But Really, What’s An Energy Vampire?

Okay, so what’s an “energy vampire”? Most people think of energy vampires as vile individuals who somehow -and for some reason or another- zap us of our energy. A simple Google search for ‘energy vampire’ will yield a wealth of information on the phenomenon, some sources going as far as offering classifications of energy vampires along with antidotes for protecting oneself. Now, I don’t necessarily disagree with the concept of energy vampires. On the contrary, I strongly believe that most of us have inherited these vampiric techniques from others, be it our parents, friends, or lovers (but more on that in a bit). And though the idea of energy vampirism is often associated with new age/occult ideas, it’s no longer an entirely esoteric phenomenon as the last decade has seen a huge surge of interest on the subject. Articles abound in our mainstream periodicals, from ‘Psychology Today’ to fashion magazines such as ‘Ella’ or ‘Self’.

So why am I writing about this? Well, mostly because I think that where people do seem open to the idea (which is GOOD), not many researchers are explaining what actually happens during a vampiric exchange (which is BAD). When we think of energy vampirism, we think of someone literally stealing our spiritual energy, and I’m afraid many a new age jackal has seen to exploit this illustration by claiming that they can actually see the light being sucked out of others during such exchanges. Now, I do think there is still much to know about the full capabilities of our minds. In fact, I suspect that with enough inner development, we would probably be capable of things that may dwarf science fiction itself. BUT, do I believe that there is an actual energetic transaction happening during a vampiric exchange? No, I don’t really think so. And here’s why:

Let’s use an example. Say there are two people having a conversation. One is what we would consider an energy vampire (A), while the other (B) does not seem to exhibit such tendencies, in any real noticeable way, at least. The vampire (A) has the tendency of making others feel bad about themselves, perhaps by constantly bringing up negative events in their lives. People often feel urged to humor him because they do not want to be “rude” and he is aware of people’s allegiance to such convention. So instead of having a normal casual exchange, A keeps bringing up these sour moments, while B is left to elaborate on these ideas, which he has been trying to work on in private. By the end of the conversation, B feels entirely depleted while A feels energized and great about his life. So because A is actually not that happy about his life to begin with, he brings up these negative situations in B’s life as a way to feel better about his situation, which in actuality is not as bad as B’s life. By the end of the conversation, A feels a little better about his life and B, well, not so much.

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Nah. This is mostly bogus.

We can see how this can easily be seen as some kind of exchange, especially by many who would like to take advantage of another’s beliefs/lack of Sight. But there is no real exchange occurring. During the conversation, both independent agents have their own psychic energy to work with. The problem lies in the fact the distribution of inner psychic energy can be manipulated by emotion. An energy vampire is actually just consciously or unconsciously adept at finding weaknesses in people’s psychic systems. Because we are emotional beings, an energy vampire learns how to correlate one’s behavior (i.e. actions, facial expressions, speech) to one’s own inner energetic distribution. (We all have memorial triggers that ignite our emotions, which are highly complex and associative. Much can be used to activate our psychic nodes.) So, for instance, I might learn -through your behavior- that you are sensitive about your weight. Depending on my disposition, I might subtly exploit this knowledge in order to make you feel inferior or uncertain about yourself by speaking of the ideal caloric intake or how attractiveness plays a biological role in finding a mate. By utilizing this information, I can manipulate your own energy flow. The energy vampire goes a step further by manipulating his own psychic energy in RESPONSE to yours. In other words, he either consciously or unconsciously knows what will boost his own sense of self -his very ego- and so he manipulates your emotions in order to incite a response in you that will boost his own energetic network.

An energy vampire that cannot verify his affect on you, cannot complete the vampiric dynamic. He relies on assessing how the manipulation has affected you. If that verification does not exist, he will not be able to stimulate his own ego and therefore his vampirism is ineffective. Giving away this verification, however, is much easier than we think; so much gives us away. The most subtle act, word, or glance can show others exactly how we feel and an energy vampire is extremely skilled at picking up such changes in behavior. And we all have this skill to some extent- some of us are just a little better than others. In fact, I strongly believe that vampirism is a spectrum and the we all prey on others in similar ways. I’ll even go as far as saying that vampirism IS how the ego survives. I believe that this energy vampirism is the nature of the ego, the nature of our psychic contractions, that we articulate the ego by triggers and associations based on our own social exposures/admittances while interfacing with the world.

(And this, among other things, is the purpose of true self-actualization and inner development. It’s about becoming a) conscious of the ego’s tendency to “drain” others while filling ourselves in the process [or conversely, we might have some weird inner setup where we boost others as much as possible so as to fulfill a self-hating masochistic tendency to feel bad within our own skins] and b) doing something constructive about it. What the end result of this looks like, I don’t entirely know. But I do know that it looks entirely different and may involve an entire reworking of what our psychic systems look like/how they function. Ultimately, it seems to me that self-actualization changes one’s landscape of mind entirely and forever, but more on that in another post.)

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Don’t get me wrong, though, I do believe that our mainstream coverage of energy vampires is useful. One might find lots of useful resources to help deal with the overt dealings of these people, but it will also help us to expand on the concept a bit, to zero-in on the dynamics that make it relevant enough for us to discuss while also dispelling some of the discrepancies that obscure its reality. I think a deep enough discussion will show that energetic vampirism is just the result of a very unbalanced and sick ego, a thoroughly misplaced identification of Self with self and that we all have that same capacity to fall if we’re not mindful.