LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) â There are relationships that can drain and overwhelm us, caused by people who exhibit an excessive need for our attention.
If you this sounds familiar then you may be dealing with an âemotional vampire.âREAD MORE: BTS Will Reunite With Its ARMY With 4 Live Shows At SoFi Stadium
“‘Emotional vampire’ is a term that we use for people who suck the energy out of us. Itâs often a person who is really, really needy. They want everything from us all the time. You almost feel like you’re being held hostage,â said relationship counselor Deanna Jordan, the clinical director at New Method Wellness in Orange County.
“Sometimes, unfortunately, we’re in positions where we have to continue relationships, with people who are draining on us,â Jordan said.
Emotional vampires are everywhere but experts say they most commonly can be found among friends, family and work colleagues.
“My friend continually texts me, calls me. Sheâs very negative all the time and itâs really draining,â Beverly Hills resident Jennifer Terrell told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Suzie Suh. âI love her and I donât want to hurt her feelings. I feel like sheâs lonely, just very high maintenance.â
Itâs that maintenance that Terrell says has left her feeling spent. The working mother and PTA council president says sheâs trying to juggle everyoneâs needs.
“I’ve had a family member who had boundary issues, who constantly just came over whenever,â Terrell said. âThat relationship has suffered greatly because of that and we see that family member very minimally.”
Jordan says there are ways to manage those people who may have good intentions but end up sucking your time and energy.READ MORE: Student Fights Off Suspect In Violent Overnight Attack Near Chapman University Dorm: 'I Chased Him Back Up The Stairs, Cursing Him Out'
“I don’t think it’s ever a good solution to cut someone out of your life, unless they’re really toxic,â Jordan said. âIt’s better to learn how to deal with these people than to just cut them off.”
It starts with The relationship expert suggests responding with kindness or a âwall of pleasantness,â so that youâre ânot really letting yourself be vulnerable or letting your authentic personality come through.â
Also, try re-framing your communication.
“I might say, âLast time we were together, I was just so overwhelmed. Do you think this time we’re together, we could talk a little less?ââ Jordan said.
And donât feel guilty. Give yourself an out.
Jordan said that could mean saying things like: âI forgot I got to make this phone call,â âOh, I’ve got this appointment,â âOh my gosh, I totally forgot I got to pick up the kids.â
When people are acting like emotional vampires, Jordan says itâs all right to be a little selfish in return.
“It’s so difficult for people in our culture to put themselves first, and the most important thing is non-negotiable self-care first. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but you’re going to feel better,â Jordan said.MORE NEWS: $150,000 Reward Offered For Information In Murder Of El Sereno Business Owner Reza Mousavi
Above all, this relationship expert suggests making yourself a priority, no matter what.