How to Deal with Emotional Vampires

Written by Dr. Eric Perry

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” ~Unknown

1. Don’t be guilted or show pity
Emotional vampires are great at using guilt or pity to control and manipulate others. If you show any sign of guilt or pity, you become an easy target. It is important to be decisive, direct and non-reactive when dealing with emotional vampires. Remember, emotional vampires can be quite charming. Establishing boundaries early will help. But, don’t be afraid to set a new precedent with an emotional vampire, even if you know they will react negatively. Set an intention that you will not be an emotional prisoner to anyone.

2. Replenish yourself after every interaction
After interacting with an emotional vampire it is common to feel completely drained. It is important to keep this in mind before skipping the evening walk or jog that always seems to make you feel better. Ask yourself, am I physically or just emotionally exhausted? Of course, sometimes it can be both. Be honest with yourself and challenge the urge to want to crawl up into a ball and disappear. You don’t need to do that. Remember, a nice sweat can help dissolve much of a day’s tension.

3. Remember to smile
Beat them with a smile and a positive attitude. Make eye contact and don’t flinch. If necessary, count the number of the times they blink their eyes during conversation. This will help you hold a confident gaze as you show them you are not intimidated. You are not in this world to be bullied, manipulated, used or put down. If you are a sloucher, stop it. Emotional vampires are experts at spotting weakness. Say to yourself or out loud, “I will stand up for myself. I won’t be bullied, manipulated, used or put down by anyone.”

4. Slow it down with rational responses
There is nothing more frustrating to an emotional vampire than a person who does not react to their behavior. Stop being surprised by how awful an emotional vampire can be. Yes, they are insecure, often lonely and obnoxious people. Instead of being surprised that people like this exist, focus your energy on slowing down and responding rationally. Remember, emotional vampires want to catch you off guard any way they can even if that means being blatantly offensive. They are desperate to see you react. Don’t feed them.

5. Know what your goals are
When interacting with an emotional vampire it is important to know what your goals are. Do not let yourself become entangled in the emotional drama that accompanies all emotional vampires. Maybe you just need to get some checks signed. If that is the case then that is your only goal. Anything other than accomplishing the goal is unimportant. Don’t let yourself be drawn into their drama. Smile, be courteous and finish the job.

The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a professional relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a medical professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.

Dr. Perry

Copy of Dr. Eric Perry

“I help ambitious and high achieving individuals manifest a life of success and fulfillment in order to achieve the life they truly desire.”

Dr. Eric Perry |

The materials and content contained in this website are for general information only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users of this website should not rely on the information provided for their own health needs. All specific questions should be presented to your own health care provider.

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If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.


69 responses to How to Deal with Emotional Vampires

  1. kristinagallo says:

    Emotional vampires will suck your blood until something chill them out. I never waste time with them, even if sounds rough. Door closed. 🙂

    Liked by 9 people

  2. Dealing with them truly is an art of sorts. I do recognize the need for solace afterward – even if just to laugh at how they didn’t get what they wanted but if you deal with them just right, they believe they did get what they set out to!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. avid reader says:

    Your post holds the ultimate truth. The world has people like this who harp on devilish pleasure by sucking all happiness out of you. You have well reflected the ways they affect you and how to avoid them.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. David says:

    Great advice .. retaining your positive state of mind always. Forgive them, forget their treachery and bless them. Love, David

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mozer G. says:

      exactly why they prey for you. they take advantage of natural good people. keep on trucking. you’ll win 🙂 at least you know, you’re the good person and they are blood-suckers… God bless

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Emotional vampires are hard work and remember they will stoop very low to keep jibing you. It is even more difficult if the emotional vampire is a family member you have to deal with. They are extremely draining and they feed off your energy even if you are in a good state of health and have to meet with them constantly will mean your health will wane. The worst form of this is the psychic vampire as they will attack you on every level. Strong protection is required when dealing with them. The best you can do is if possible, cut them out of your life. Refuse to touch them that includes shaking hands. Good points Eric as more of us are becoming aware of these Emotional Vampires there are too many.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. ericstone51 says:

    Is that another name for Narcissist or sociopath? I’ve met my share and somehow allow myself to fall prey to their trickery. Sly little devils! No more, though!! Done.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. samanthamurdochblog says:

    Really important information. SO important to physically/psychically/mentally cleanse after contact with an emotional vampire. They can and will do real damage to anyone-great post, thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. kristianw84 says:

    I needed this today! I let someone I work with get the better of me because she was being insensitive to the fact that my husband’s aunt (who we were both very close to) passed away very suddenly in a horrible accident. I missed a couple of days work because of it, and she was not very understanding. Fortunately, my boss is very understanding and always has my back in these kinds of situations, which is awesome! So, I really have no reason to be upset with my “emotional vampire.” Thanks, great advice as always!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. jansweeps says:

    I stopped volunteering because of a couple of emotional vampires there. It wasn’t enough that one sucked me dry every week, when the second one showed up, it was too much. I’ve been vampire free for an entire year.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Floating Speck says:

    omg I thought I was the only one who was drained by certain personalities ! I have a woman at my work place that I believe I toxic. I can’t stand being next to her!! Thank you for this article

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Klea says:

    Eric, May I shared this blog on my FB page … I only have a few followers, the way you have worded this topic will be associated well by those who follow my little page, and the advice given is gold! …

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Dee says:

    I’m confused. Saw this post with a red vampire but when I clicked the page was gone. I tried several times on Friday. As for emotional vampires, been there, done that till I reached a point where I cannot and will not tolerate the negativity. It’s draining and toxic. I used to dance the dance of political correctness with them so as not to offend. Now I simply don’t care if I appear insensitive. I turn and walk away. As someone with unresolved PTSD, I cannot allow them to drag me down.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. themrrodge says:

    Great advice. I would dare to say there are different types of emotional vampires. They may require use of some but not all of the strategies.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi Eric! I thought I replied to this post. I smile when I saw “Emotional Vampire”. I think I’m happy because I have learned what to do with them. When I notice one, I respectfully excused myself from them and I realised they never like that! They don’t find me an interesting prey. And I remember asking your permission if I can reblog this post of yours. I’m just not sure if I was able to send it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This field was intentionally left blank says:

    Thank you! I’m an Asperger’s female (Silent Wave lady) and I have struggled with this most of my life. I’ve always been very sensitive to most of the “vibes” of the people around me, but sometimes I can’t tell when my energy has been drained until after it happens. In more recent years I’ve been able to spot an emotional vampire earlier on, but I would still struggle with what to DO to defend/protect myself. Thank you for writing this; it’s what I’ve needed 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Mozer G. says:

    I found the prerequisite to any struggle we take upon ourselves is to understand that that thing- emotional vampires. Literally want to murder you. Every person wants to live (most). It is that we don’t concisely think of those charming vampires as murderers. It is easier to stay strong and persevere if we understand that we are fighting for survival . Maybe it’s so simple that it was superfluous to write. But I think makes a big difference in the struggles of life…

    Liked by 2 people

  17. tigre23 says:

    Thanks for sharing – this is a useful reminder but sometimes hard to remember to do when you are confronted with an emotional vampire. It takes practice and as I say “practice makes permanent”.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Gracious Roses PR Consultancy says:

    I have a close friend that I usually miss when he’s not near. Sadly, usually feel emotionally drained after meeting here. He always finds fault with me or how things are done. 90% of the times we met, I regret the wasted time and drained emotions. This article has given me just the right tools to keep my strength and peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Great post Eric! Emotional vampires..Was surrounded by them my whole life..My parents were NPD disorded, Step-parents and ex boyfriends..It takes a lot of strength to break away and set healthy boundaries from these people, as they don’t make it easy for you!
    I write a lot about healing from emotional vampires, especially those with NPD. (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Sheryl says:

    A great post, thanks. I grew up with an emotional vampire. It took years after her passing to understand what happened and how it affected me daily. Now I use that understanding for strength, inspiration and to identify others of her kind.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Lorena says:

    #2 resonated for me. A vampire in my family was the impetus for my love of exercise and weight training no joke!

    I got into the best physical health because of this person. There was something about feeling on a visceral level my strength and the endorphin’s that followed it, that helped me keep my center through the unavoidable interactions with them.

    I needed to feel strength in my body, particularly my stomach to build me up long before I’d be approached by them to be able to shake off the feeling of being punched in the gut by their off the cuff nastiness’s

    Thank you again Eric!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I’m really loving your post. I can relate to this so much. I use to be a sucker for a sob story and I failed repeatedly at the first point. I have a big heart, but over time I learned to wise up and be careful who I let in. Love this!!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Laina Eartharcher says:

    Excellent advice, Eric 👏🏼. This really hit home. I’m a former massage therapist, and I slowly began to realize that certain people would drain my energy. Of course, this revelation came after a long time of strange physical/mental/emotional symptoms and lots of bewilderment 😉

    It didn’t help that I’m also (unbeknownst to me then) an Aspie/autistic person. Although it’s often said that we lack empathy, the truth is that we actually probably have too much; it’s just that either we express it in different ways, or perhaps it’s a different kind of empathy altogether. That only compounded the issue 😊

    Thank you for the amazing and realistic tips! They’re so spot on ❤️
    ~Laina @ The Silent Wave Blog 🌟🌟

    Liked by 1 person

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Thank you Laina! I enjoy reading your blog on what is like to be an Aspie/autistic person. It’s insightful and valuable information. Have a wonderful day and weekend! ✨✨✨

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I wish I’d read this before my mother visited recently! I didn’t react to her email today (well I did in my head a million times, but not out loud) – I just deleted it and didn’t allow her the satisfaction of rising to the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dr. Perry, this is quite insightful. I hope you do not mind, I’d like to share this with my fellow colleagues as we work from a mental health and chemical dependency capacity. It’s quite draining working with some of our patients. I also like to point out that sometimes, counselors may become emotional vampires as well as we work with one another. Definitely will keep this information at the ready as a reminder of my own personal self-care program.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you for the kind words. Please feel free to share. Kindly, Dr. Perry


  26. I absolutely agree with you, it is important to look them in the eye and hold your ground. I tended to go into every interaction with a goal. It was usually pretty limited and it is important not to let them sidetrack us by pushing our buttons or changing the subject. They don’t like it and will try all their tricks but as long as the goal is clear that’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. You are the only person I have read, who also mentions having a goal. Any interaction with either them or their flying monkeys should be goal- oriented in my view. Goals need to be kept really, really simple and very specific.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I think we’ve all dealt with Emotional Vampires in our time. This is sound advice for anyone dealing with one presently. I wish I had this when I was younger and less equipped for dealings with them.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Prismatic says:

    After lets say 15 years of conscious living (before that I was too young to understand the world),I was able to identify a category of people who are ’emotional vampires’ (though I wasnt aware of this technical term). Initially I would fall for the outer charm and appearances of greatness. However, with time, I figured to separate them from the rest. What really bothered me was ‘how to deal with them’. Not reacting to them, not being intimidated by them and to be firm and strong in responding to their offensive words and behavior were few of the ways I learnt. Yes, it is extremely emotionally stressful to continuously having to deal with such people. Yet, they are everywhere. Thanks for your very educative post, one that is definitely useful for those stuck with these emotional vampires in daily lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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