There are some people whose company fills us with joy and vigor. But there are also those who seem to drain our energy every time we talk to them. We also call them emotional or energy vampires.
Sometimes we keep such people pretty close and don’t even realize it. That’s why you need to be aware of the signs of an emotionally draining person. There could be one in your social or family circle.
Read through the signs below and see if the description fits someone you know.
14 Signs of an Emotionally Draining Person
1. You feel empty and drained after spending time with them
The very definition of an emotionally draining person implies that their presence has a wearing effect on those around them. So, feeling tired and empty after talking to someone is the most telling sign that you are dealing with an emotional vampire.
Sometimes you can’t point your finger at a specific trait or behavior that makes this person so draining. It may be just an overall feeling of emotional exhaustion you get each time you spend time in their company.
This often makes you unconsciously try to avoid meeting up with them. Listen to your gut—sometimes your intuition knows better who is who.
2. They need your attention
Emotionally draining people feed on your attention. They get it in different ways; it depends on the person.
Someone may create drama out of nothing and get others to comfort them. Other emotional vampires talk about themselves all the time, and you have no choice but to listen to them. Someone else seeks to dominate the conversation and give others advice they didn’t ask for.
A common trait of an emotionally draining person is that they feed on others’ attention and willingness to listen.
3. They lack empathy and listening skills
The above also automatically means that emotionally draining people are not good listeners. They are only interested in conversations where they have the leading role. They want to be the only person in the center of attention.
In essence, they are unable to show empathy and comfort someone else. This requires emotional resources which they don’t have. That’s why they feed on everyone else’s energy.
So, if you have an emotionally draining friend, it’s not a person to whom you would turn for help. Such people are takers, not givers.
4. They complain a lot
There are different types of emotional vampires—some love to play the victim, while others seek to dominate. But there is one common trait of all emotionally draining people. They complain a lot and tend to talk about negative things.
An emotionally draining person thrives on negativity. Sometimes it looks as though they love to spoil everyone’s mood. In a sense, it’s true—they feed on your emotions, so they feel better when they dump their negativity on you.
Do you know someone who never has a nice thing to say about anything or anyone? Do you feel dull and pessimistic after talking to them, as if they’ve taken away all your joy and willingness to live? Chances are, you are dealing with an energy vampire.
5. They make everything about themselves
Among the most telling signs of an emotionally draining person is that they make everything about themselves. This is a pretty annoying trait—be it a conversation, a remark, or a social media post, they take it personally and shift it to themselves.
For example, you are telling an emotionally draining person about a challenge you are going through, but the only thing they do is tell a similar story of their own.
They have a talent for shifting the topic of every conversation to themselves. This behavior stems from selfishness and a lack of empathy.
6. They overreact and take things personally
Emotionally draining people’s tendency to make everything about themselves leads them to take everything personally and get offended for no reason.
They can easily take an innocent phrase as an insult and turn an irrelevant remark into personal offense. Moreover, they are quick to lose temper.
As a result, you find yourself saying sorry and trying to calm them down, even though you didn’t say anything wrong. So, it’s not surprising that such toxic behavior leaves you emotionally drained.
7. They have a victim mentality
Not all emotionally draining people play the victim, but many do. They use this psychological trick because it’s a great way to have everyone’s attention all the time.
Do you have a friend who is always in trouble? Or a co-worker who always blames everyone else for his failures? Maybe you have an aunt who loves to tell the same story of how someone betrayed her?
It can seem like an emotionally draining person is the most unfortunate and misunderstood individual on earth. Everyone mistreats, underestimates, and exploits them.
Sometimes you feel so sorry for them after listening to their heart-breaking stories that it leads to emotional emptiness. This is exactly what an emotional vampire wants—don’t forget that they feed on your attention and compassion.
8. They are intimidating
But there is also a different type of emotionally draining person. The one that seeks to dominate and intimidate others. These individuals behave in a pretty different way — they exhaust your energy by making mean remarks, dominating the conversation, and giving unsolicited advice.
It’s a sort of annoying know-it-all who loves to give lectures and impose their opinion on others. They are convinced that they are always right and everyone should listen to them.
These types of emotionally draining people can also be pretty mean and cynical, always speaking ill of others and making fun of everyone.
It’s no surprise that you feel drained after spending time with such a person. Their pushiness and desire to dominate can be exhausting.
9. They are negative and never feel satisfied with anything
No matter what you do to please an emotionally draining person, you won’t succeed. They will always find something to complain about. Their negative mindset is the main reason they drain your emotional energy.
It’s tiring to deal with someone who never feels satisfied or happy. But even worse is the fact that they seek to drag everyone into their misery. That’s the only thing that seems to make an emotional vampire feel good.
10. They thrive on conflict
Among the signs of an emotionally draining person is that they love to start arguments. As we said above, they tend to overreact and take things personally. With such behavior, it’s easy to create conflict out of nothing.
Once again, this is a way for an energy vampire to get everyone’s attention and make everything about themselves. They feed on your energy, so having a heated argument over an insignificant topic makes them feel good.
That’s why most high-conflict personalities are so emotionally draining. You never know where an innocent conversation is going to take you.
11. They are manipulative
Emotionally draining people have a number of manipulative tactics up their sleeve. Their favorite one is guilt-tripping and shifting the blame on to others.
This type of person won’t own up to their mistakes. They always blame others for everything that goes wrong in their lives.
So, if you try to call out an emotionally draining person for their behavior, they will turn it against you. You are the one who misunderstands them. It’s your fault that they are so unhappy.
As a result, you end up feeling guilty. Emotionally draining people are very skillful manipulators when it comes to inducing guilt.
12. They invalidate your feelings and opinions
If you are going through a difficult time, don’t even try to turn to an emotionally draining person for support. They only know how to seek it from others, and they are unable to provide it.
If you tell them about your problem, they may brush it off as something unimportant. Such a response makes you feel like your emotions don’t matter.
Instead of comforting you, your emotionally draining friend will tell you a story with the only purpose to convince you that they are dealing with a much more severe issue. It’s as if they are competing in misery. All for the sake of having all the attention for themselves.
The same happens with your opinions — an emotionally draining person doesn’t really consider them. You may try to help and give them advice, but they rarely act on it.
Keep in mind that an emotionally draining person only seeks to dump their negative emotions onto you. They don’t really need advice—they just want you to sit there for hours and listen to their moaning.
13. They fish for compliments and seek reassurance
Emotionally draining people love to get others to comfort them and say nice things to them. Sometimes, they make self-deprecating comments just to prompt you to give them a compliment.
This need for constant reassurance can be draining. It seems like the only reason an energy vampire needs you in their life is to constantly convince them that they are better, prettier, and smarter than they think.
Gradually, an energy vampire plants an idea in your mind that they can’t survive without you. Beware of such behavior—it’s nothing but skillful manipulation aimed at feeding on your time and energy.
14. They don’t respect your time and personal boundaries
One of the key signs of emotionally draining people is their disrespect toward others’ time and boundaries. When they need a listening ear, they don’t care about what time it is or whether you can talk at the moment.
They will call you at work and won’t stop talking. The thought that you might be busy doesn’t even cross their mind. An emotionally draining person may show up at your door unannounced just because they need a shoulder to cry on.
They only think about what they need. Emotionally draining people don’t give much consideration to the needs of those around them.
If the signs of an emotionally draining person ring the bell, think twice before keeping such an individual in your life. Emotional vampires only exhaust your energy and waste your time. You can’t fix them or make them happy.
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