How to Deal With Emotional Vampires: The Victim
Everyone has — or has had — a friend who was such an emotional black hole that they manage to suck the life and fun out of everyone around them; all the energy goes in and nothing comes back out. In vain, you try to cheer them up only to wind up feeling like you just got off a long day of work and need a drink to take the edge off. Here are some ways to deal with emotionally vampiric friends without going crazy or ending your one-sided friendship.
To clarify: This guide is for dealing with non-abusive emotional vampires; the ones who truly think that their life in its entirety is a tragedy and can’t help but unintentionally drag everyone who has to listen to their bullshit into the depths of “ugh” with every interaction.
The Victim is always under attack from everything and everyone in the entire world. Someone or something else is always at fault for the bad things that happen to The Victim; this person takes little or no responsibility for their own life, actions and decisions and has a “Me Vs. World” attitude. It seems that the occasions on which they’re happy, jovial, or even level-headed are growing more and more rare; listening to their incessant sadness is beginning to feel like drowning in molasses. Very emo molasses.
Setting Boundaries AKA Get Out of My House
One of the hardest things to do with any relationship is to set limits and stay rigid about adhering to them. While setting limits designed to help you out will definitely… help you out, the same boundaries are almost guaranteed to be at odds with whoever they effect.
– Refuse to engage in an “Aww Are You Okay?” fest with your textaholic friend who is really upset about this guy who bumped into her and gave her a dirty look even though she said excuse me my God can you believe it? Why are people so rude? It really makes me disheartened about the human race in general and…Just stop responding after the initial “Oh well, some people are jerks” text.
– Putting your phone on silent during “fuck off” hours.
I mean, you could always just talk to them. It seems kind of fucked up to just start ignoring your friend out of what will seem like nowhere to them, even if they are annoying and tedious to talk to 90% of the time.
Talking to people is hard because:
– Having to be honest about stuff the other person probably doesn’t want to hear
– Exhausting, would rather get drunk with friends than have a serious discussion about annoying friend’s annoyingness.
However, a discussion may relieve a lot of the tension you’re feeling and might even prevent you from having to give ole Saddie the cold shoulder. If you do it right.
Never approach your shitty friend all like, “hey, so you’ve been a shitty friend,” or, “I know you’re sad and everything but listening to your shit is really starting to bring me down, dude.” Even if this is the way you feel, your friend will feel criticized and hurt if you approach the situation in a way that focuses on you and your problems with them.
Instead, talk about them. There are sugary, kind ways to express your annoyance and concern without lying or being mean.
I hate seeing you sad, I wish there was something I could do to help, I wonder what you could do to make yourself feel better, I want you to have more fun, I think you’re great and should be happier and seeing you sad a lot makes me concerned and worried, blah blah blah I care about you and am trying to help you and secretly want to strangle you for being so melodramatic. Leave out that last part.
Using this gentle method, they may at least rethink their attitude. If nothing else, they’ll know that you care about them. If this doesn’t seem to help, you may want to take a more direct “I’m sorry that you’re upset but the negativity is rubbing off on me and I am going to commit a murder-suicide if you don’t stop complaining.”
But while the conversation might be meaningful to you both, it will most likely change nothing. For an emovamp, just making an effort to become happier is a painful, tragic road full of upsetting every-things and sadness swamps. Prepare to execute those boundaries and make yourself a little less emotionally present.
If none of the above works and you still find yourself struggling to not gouge your eyes out every time your pal hits you up outside the boundary zone, it may be time to cut ties and fly away into the sunset without that giant sack of someone else’s emotional baggage on your back.Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!