Browse the types of emotional vampires below to find out if someone you know is an emotional vampire

Anti-social Vampires

Are called that not because they don't like parties, but because they are heedless of normal social rules. They love parties, and any other source of excitement and fun. They hate boredom worse than a stake through the heart.

  • Daredevils - are attracted to thrills like lemmings to cliffs.
    • Look for: sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
    • Draw you in with: fun, excitement, and adorable adolescent rebelliousness.
    • Drain you by: overdoing everything exciting, and underdoing everything else.
    • The ones you see every day: cowboys, cowgirls, day traders, party animals, rebels without a cause, and that one lover you just can't seem to forget.
    • Defensive strategy: keep your brain engaged even when theirs are turned off. Especially then.
  • Used-car salesmen - their drug of choice is putting one over on you.
    • Look for: people who swear they're telling the truth. Think about it, who but a liar would expect to be doubted?
    • Draw you in with: instant rapport, smiling sincerity, and the sweet prospect of something for nothing.
    • Drain you by: lying, cheating, stealing, and perhaps getting you to engage in a bit of subterfuge yourself.
    • The ones you see every day: anybody who asks you if you've thought about your financial future.
    • Defensive strategy: always read the fine print, and remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • Bullies are addicted to the raw thrill of seeing you squirm.
    • Look for: anger, threats, and yelling.
    • Draw you in with: the illusion that they are powerful.
    • Drain you by: making you afraid.
    • The ones you see every day: the guy in the pickup who flips you off, and the petty tyrant who runs the finance department.
    • Defensive strategy: remember that the real battle with bullies is not in the dust of the playground, but in your own mind.

Histrionic Vampires

Histrionic means dramatic. With these vampires everything’s a show, and what you see is seldom what you get. They crave attention and approval and will do anything to get them, except making good on their promises.

  • Hams live to put on a show. If you don't pay enough attention they'll, they'll just shrivel up and die. It will be your fault.
    • Look for: sexual stereotypes, and highly noticeable looks that can change overnight according to whim, or remain the same for years through the magic of cosmetic surgery. Histrionics have big hair, big muscles, big emotions and not the tiniest clue of who they really are.
    • Draw you in with: charm, beauty, talent, the promise of sex (often unfulfilled), or whatever else it takes to get noticed, except for substance.
    • Drain you by: needing more maintenance than a classic car or a rare orchid, but having almost nothing to give back save an occasional great performance.
    • The ones you see every day: celebrity wannabes and drama queens (and kings) whose emotions are a mile wide and an inch deep.
    • Defensive strategy: histrionic lives are soap operas. Watch, but don't join the cast.
  • Passive-aggressives long for approval so much that they hide any part of themselves that anyone would disapprove of, especially anger and sexuality.
    • Look for: bright smiles, blatant denial, and more than a passing resemblance to barbie or ken.
    • Draw you in with: being nice, friendly, cheerful, enthusiastic, brave, clean, and reverent.
    • Drain you by: attacks that everyone else sees, but they never acknowledge, or by simply being too forgetful to give you what they promise. Or maybe they're sick with some vague and undiagnosible illness.
    • The ones you see every day: people who never get angry themselves, but seem to make everybody else angry. “unintentional” sexual harassers, church ladies who cast stones, pure and perfect anorexics, or anyone else who would never think of doing anything unacceptable.
    • Defensive strategy: first and foremost, never try to get passive-aggressives to admit to their own motivation; you will only get a headache. Remember that they hunger for approval. Tell them explicitly what it takes to please you and praise them profusely when they do it. The strategy is simple and almost foolproof, but it is seldom employed because it's hard to praise somebody who gives you headaches. Hard as it is, it's far easier than the alternative.

Narcissistic Vampires

Have huge egos and tiny consciences. It's not they're actively trying to hurt people; they just never consider other people at all, unless they want something.

  • Legends in their own minds with talent like theirs, who needs performance?
    • Look for: self-proclaimed genius, with membership in mensa listed as greatest life achievement.
    • Draw you in with: talent and potential.
    • Drain you by: blaming everybody else for their inability to realize that potential.
    • The one you see every day: your brother-in-law, the genius who can't hold down a job.
    • Defensive strategy: getting them to do the parts they don't like first, and paying attention to performance rather than talk.
  • Superstars do what it takes to climb the ladder of success – whatever it takes, especially taking advantage other people.
    • Look for: success, achieved at all costs.
    • Draw you in with: talent, charisma, and acting as if you were as cool as they think they are.
    • Drain you by: perpetually seeing their needs as more important than anybody else's, and not giving a rip once they've gotten what they want.
    • The one you're most likely to see every day: politicians, prima-donnas, and hard-driving competitors who throw tantrums when they lose.
    • Defensive strategy: keep a ledger book in your mind. Make sure superstars pay up front for anything they want from you. Never accept promises or extend credit.

Obsessive-Compulsive Vampires

Are perfectionists who dot every i, cross every t, but can't seem to see the forest for the for the superfluous overabundance of trees.

  • Look for: overwork and emotional constipation.
  • Draw you in with: competence, hard work, and attention to detail.
  • Drain you by: punishing everybody who's not as competent as they are.
  • The ones you see every day: puritans, perfectionists, and control freaks.
  • Defensive strategy: negotiate to deliver a product, then resist attempts to control the process.

Paranoid Vampires

Are visionaries who search hard for the Truth. They see things that others can't. The question is whether those things are really there.

  • Look for: absolute certainty about themselves and their beliefs, distrust of everything else.
  • Draw you in with: virtue, creativity, perceptiveness, protectiveness, and deliverance from evil.
  • Drain you by: jealousy, unshakable prejudices, constant cross-examination of every difference of opinion. Absolute belief is neither good nor evil, but it is a door through which either may enter.
  • The ones you see every day: jealous spouses, conspiracy theorists, and people who post weird things on the internet.
  • Defensive strategy: know how to recognize a crazy idea when you hear one. Don't answer questions when they're asked a second time.
  1. Know Them, Know Their History, And Know Your Goal

    The way to anticipate vampires is by knowing how they've acted in the past. Chances are pretty good that they'll do the same thing in the future. The big mistake you can make with vampires is assuming, without evidence, that though their record has been bad in the past, that they have learned their lesson, and will do better this time. When you deal with vampires, always ask yourself what you're trying to accomplish and why. If you're not sure, don't do anything until you've thought about it carefully.

  2. Get Outside Verification

    Vampires want you to listen to them alone. To control you, they'll try to isolate you from your usual sources of information. Always check out what they say with a trusted friend, especially when you'd rather not. Vampires can't operate in the light of day.

  3. Do What They Don't

    To prevail over Emotional Vampires you must rush in where they fear to tread. Your greatest strengths lie in doing the things you can do that vampires can't.

  4. Pay Attention To Actions, Not Words

    What vampires say is often very different from what they do. To avoid being drained, always focus on what they do.

  5. Identify Hypnotic Strategy

    Vampires are consummate hypnotists. When you see through the smoke and mirrors, their illusions don't work nearly so well.

  6. Pick Your Battles

    To be an effective vampire fighter, you have to be able to pick the important battles and ignore the rest. You also have to avoid fighting battles you can't possibly win.

  7. Let Contingencies Do The Work

    A contingency is an if-then situation. If someone does a particular thing, then certain consequences will follow. The only way Emotional Vampires learn anything is by experiencing the consequences of their own behavior. If you're ever tempted to rescue a vampire, think about what you're teaching him or her about how the game of life is played.

  8. Choose Your Words As Carefully As You Pick Your Battles

    With Emotional Vampires what you say, how you say it, and when you say it are all crucial to the outcomes you are likely to achieve.

  9. Ignore Tantrums

    When vampires don't get their way, they throw tantrums. They can explode into all sorts of emotional outbursts whose only purpose is to get you to give in. Don't.

  10. Know Your Own Limits

    Dealing with Emotional Vampires requires a lot of effort. They may be worth it, they may not. Only you can decide. Sometimes it's better to run away, or not get involved in the first place.