How to deal with emotional vampires at work?

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Robert Maurer
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Overly ambitious deadlines and goals tend to generate tension in the workplace, but this is not the only reason why we feel stressed in the work environment, sometimes the problem depends on interpersonal relationships with those people who behave like de real "emotional vampires". In essence, emotional vampires are psychologically immature people, but they are adept at absorbing the energy of others through emotional manipulation. Usually, they are unable to be empathetic towards those around them, have little control over their emotions and find it difficult to apply the basic rules of good social education.These people often cause problems in the groups they have joined and they have a strong tendency to invade the personal space of others. Also, emotional vampires really struggle to accept the word "no" so attempts to dissuade them from their goals often fall on deaf ears.

As you can imagine, dealing with these people is difficult, so that we often end up getting angry, anxious, overwhelmed or even irritated by just their presence. However, since we probably can't change jobs, it is best to learn to relate to these people in order to preserve our strength. How can it be done?



5 strategies for dealing with emotional vampires

1. Learn to recognize the warning signs. If you are facing a colleague who you do not consider very reliable, and you have the intimate feeling that something is wrong, listen to your inner voice and pay attention to even the slightest sign. Emotional vampires often take advantage of the fact that we complain that we have doubted even when the other has done nothing. Obviously, it is not a question of classifying such a person as an "undesirable" individual, but it is important to be careful. You know, right, what the proverb says? ... "War foretold does not kill the soldier".



2. Set limits. Emotional vampires are true masters for evading the limitations of others, especially when the latter are confused. So, avoid being too pleasant and empathetic with them, especially when you disagree with their opinions. Make sure your rejection is firm and clear enough, otherwise they won't take your opinions into account.

3. Don't share personal information. With emotional vampires, any personal information shared could be used against you. Remember that one of their main characteristics is that they are expert manipulators and if they have valuable information they will not hesitate to use it against you to gain an advantage or to launch emotional blackmail.

4. Establish communication limits. In extra-verbal communication, the distance that separates us from the other person, together with our posture, says a lot about us. Being too close can indicate intimacy and trust, but if we keep distance it means that, in that moment, we are placing a limit on the relationship. We also need to maintain a relaxed posture that indicates that we are sure of ourselves, so as to convey loud and clear the message that they cannot manipulate us.

5. If the situation cannot be addressed, a way out must be sought. It is highly unlikely that the person who acts as an emotional vampire suddenly changes and begins to behave like a person who is responsible and concerned for the welfare of others. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true, which is that he will get angry at the realization that he cannot manipulate you. When you feel that you can't take it anymore, leave the place. That is, if you are in the office, go out and take a walk or go to another department. If you can't get away from your workplace, listen to some music, it will help you release the tension.



Finally, remember that only what we empower can impact us.

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