I believe the recent nauseously overdone deluge of vampires & zombies in books, movies, poems, TV, celebrity scuttlebutt, FB, etc. could have roots in two places:
- Humans project powerlessness & chronic fears onto outside things to create the illusion they can exert some control.
- We really do have vampires in our lives.
Energy vampires, that is.
These might come in the form of parents, siblings, spouses, *kids, friends, extended family, bosses, co-workers & clients, even dogs. Anyone who takes more than they give—energy-wise.
These mortals may not mean to siphon your essence during a short conversation—leaving you enervated—but intentional or not, the effect is the same. Problem: you’ve trained them, consciously or subconsciously, to recognize you as a target.
Time to un-train them.
To be liked or accepted, to avoid conflict, to not offend, many people won’t speak their needs or thoughts. We learn these social cues quite young when they hitch onto our instinctual fear of banishment from the tribe—a sure death in times of yore.
In order to get our needs satisfied we form a misshapen blueprint of our Self in early childhood and then spend much of our lives seeking others who’ll fit it. Since it’s not reflecting the genuine Self, we’re never really satisfied. See: wanting for want
Those of us who received very little in our fundamental relationships are often starving for attachment and can’t discern the difference between a loaf of bread (genuine bond) and a crumb (ephemeral thread). All they know: it’s something they’re missing and they bite down. Many of us not only don’t pull away, we offer our necks.
If you listen to your boss’s racist/sexist jokes without voicing your queasiness, you’ve inadvertently taught him you enjoy them. When your sister’s bawling—for the 4,563rd time—about how Bobby Ray mistreats her but does nothing to address it, you’ve signed up for those 2:00 am phone calls that I don’t take. When your yippy dog’s yapping at every passing insect but you don’t want to look bad saying anything to her, well…
With others, you should kindly consider their wants but you must consider your own. Voice clear boundaries regardless of how scary it feels. If your sister feels hurt because you have your own valid necessities or a different opinion, that’s her conundrum, not yours. If you’ve any hope in training others to respect your needs, you’ll have to consistently honor yours first.
Even if it feels antithetical, your only true protection comes from abandoning the blueprint. As my t-shirt spells: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
*not applicable to most kids under age 20