasha! I was going through your past articles and I stumbled into this one and I’m glad that I did. I’ve been dating this guy for the past months and I just felt like I’ve been taken for granted and this has taken an emotional toll on me especially on my self-esteem. I am not as happy as before but yet I was trying to hold on, thinking that I will be the one to heal or save him. He has been dealing with his own emotional baggage as well. I didn’t realize that he was grieving for his late fiancé in which I found out when he said the wrong name on accident. To make my story short, I just felt like I was an object to fill out a void in his life. After reading this article and the recent one on how to love yourself, I realize that I need to step out of this toxic relationship and take care of myself b/c it’s not my job to save him. It’s quite draining but this article was quite an eye opener so thank you.
Hi Alisha! I’m so happy that the posts have helped 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to reach out and thank you for being a part of this tribe.
You are loved, understood, supported, believed in, and never, EVER alone.
All my love to you sister. Proud of you for having your own back. xx
Finding your website and reading these articles has been a blessing. Your articles have given words, shape and voice to the things I was feeling and thinking in an inarticulate and disorganized way. Thank you. I know the struggle is far from over but I feel like I have resources and allyship to deal.
From the bottom of my heart, thank YOU, A, for your love, connection, and support.
You are never alone. xo
I am no longer the emotional vending vachine, I unplugged myself. Thank you for opening my eyes. . I am able to see for the first time in 12 years. I can see and hear the truth. The heavy crippling fear, panic and doubt left my body. I talk myself through the wave as soon as it starts. There isn’t a blood sucking vampire riding the wave, just me saying “Hi and see you later,” I read your blog and cried for 3 days. When I stopped the heaviness was gone, the fog was gone. I don’t know how or why. I am not going to question it, I am grateful. My body feels lighter, My heart is light. The pit in my stomach is gone. I can actually laugh or smile without faking it.
Now the work of rebuilding my life begins…one day at a time.
Natasha Adamo thank you for putting this energy into the world. I am smiling right now…. it feels really good to smile. 🙂
I love and believe in you so much Vivi. And I am in tears as I write back to you. Tears of immense joy, appreciation, and gratitude.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, soul sister. This is what I live for.
So happy for and proud of you. You go girl. Love you! xox
Thank you Natasha for this amazing life saving, soul saving article. I am addicted to your blogs and articles, each one makes me feel so much better about myself and I feel stronger each day with my hard decision to walk away and go no contact from not one but several people I love and care for with all my heart but who do nothing but bring me darkness, self doubt, and despair. It is like overcoming a heroin addiction I would imagine … it is like we become people addicted. But no more…. I am finally turning inwards and doing the hard work on my “not good enough” and self love…. I am doing this not only for myself but for my 6 year old daughter in the hopes that she will not carry this in herself, generationally. Thank you Natasha for being a bright shining light in this world…..love Rebecca
I’m so happy that the posts have helped; it’s what I live for. I live to give what I wish I had and make sure that people do not feel as alone as I have. The only reason you are able to see, acknowledge, celebrate, and appreciate all that you do in me is because you emanate, possess, and radiate the same.
As does your beautiful daughter.
Thank you for being you and for being a part of this tribe. You are backed, believed in, understood, supported, loved, appreciated and never, EVER alone. All my love to you and your daughter. xxox