Emotional vampires? I know this may sound extreme but we all have someone that we know, someone who sucks the living life out of you every time they see you.

Emotional vampires need to be reigned in ...

So what exactly do psychologists call an emotional vampire?
'Some relationships are positive and mood elevating. Others can suck optimism and serenity right out of you. I call these draining people "emotional vampires." They do more than drain your physical energy. The malignant ones can make you believe you're unworthy and unlovable.' - Psychology Today

To me personally, it has always been a challenge when you meet someone and the ask 'how are you?' Because let's be honest now ... more often than not they do not care! People simply go through the motions of social etiquette. For me, I have always meant it when I ask a person how they are. I don't want the parrot fashion 'I am good thanks' ... nope... I'm your friend and I really want to know dammit!

But then there are the extremists, both on sharing (emotional vampires) and on not listening (emotional squash courts) ... let's discuss them both.

To stick with the topic lets first discuss our EMOTIONAL VAMPIRE friends. 
Now we all have them, these are friends who need attention, a hug and an ear to listen. Those friends for whom life seems to get unbearable and as a result, their lives can be rather tempestuous!
Many would say run, hide, do not approach and they tend to shy away or shun these friendships. I say 'bah humbug'! We are all different, we all have our own unique coping skills and that should be part of friendship ' ... you know the 'good and the bad' or the 'loving you for who you are' part of friendship.

My advice, love on these friends, let them share/vent/rant whatever it is they need but do not partner in their misery. Instead, why not build each other up, weigh up the severity of a situation and bring it back to earth. Speak love and light into people's lives without judgment, offense or hurting them ... be a friend people! Do not encourage negative talk, thought patterns or even voice what you would do ... it's about them and not you! Rather deflect the scenario back at your friend, from another perspective and let them mull the situation over.

You cannot change a persons natural responses, but you can be a good friend and just standby in both the good and bad times ... as they will come! Reign in your EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES, listen but do not entertain their rant, give advice, plant a seed and close the subject! Do however watch yourself, pace your time spent with these friends and ensure that your energy reserves are full and ready to go ... you will need all your resilience and strength.

Now I know a few of these and sadly they are in my church family too, they ask you how you are and that is the last time they look you in the eyes. These people are the polar opposite of emotional vampires, your words just bounce right of them ... as in a squash court. Usually during conversation whilst you are talking, they are looking around you, over your shoulder ... but nodding and uhmming and aahhing! I AM NOT BLIND PEOPLE! Do not ask if you don't care, but more importantly don't pretend that you do! I don't care how many stories you hear a day ... keep it real or move on! I do not need your inability to focus and give me 5 minutes of your attention, to leave me feeling invalidated and worse than if I'd never stopped! 

HEAR ME WHEN I SAY 'You are making yourself unapproachable!'

So now that all is said and done all that left to say is love the hurting, have patience, be kind. When you chat to people, be sincere, listen and put yourself in their shoes!