by Desislava Ignatova (Bulgaria)

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and felt completely drained afterwards?
Do you know people who make you feel anxious and irritated for no apparent reason?

The psychovampire is a metaphorical concept, created by Connie Voigt and Hamid Peseschkian. It refers to people who have the ability to feed on others’ energy, so they can fill in their own deficits. What plays a central role in these types of interactions is the self-esteem. Interestingly, neither the vampire, nor the victim have it. One should bear in mind that every single person can turn into a psychovampire. In some cases, one may play the victim, whereas in others — the vampire. Some people have the potential to turn into more than one type of vampire depending on the situation.

Now let me introduce you to the first quartet of vampire types!

(1) The Snare Vampire:

“Hello dear fellows! You can meet me under many names, but I am best known as the snare vampire! I have heard a lot about myself like: “you have a big ego”; “you are overrated”; “how come you are so selfish” and so on. Ah, people, you have no idea how difficult it is to be so unique and so indispensable!

I had a meeting yesterday and I couldn’t understand the other person’s reaction. I told her — “those eyes, those skills, this talent, but let me stop talking about myself. Tell me something about you” and she left. Can you imagine? She missed an opportunity that happens only once in a lifetime! I bet she will regret it.

When I am at work, people complain that I have high requirements and that I am never satisfied with the results. As if that is my problem — work more, be more diligent. This is how I always attract people who want to prove themselves and want to show me the “right” way.

Dear fellows, they don’t get it! That’s exactly how they fall into my trap! I depend on their habit of  holding themselves responsible and seeking validation outside. It isn’t a coincidence they idealize me.”

If you recognize yourself as a victim and you are seeking an antidote — make a plan before you meet with such a vampire and follow it. Focus on your strengths and your capabilities that make you unique.

(2) The “Yes, but…” vampire:

Hey, folks! I tend to irritate people by using the magic words: “yes, but..”. This way I express my negative position, which always affects the rest, by making them doubt themselves. “Yes, but this will never work.” “Yes, but this is impossible to change.” “Yes, but this will never last.” “Yes, but…”. Hence, my talent is to see problems and to doubt not only my abilities, but also everybody else’s, too. I prefer others to take full responsibility for all decisions, including mine. Therefore, I attract people who are decisive, ambitious, diligent, reliable and precise.”

Often, the victims of this vampire type are perceived as psychovampires themselves. To be honest, the best strategy is to accept them for who they are without blaming yourself for their actions (or the lack of such). If it is possible, avoid arguing. It won’t lead to a constructive dialogue and you will only loose time and energy.

(3) The depressive vampire:

“Hello, it’s me — the depressive vampire even though I prefer to be called Atlas — after all, I hold the whole world on my shoulders. People don’t understand me. I share my difficulties and they do nothing about it! I tried all Tom Sawyer’s strategies and yet, nothing changed!
aI keep hearing: “I can’t be bothered with your problems” “get out of the victim’s role” and “grow up”. It is so difficult. I am so sad and alone. I want someone to take care of me. They say complaining won’t help me and that the more I complain, the worse it becomes. How come? I am Atlas, after all…”

If you have met the depressive vampire, you may have wondered if he is permanently in a  bad mood or he just has the worst luck in life. The depressive vampire always blames others and never holds himself accountable. There isn’t a single vampire or human being who is immune to him. Everyone can fall into his trap of bad mood and misery. The best thing you can do is to analyze the situation and make an informed decision based on your intention. a

(4) The monument preservation vampire:

This is the monument preservation vampire. He is too busy making sure nothing changes. That’s why he can’t introduce himself.

What you need to know is that he HATES innovation and modifications. The monument preservation vampire doesn’t understand why something must  be changed when it works.

If something could have been better, he would have come up with the proposition himself!

People who fall into his trap are usually the CEO and all managers who are creative and want to improve the working processes. He tends to get on their nerves by saying: “It has always been this way”.

There isn’t a specific antidote to this type of vampire, besides accepting the fact that no solution in life can satisfy everyone. You can never please the whole world. What you can work on, is your inner world embrace your vulnerability, accept that conflicts are part of life and further develop your skills for negotiating.

Those are, by far, not all the vampires you can encounter out there. In this article, I’ve only scratched the surface. If you feel like you know other vampires, which I haven’t described here, fear not. In the following weeks, I will introduce you to the rest of the clan.

Peseschkian, H., & Voigt, C. (2015). Psychovampires: a positive approach to energy suckers. AuthorHouse