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The band My Chemical Romance has a song called Vampires Will Never Hurt You and locally we have Chicosci’s Vampire Social Club andthose are just some of the songs that I came to like growing up so the fascination has always been there. VMPRS LV FRVR and I’ll raise my glass to you were only some of our favourite phrases back then.
In pop culture, there is this infamous legend in Transylvania, Romania where Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) is born. It is believed that the idea of vampires originated from the place.
This fascination isn’t about the famous novels with shimmering bodies and creatures who are afraid of sunlight, but more on the vague idea of it and the sheer curiosity.
They are…. maybe not in the blood-drinking sense, but there are emotional vampires who drain our emotional energies (just like its fictional counterpart), whether they are aware of it or not. And the scariest thing is that THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. They live among us and we are probably not even aware of them. They may not be after your blood, but they feed on your inclination to care for them and instead of feeling happy with their presence, they leave you feeling drained and melancholic. They can be your office buddies, your boss, your friend or a family member — anyone. And that’s not even the scariest part.
Just like a fictional vampire whose fangs are hidden in sight, spotting a vampire in real life can be tricky especially when we don’t know where to look at. We would sometimes think that how they communicate or deal with us is normal, but underneath the facade is a whole lot of toxicity that affects us not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Some tell-tale signs are as follows:
ME, IT’S ALWAYS GOT TO BE ME. I AM THE CENTER OF EVERYONE’S WORLD.A person who makes everything about themselves no matter what topic you are talking about can be a hidden vampire in your life. It’s like they crave for more attention if they are not receiving it the way they wanted and they believe that their needs are more important than anyone’s needs.
THE GASLIGHTER. Gaslighting as defined in Wikipedia is a colloquialism for a specific type of manipulation where the manipulator is successful in having the target (a person or a group of people) question their own reality, memory or perceptions. This term has originated from the title of the 1944 film, Gaslight where the protagonist is manipulated to believe in a false reality benefiting the antagonist.
Gaslighters will tell you lies and will never admit to their shortcomings even when you have the proof. They will make you think that you are in the wrong even when you are being the sensible one. They will make you question if you are even doing the right thing. They will put the blame in you about something that you obviously didn’t do and you’ll believe it, too. Manipulative, in all sense of the word.
They would refuse to take accountability of their actions and they often can find a workaround to blame the dishonesty on you.
These vampires’ insecurities get ahead of themselves so they project these traits to you, intimidating and guilt-tripping you. They attack your weakness and most of the time get away from it unscathed, while you are left with your own defenses, wounded and most likely not aware of it yet.
IF I AM MISERABLE, YOU SHOULD BE, TOO. These emotional vampires often send forth negativity and it brings people around him/her down. Maybe it is a part of being co-dependent and of how they would like to manipulate the people around them. They live for the drama! They also need constant validation that sometimes they do not care about others. Often times they get tone deaf on a situation because their focus is mostly on how to make it about them.
Whew, just writing these traits can get quite draining because in one way or another, I think we’ve encountered people like that. Sometimes, those vampires can also be us to our colleagues (we may only be aware of it now, but hopefully we learned a thing or two from this)
Maybe we don’t know when we are being toxic to others too, just like an emotional vampire so it’s good to be reminded to be able to assess ourselves and fix whatever it is that we can still fix with regards to our current situation.
You won’t be needing any amulets or garlics to fight off these vampires, you just need to keep these sort of solutions in mind:
Set clear boundaries with your relationships. This is probably one of the hardest things to do because we have certain connection with people that makes it harder to just let go but one thing is for sure, you should not allow these toxic people to treat you with disrespect. Remind yourself of your true worth. Learn to say no when you needed to without feeling too guilty about it.
Stay calm and try to control your emotions. Don’t give them the attention that they crave if you can. Reacting to their criticism feeds their ego and gives them this feeling that they have control over you. You can also learn to become more assertive but always remember to do it with respect.
Kill them with kindness. This works all the time. Be the bigger person, if you can.
Lastly, one must let go of the toxic relationship and try to spend more time with optimistic people whom in contrast to the energy-sucker individuals, can give you positive energy. A good support system, a loving family, a friend who is always willing to support you in your endeavors and call you out for your wrongdoings. Sometimes we take them for granted because in our minds we are like, “they are always here for me, anyway” and we’ve been lost in a bubble, holding on to keeping another relationship from breaking apart that it’s cause us our own peace of mind.
I used to have this friend whom I valued so much that I didn’t see the fangs. Or I just refuse to see it and I’d like to believe they’d get better and change…. but they didn’t. I’d like to believe in the goodness of people around me, and to some extent, yes she’s been good to me. Years passed and the friendship fell apart and there is no more constant communication like before (although I try to be there for her in my own little ways). It is only after a couple of years that I realised how toxic and abusive emotionally those times have been. And how I let her suck the life out of me.
But now I’ve been doing good, and I believe she is, too. We did get to talk about what changed and what didn’t work, said our sorry’s and that was it. We’ve both matured and we are better apart. Her fear back then might have come true: We really became the kind of friends who only get to talk/exchange messages during special occasions, as sad as it may seem. I did try to reach out (and so there’s no regrets on my side) but it’s never quite the same and it is, I believe, for the best.
Then I realised how in life we get to know people and lose them for certain reasons and that is to make us stronger than ever. It also makes us extra grateful for the people who remained on our side.
To you. Don’t be a weakling like the old me.
You are your strongest weapon so be the best vampire slayer out there. You are more than what these vampires are coining you to be so you do you, always.