27 October 2009 8 Comments

About The Term “Energy Vampires”

What do you think of the terms "energy vampire" and "emotional vampire"?

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Judith Orloff, a competent psychiatrist and highly talented intuitive, uses the terms “energy vampires” and “emotional vampires” to describe people who drain or draw energy from others. The term “psychic vampires” is also in use.

VampireI have experienced people who drain energy. As those of you who are highly sensitive know, the feeling of having your energy drained by someone is exhausting, invasive, and unpleasant. Being drained can be metaphorical, as in having an emotional reaction that leaves you drained after dealing with someone. Loss of energy can also be literal. Literal means that energy is actually leaving your body and the drainer is becoming stronger.

Personally I do not believe those of us who get drained are mere victims. We have emotional or boundary challenges to master in order to overcome being susceptible. Interaction goes two ways.

Likewise, those who drain—with a few seriously disturbed exceptions—do not do it intentionally. They are likely to be doing their best to cope with their issues. They may need feedback and professional support to learn how to fill themselves up.

Personally I have mixed feelings about using terms that categorize people as monsters. Doing so is fun, spunky, highly descriptive. It gives us distance from people and their issues. It makes it easier to realize how critical it is to set boundaries. At the same time these terms focus us on the problem as if the entire person was his or her problem. Most people who drain energy do so only under some circumstances or types of relationships.

What do you think? Are the advantages of calling people “psychic vampires,” “energy vampires,” or “emotional vampires” worth it? Are the terms too harsh, or simply well deserved? Why?

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8 Responses to “About The Term “Energy Vampires””

  1. Michele Marie 26 November 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    I enjoy reading this very much!

  2. rene 20 December 2009 at 6:45 am #

    just toubled cannot see the wood from the tree’s east trap to fall into if you have had a troubled life it’s hard to clear you mind after sumtime i must have been 1 my self putting to much on others and family i have found i can just do my arts fast tai chi, ish and pull on more energy when needed but empathy and love of the person can drag you in i think

    • Teresa Dietze 20 December 2009 at 1:41 pm #

      Good point Rene.

      There are many kinds of love. Think of a Tibetan monk walking by starving children. He cannot help them all. He looks in his heart and balances his compassionate love with detached love–the kind that takes on only the duties that are right for his soul. He passes by some of the children with a feeling heart, blessing them, and brings two back to his monastery because they have Work with him.

      Love and detachment coexist beautifully when we listen to our inner guidance.

      Also, loving ourselves is part of the picture. I said to a friend today:
      The results of your work are like golden eggs.
      You are like the goose that lays them.
      Take care of the goose!


  3. rene 20 December 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    well put i will take on board what you say thank you very much

  4. Mary 14 February 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    I don’t like the term, because it labels a person in a judgemental, total way. It’s one to thing to speak clearly, directly, and honestly about a pattern of behavior. It’s another thing to identify a person as a monster. In a few cases, that might be appropriate, as you say. Most of the time, though, it’s too facile.

  5. JimG 30 March 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    For the vampire, I think it is good to be named.
    As I became more self aware of some of my energy sucking behavior, labeling that behavior “vampire,” helped me be more vigilant.
    Some of us carry deep wounds of separation and isolation. It’s a wound that doesn’t bleed; it’s a gaping hole wanting life, wanting blood.
    Self love; loving one’s own life, putting stake in one’s own heart, is the cure.

    Unfortunately I see much of American “culture” as voyeuristic. Watching through windows or TV screens or tabloids, we fill the holes in our lives with other people’s lives. Vampire behavior is actually pretty rampant throughout America.
    To wake ourselves up, to be vigilant, and for the sake of healing, we probably ought to name it as such.

    (Actually, we are really living in Bulgaria)(really)

  6. Jim Gregory 27 April 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Further insight: I think it important to consciously, lovingly acknowledge, CLAIM and OWN our sucking, violent characteristics. We generally, deny, suppress, and bury these energies in us. We might do a little ritual; write the hurtful nasties down on paper and burn the paper. (though we find we need to keep writing and burning everyday) This quote came by me recently;
    “Whoever does not, sometime or other, give [her] full consent, [her] full and joyous consent, to the dreadfulness of life, can never take possession of the unutterable abundance and power of our existence; can only walk on its edge, and one day, when the judgment is given, will have been neither alive nor dead.”
    (Letters: Rainer Maria Rilke 1923.)

    • Teresa Dietze 27 April 2010 at 4:56 pm #

      Your comments rock, Jim! Thank you for having the guts to dive in and explore!

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