I read a very interesting book a few weeks back I wanted to share since I got a lot of use out of it. In a matter of days, I devoured Emotional Vampires, a book I have to help deal with some difficult people in my life. Little did I know I would find I was one of those difficult people?
One thing that stuck out overall was this warning: be wary of anyone who charms and appeals to you upon first meeting. In a personal defense area, this could be a charm predator working their way closer to you before they attack to get something they want. Alternatively, in the book the antisocial type who does not think the rules apply to them, grooming you to make concessions that you would not for their own entertainment. I noticed quite a few people fit this template.
Another type was the narcissist who thinks they are the greatest, the world and those in it are at their disposal. In the book every type has a checklist of traits and I put a few through the paces, including myself. I know a couple of narcissists, thing is, a little over a year ago I was twice as bad as they were. I was a narcissist with a mythology; I will get into the ‘mythology’ in a minute.
The types also came with ways to protect yourself from them, and a self-help part for if you found yourself in the pages. The Narcissism chapter’s self-help section listed everything I had been doing the past year while I healed, from following other’s leads to helping others. The paths just matched and it worked for me. According to the author it takes years to deal with it, it took me a year after the world showed me I wasn’t the center of it, the power I thought I had was fiction and I was left broken. It was a helluva wake-up call for me.
With one vampire staked and turned to dust, I found another hiding in the shadows, an obsessive-compulsive one. The author broke it down into perfectionists and puritans (the mythology of MY WAY), I had a bit of both to personally deal with. I wrote down the tools needed to stake them, and asked my wife to read the chapter so she can keep me accountable.
One of the tips is to do not criticize anything six days a week, if you do then you must find two good things about it. When I mentioned this on Facebook, a commentator said most people’s heads would explode. I actually found I was happier when I refrained from criticism and complaint. Overall, I highly recommend the book for dealing with people who drain you and if you are not scared to see if you may be the problem too.
For an overview on Emotional Vampires go to the author’s site http://www.albernstein.com/id55.htm