Dealing with psychic vampires
Are there people in your life that seem to demand huge amounts of your time and energy and who somehow seem to drain you every time you engage with them? Despite the other-worldly sounding name, psychic vampires are very much human beings. They are people who do appear to suck the very life force out of us. However, there’s a lot more to the whole dynamic than that.
In a nutshell, psychic vampires are on the hunt for energy which they get through our attention. In an ideal world, we grow from childhood, where others take care of us, to adulthood, where we take care of ourselves. Along the way, if that healthy maturation process doesn’t quite happen we can be left as adults who are still looking for the outside world to meet our needs on any or every level. That sends people on a voracious hunt for energy that they become absolute masters of mistresses at getting it through a variety of means. Charm, anger, desperation, presenting as a victim and pleas for help are all approaches that they can use.
It’s not as simple as it all being about them, however. Our journey into adulthood also means that we need to develop healthy boundaries, and if we don’t we can find ourselves easily getting sucked into to other people’s dramas and demands.
The spiritual approach to any problem always asks us to step out of what we are feeling or what we believe is going on and to look at what’s happening at the exchange of energy and from a higher perspective. So if you think that you’ve got a psychic vampire in your life, try the following.
1) Don’t take it personally – it’s not about you, it’s about energy. Until psychic vampires learn how to meet their own needs, they are on a relentless hunt for whoever will meet theirs. They quickly move on from people who don’t engage in the dynamic but will happily drain those who do until they’re dry – or until they themselves become conscious and transform.
2) Understand where they are coming from. Psychic vampire is perhaps a loaded term, so think of them as scared kids in adults bodies who are trying to make their way through the world. It’s not your job to meet their demands, but you can be compassionate about why they might have them.
3) If you suspect that you’ve got a psychic vampire in your life, look inside. Sally (not her real name) used to wonder whether she had a sign on her head that attracted voraciously needy people until she realised that she had been raised to think that her self worth came from meeting other people’s needs. She was an expert at spotting what needs people had before they even knew they had them and jumping to it. You might even say that on one level, she was seeking them out because it was a pattern she was familiar with and then wondering why she had so many in her life. As soon as she changed her beliefs, her energy shifted. These days, she says she can spot psychic vampires but doesn’t feel the need to dive in. Instead, she just feels compassion.
4) In life, it’s inevitable that we’re going to bump up against each other sometimes. Remember the power of your attention, how that links with your intention and what Shamans and Huna magic tells us about the importance of our focus and learn how to use it economically. That is, give each situation just as much energy as it needs to deal with it and no more. If someone cuts you up as you’re driving to work, you can either seethe about it all day or keep your head, do whatever you need to do to stay safe in the moment and then effectively leave the memory at the junction.
5) Dealing with friends who are negative puts a big pull on your skills. Psychological research on what’s called emotional contagion shows that our feelings do spread between each other, echoed in the Shamanic idea that we are all one and other spiritual philosophies that say that every single thing in the entire cosmos is actually just a fragment of one huge consciousness. If you’ve got a friend who’s going through a tough time or even experiencing depression, you might find them very draining. At the same time, because we are all one, and because they are a friend, it’s difficult to cut people off because we do feel drained when we know they are at a low ebb and want to help. There is no one right and perfect path through this kind of dilemma, but what you can do is visualise them as whole and healthy, shower them in compassion and also show compassion for yourself in making sure that you nurture yourself and keep yourself buoyant as otherwise it’s easy to fall into the same hole they might be in emotionally, and then all you’ve got is two people in a hole!
6) Make sure that you aren’t being a psychic vampire by being on an endless search for love, validation, approval or even what to think and what opinions to hold from others or constantly being involved in drama. If you suspect that sometimes you are acting in a vampiric way, pause and do a quick inner check to see if the urge is coming from a scared inner you who actually needs you to learn how to take care of yourself. If that’s the case, be loving and compassionate towards you. Just being conscious of the patterns we play out is enough to start to make a shift towards being whole and complete.
7/ Psychic Vampires often hook our attention with drama. For them, drama is like a good dose of virgin blood! Someone in psychic vampire mode can feast on negativity as well as any positive attention. Often you can spot a vampire as they go into victim mode or martyr and blame everyone around them for their problems while never taking any responsibility. They can drop some negative energy and then stand back and watch the impact, feasting on being at the center of the drama. Look out for people who keep drama going and the people who get ‘bitten’ and join in.
The Celestine Prophecy (A spiritual classic) talks about this as energy stealing. The book has a lot of wonderful quotes on this, especially about the 4th Insight which is all about controlling others. It says,
“When a human controls another human, they absorb their energy, leading to a sense of gratification and motivation to continue the practice. They thus become ‘addicted’ to the feeling , getting progressively more demanding and out of control in their efforts to absorb ever more energy from their interactions with others.
“This, and a couple of other forms of gaining energy can only be achieved at another humans’ expense. And as always, conflict is inevitable when humans feel the need to control and dominate one another.”
Attention = Energy
“Other forms of gaining energy involve manipulating or forcing others to give us attention, and thus energy. When we successfully manipulate others in this way, we feel more powerful, but they are left feeling weakened and drained.
“Childhood issues and a lack of positive role models hinders the development of a human’s ability to access energy through non-destructive means. In order of obtaining energy, children in these circumstances create situations where attention is directed at them.”
All of us have the potential to be a psychic vampire at those times when we are out of balance or do not feel part of the whole. This can send us off in search of a quick fix of energy that can become an overwhelming unconscious addiction. Psychic vampirism is actually a behaviour that comes from a deep seated emotional need. When people work on loving themselves and trusting life’s process, the need can transform, the energy can vanish and the behaviour can change as quick as you can say garlic!
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