Emotional vampires. They’re everywhere and ready to suck your creativity, self-esteem, energy and, essentially, your life force. YUCK. Let’s begin by discussing what an emotional vampire actually is. They could be a narcissistic boyfriend or girlfriend, a family member, a co-worker, a best friend or, God forbid, a husband or wife. “Till death do we part” will take on a whole new meaning if you exchange vows with a vampire.  

You know you’re dealing with a human who preys on the energy of other humans when every time you’re in their presence, you feel sort of (or very) “off.” This is a completely different feeling than how your body, mind, and soul naturally reacts to a person who’s either “neutral” or supportive, someone who builds you up and gives you more energy. If you’d like some tips about how to identify an emotional vampire, let’s break it down.

#1 You’ll Feel Confused

When you’re in the presence of an emotional vampire, you’ll feel disoriented, confused or off-balance. Suddenly, you may not know up from down or left from right. Your ability to think for yourself will take a backseat to the actual bewilderment that has set in, seemingly out of the blue. The thing is, it isn’t really “out of the blue,” since when you’re in the presence of an emotional predator, this is simply what happens. 

#2 You’ll Begin to Doubt Yourself

The emotional vampire will drain you of your confidence. They’ll do a number on your emotions and your energetic body, which is both connected to the divine flow of information coursing through your veins. Your inner wires will inevitably get crossed, leaving you wondering if you ever really knew anything about the situation at hand. 

You see, a healthy person makes you feel as though you can do or accomplish anything, and you can be anyone. An emotional vampire will have you wondering whether you’re even capable of dressing yourself. 

If your self-esteem begins to take a nosedive after being in someone’s presence, sound the alarms — because what you’ve got right there is a mean wolf in sheep’s clothing.

#3 You’ll Become Dependent on the Vampire

An emotional vampire loves to feed off the energy of any sensitive or positive person as much as they can. So what better way for them to make that happen than to make you believe you need them for survival? It will, of course, begin innocently. Maybe the emotional vampire says they want to spend more time with you. They’ll ask plenty of questions or show concern for your well-being. All the while, they’re slowly sucking you into their world, so smoothly you’ll hardly notice. But don’t be fooled. They’re studying and scanning you, searching for weak spots, trying to find the best angle to get inside your very soul. And once that happens, BOOM! You’re screwed. 

These master manipulators are straight-up ninjas when it comes to this process, as they do it day and night. You’re no match for their savvy ways unless you’re hyper-aware about how this process works and are ready-to-roll with a game plan… or should I say an anti-vampire plan.

If you ever suspect the presence of someone like this is in your life, you must get informed on the subject of emotional vampires. Read books (I have a whole chapter on the topic in Enlightenment Is Sexy), watch YouTube videos, talk to a counselor or reach out to a solid friend to support you in your efforts against these spirit-suckers. Remember, knowledge is power and you’re going to need all the ammunition you can get when walking into battle with an emotional vampire.

Listen to your body and its subtle signals. Be on the look-out for signs your inner mechanisms provide when you’re spending time with “new” people. Our bodies never lie. They’re always on our side, giving us the brilliant signals we need to navigate these particularly treacherous waters. Your body is your greatest ally in this combat zone. I promise that once you start learning how to tap into the nudges your body is giving you, you can jump off the struggle bus… because you’ll be profoundly empowered and armed with the knowledge, psychic power, and presence of mind to take on any bastard who tries to make you his or her energy source. 

So, go out into the world and live your dreams. Be wild, be rebellious, be YOU, but also be aware of the people around you. When you meet anyone on the street, at the dinner table or at your office, recognize who you’re dealing with. If you sense they’re an emotional vampire, quickly acknowledge they have no place in your world. You are too smart, too beautiful and too amazing for all of that jazz. 


  • Valerie Gangas

    Life Coach

    Valerie Gangas is a transformational speaker, life coach and author of Enlightenment Is Sexy: Every Woman’s Guide to a Magical Life. She specializes in helping people make radical shifts in their self-perception to gain a deeper understanding of who they are, so they can genuinely thrive and unleash their magic more fully into the world.

    Growing up outside Chicago, Illinois, Valerie had an interest in the mysteries of the world and a strong drive to connect with the Universe, which she inherited from her mother who was a poet, former nun and a major influence in Valerie’s life.

    Valerie received her bachelor’s degree in theology and women’s studies from DePaul University, and earned her master’s degree in transpersonal psychology and certification in leadership and life coaching at Sofia University in Palo Alto.

    The death of Valerie’s mother was a huge turning point in her life, as it caused her to go into a deep suicidal depression, “a complete annihilation of who I was”. During that period in 2011, Valerie learned Transcendental Meditation and in her first meditation, she says, “my entire life radically changed in 20 minutes.” The spiritual awakening she experienced was a foundational shift and a powerful transformation in both her awareness and her life. (Hence, the name of her upcoming podcast is: “Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong!”)

    The David Lynch Foundation hired Valerie to give talks about the benefits of meditation and developing consciousness within corporations (including respected advertising and financial firms), private practices and student groups at top schools around the country, such as Loyola University School of Medicine. She eventually began working directly with Oprah Winfrey and her staff at Harpo Studios, and for two years she talked to groups of Oprah’s staff members about meditation and consciousness.

    Today, Valerie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is a transformational life coach to clients across the nation. She is also writing her upcoming book about how to create radical transformation in your life, which she plans to launch sometime in 2020. She’s also passionate about philanthropic pursuits; Valerie sponsors a young lady in Nepal through Shanti Children’s Foundation, is a donor to Charity Seeds, and is currently on the advisory board of the David Lynch Foundation in Chicago.

    Valerie sums up her philosophy for optimal living: “Once you’re regularly tuning in to your soul’s voice, through daily meditation, prayer, nature walks, whatever works for you, follow the signs, embrace the mystery, and trust the Universe.”

    To learn more about Valerie and her work, visit Valerie’s website https://www.valeriegangas.com and her instagram @valeriegangas.