Have you ever heard the term ‘Emotion Vampire’?
An emotion vampire is a person who you care about but they are almost impossible to please. No matter what you do, no matter how much you give, no matter what sacrifices you make, no matter how much you co-operate…they always make you believe you are NOT good enough.
Interactions with them, leave you emotionally drained. Verbally you may or may not be abused, gesture wise, energy wise, attention wise, behaviour wise, you feel abused.
Your relationship with them started out well. Over a period of time they became important to you. Now you feel taken for granted. Interactions with them makes you feel a ‘void’ inside.
Perhaps, he is your college friend who calls you only to complain at length about his bad marriage or poor work conditions and completely ignores asking about you.
Perhaps, she is your relative, who calls you only when she needs someone to crib about other family members or to grumble about her child who is not studying well or to lament how no one understands her or how her husband does not give her time at all.
Perhaps, it is a acquaintance who always asks for advice, never does anything about that advice and never returns your calls.
Perhaps, is is your child / spouse / in-laws / parents, who do not truly care about your challenges and feelings. They are selfishly and exclusively focussed on you meeting their expectations and on you taking great care of them.
On their best day, they might throw a few crumbs at you. On their worst day, they will scream and belittle you and claim they fed you a feast.
Funnily, you find yourself making excuses for them….
She was in a bad mood today, that’s why...
He had a difficult childhood, that's why….
One day, they will understand.
Next time, she won’t behave like this.
He is still a child.
After all, we should not give up or lose hope.
Why to take ‘panga’? Jaane de na!
Her nature is good, just that……………
He said sorry na! Lets give him another chance….
She does not mean what she said.
Slowly, their insensitive behaviour makes it harder for you to make excuses. Chances are, not knowing what to do, you see this as your ‘fate’. Something inside of you, a huge part of your bubbling energy, gets locked down. You become morose. Your state becomes melancholia.
The truth is some relationships are purely for circumstances. A college hostel room mate, a community get together committee, co-passengers, a co-worker etc.
When circumstances change, these relationships may not work. When college ends, when jobs change, when vehicles change, those friendships may not work. That's ok. That's the way life is. Attempting to desperately hold on to circumstantial relationships may create toxic moments and toxic memories.
For some people, you are just a circumstance relationship.
If you find you have a emotional vampire in your life, here is what we suggest you do. Make a list of positive and negative things that you get from the relationship. Does the negative outstrip the positive? If that is the truth, it is time to evaluate the relationship. You need not give up on that person completely. However, you must take a few steps away and look at it fresh. Find sources of bustling joy and sources of dynamic energy in your life. Most importantly, involve yourself in something that desires your COMPLETE devotion. Mind you, I am not saying find a distraction. I am saying DO something with DEVOTION. The more long term it is, the more apt it is.
This way, you will create some necessary space between you and your emotional vampires. This will do you a world of good.
If you are not going to do so, there is only one explanation. You must be still ‘believing’ in the excuses you are making for them.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose exhorted, “Give me blood. I will give you freedom.”
My dearest friends, if you are giving your life, your attention, your energy (metaphorically - your blood) in a relationship, it must lead to freedom not slavery.
Choose Emotional boosters not emotional vampires.
Choose Happiness not helplessness.