Today is the best day of the week…

The most coveted day of all…

Your. Day. OFF.

(Michael Bay caliber explosions)

No job, no have to’s, well maybe a few errands, but whatever. It’s your day off. And your good friend wants to hang out.

Sure! Cause it’s your DAY OFF to do DAY OFF THINGS!

He comes over, you talk and hang out and 5 hours fly by. You close the door behind him and…

POW!

Exhaustion hits you like a ton of bricks.

The air gets knocked out of your energetic lungs.

Whoa…this was your day off. And now you’re “double shift” kind of tired!

What happened?!

Someone Made a “You” Cocktail

Well, your friend turned out to be a vampire you casually invited into your house.

You just meant to hang out and connect, but you ended up being someone’s blood bag.

That exhausted feeling is the feeling of your life force being drained from your now limp body.

Now, before we tell you how to spot these vampires among the living, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that they aren’t vampires in the Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Dracula kind of way.

We’re not saying it’s not possible, We’re just saying we haven’t met a real one yet. So we’ll leave the actual blood-drinking, fanged ones up to your interpretation. But the vampires we’re talking about are just as terrifying…

These vampires steal your energy.

Still, the great majority of them aren’t bad guys. Most vampires don’t even know they’re vampires!

They leave your house feeling rejuvenated and full of life and it may never occur to them that you feel any differently.

They probably think you feel just as great! Or that you’re just a really awesome person who makes them feel more alive at no personal cost or gain.

Even if they were aware they drained you, they may think it’s just what happens after you hang out with people.

However, some people can give so much energy on their own it feels like they’ve been drained, even if there isn’t a vampire in sight. That’s a whole other horror story you can read about in our last article Over Giving: The Downfalls Of Being a Bleeding Heart.

But if it’s not you, it’s probably them.

And whether they know it or not, they mean to or not, or they’re ok with it or not, you shouldn’t have to be a blood bag for someone. You’re a human being, not a vampire buffet.

Hunting Without Garlic

But the big tells come when they spend some one-on-one time with you. Vampires usually have big deficiencies.

They feel like life is always abnormally hard and are looking to feel uplifted or pitied, but don’t actually want to be helped.

We’ve all had the friend in the bad relationship that complains all the time, but refuses to hear that they should work on their issues.

And sometimes, it’s just one touchy subject. But other times it’s a trend that gives insight into how that person treats every situation.

They may not know it, but they prefer to have your sympathy than your help. And not just in the hard moments. They want to leech your energy, care, and love and try to use it to fill the emotional hole they have in themselves.

But it doesn’t work for a long time, just for a couple hours or a day. And then they’re right back where they started, looking for their next snack.

You’re Not Donating To the Red Cross Foundation

At first glance it might seem honorable of you to be a blood donor for the vampires of the world, but when you really get down to it, no one is helped by this situation.

The vampire fills up for a minute, then gets just as hungry later and looks for it’s next meal. And you are less and less yourself.

How can you express the great things you have inside of you when you’re always exhausted from giving vampires a quick fix?

You don’t deserve to be used by someone at your own expense, no matter how much you like them.

And as long as a vampire has you to feed on, they can avoid really looking at their problems. So they never get the real healing they’re looking for either.

It only creates the illusion of help; it doesn’t really heal their wounds.

So by taking a step back and reserving your life force, you can actually help challenge a vampire to honestly grow and heal.

Meanwhile, you are protecting yourself so you have the strength to take on your own personal life challenges.

No Garlic!? How About Salt?

So, how can you start keeping yourself safe from vampires?

You might feel like you’re in a sticky situation. This person might be a friend you want in your life, and you shouldn’t have to push them away to protect yourself. But you shouldn’t have to accept being drained either.

Here’s some ways to protect yourself while still maintaining a relationship with a vampire:

  1. Analyze what you really enjoy about this person.

How much time do you like spending with them? When is it too much, or not enough? What do you enjoy doing with them? When do you feel most uplifted?

Maybe you’re ok feeling a little drained after they leave, but not overwhelmingly. Maybe you don’t want to feel drained at all.

Notice what you are ok with. When you understand yourself and your limits, you aren’t as vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

  1. Set time limits.

If you only enjoy being with this person for a couple hours before you start to feel depleted, find a way to limit how long you stay together. Try getting together before work or another engagement.

Accept what you are truly good with and build your schedule around that.

  1. Plan to get together with more than just them.

Invite a few friends so the energetic toll isn’t so concentrated on you. You can talk to them some of the time and distance yourself when you need a break.

  1. Talk about yourself.

If you feel like this vampire monopolizes conversation or always brings it back to their life, try talking about yourself more. Share your stories.

It’s not a guarantee, but try and see if you can make a difference by putting yourself out there more often. They might want to hear about you more than they let on.

  1. Plan activities that take the main focus off of you.

If you go bowling, you can both focus on bowling. Then you’re not the main entrée, your activity is!

  1. If you feel up to the challenge of helping a vampire loose his fangs, you can try and get to the root of the problem with them.

Now, this will only work if the vampire is willing to talk about the truth of the problem, which isn’t always the case.

But if they are willing, try figuring out what the person is really looking for.

Do they have low self-confidence? Do they feel rejected in their career and need their social life to make up for it? Were they cared for enough growing up?

If you’re close and talking about the trials of life, you can always try bring up deeper subjects and helping them with the root of the problem.

But be warned, this is the riskiest of the options and can be the most explosive so proceed at your own caution. Not everyone is meant to be a vampire hunter.