The Energy Vampire
There is a common unwritten rule in cultures of how much one comfortably interacts with others in a respectful manner. Unwritten, and subjective to settings, to relationships, and individuals. There is a play of give and take, of communication effective and not, and of creating or destroying boundaries; each interaction navigated with varying levels of comfort and grace. Occasionally, the rules are intentionally, boldly, or selfishly violated.
Energy vampires are those who are so occupied with their own self interest that they disregard the interest and respect of others, selfishly draining others of energy by their presence and subjectivity.
The others exist, but as means towards the goals of the energy vampire. Energy vampires enter a situation abruptly, loudly, and heavily, like an elephant, commanding attention and turning the subject to their emotional state and experience of their arrival. The others were in conversation, doing something before the energy vampire was present, but like the characters in a solipsist’s world, they begin to exist as the audience of the energy vampire at the moment the energy vampire arrives. The energy vampire infects the environment and demands attention by volume and vibe. Others may politely ask about their day or some common interest, or not, which either way the energy vampire indulges as opportunity to take the center stage. The others do not find the energy vampire returning the interest—they fail to remember this lesson of etiquette. They are accustomed to making noise, good or bad press is equal on the surface for them, and subtleties are lost on them. Under the facade, in a moment of reflection, they feel empty and neglected, since they feed on the energy of others. Their self worth is low, since they are unconsciously aware that they are always manufacturing the limelight they crave, and sometimes they pause in their efforts and observe that others do not live within the same fight for attention, which seems to create more meaningful connections; they have not given themselves the space in which to learn how to interact with others in these ways. So they minimize isolating moments of self examination and solitude to avoid this unpleasant reflection. Energy vampires live on the energy of others, so their priorities are from one meal to the next. Introverts are particularly sensitive to being a snack, first because introverts are the most affected by the energy vampires and second because introverts can most easily see the vulnerability beneath the facade.
The energy vampire is just looking for ways to be themself, like the scorpion who can not help but sting; they are not able, or rather they believe they are not able, to put themself in the position of the other or in a different mode because their lack of emotional maturity curses them to be a vampire. They are trying to be stealthy in their scheme while still emanating their subtle energy-leeching demeanor. That demeanor is like an unholy aura, like a debuff (a spell which lowers others’ abilities). The energy vampire creates an atmosphere that behaves like a social and emotional black hole—whatever ideas others propose or characteristic they exhibit is sucked into this density of dark waves to be lost and never ping-ponged back. Normal dialogue goes back and forth, the parts involved are empowering each other through the challenge, the creation, and the focus. But it is useless to bring well constructed arguments to the energy vampire because they do not care about dialogue in itself. They do care very much that the other is trying hard and investing energy, since this is their feast. If the other stops trying and starts to question the attitude, the questioning works like a deterrent, like garlic or holy water. They are quick to position the questions as personal affronts as a first line of defense, then deflect and distract. Questioning is the mirror others hold up to the energy vampire, a scary act because the energy vampire fears exposure. Vampires do not have reflections in mirrors, so they avoid them to not be revealed as what they are. Around a vampire reflection is avoided; but what does happen is seduction. Seduction to their game. They are not always loud, annoying or obnoxious. Sometimes they are sly like a fox, erotic or tricky in order to get others involved in their game. Once lured in, others are their subjects to play with and at the end the others wonder why they feel so low, so drained.
Energy vampires likely reason that they are rather persuasive negotiators, since others tend to yield to them: their arguments, their desires, even their interruptions. In reality, their monologue skill is so complicated, draining, and frustrating, others find it easier to give up and give in instead of joining the rather immature competition of who can assert themselves the longest, the loudest, the most powerfully. One can find them organizing neighborhood committees and community watches to dictate and enforce rules on others, routinely taking coffee breaks at their colleague’s desk to share their latest ideas of how things ought to run, and posting on social media about how their life is special in a way that weakly attempts subtly in begging for affirmation and interaction. Their little world revolves around them.
Energy vampires use logical fallacies all the time, or create confusion by changing the subject often; they are confident in their speech and they sound it. Naive people easily fall prey to this coldness and fail to recognize the lack of love for humanity in the vampire. That is why vamps are stealthy while the trained intuition can name them.
Energy vampires are unhygienic—caught up in their own little world, bringing the other into it with conversation that could best be described as monologue, sharing their emotional state and subjective experiences. They spread their subjectivity as a contagion. All while the other is their sound board, there to provide the appropriate reaction, existing as background actor to the unhygienic’s needs, absorbing and being drained. Like soft material to sound waves, other exists to be immersed. The other is victim, or supposed to play it, since the energy vampire takes without giving. Energy vampires are tone deaf to the aesthetic beauty of the world, of social interactions, and of otherness, since careless interruptions are their modus operandi of existing. Other exists as fodder, attention fuel, audience, extras to the main character’s life, and thus only as much as the energy vampire takes interest in allowing their existence in their future stories they tell others.
Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Energy vampires are masters of being antisocial via their unhygienic habits towards others, in that in their mind, there is no society, only self and extras. They assert themself. Life is a battle to assert more assertively than those around them. The subjective world exists rather dogmatically, while they are foreign to exercise in objectivity. They are ironically dependent on others’ energy, so interacting with other is rather important to fuel them, but only in limited capacity, on their limited terms and conditions. They speak of their beliefs and positions as truth, while xenophobic to otherness since other is a challenge to their attention and therefore their existence. They are capable of sympathy and empathy only as much as they can relate the other to some story they have directly and empirically suffered themself. Others are audience; as such, any request to listen is met with the energy vampire’s feeble attempt to relate the material to some personal experience that they can draw, which is a slight of hand to bring the storytelling role back to themself.
A basic need for recognition is satisfied when others give them attention. If others ignore them they suffer but do not stop trying, so the ultimate cure is a "stake through the heart"—a condemnation, a calling-out, a confrontation which makes them react violently because the other reveals that they are full of life and vigor, not naive easy prey.
Energy vampires exist to themself differently than anything other. Theirs is a solipsistic way of being, not philosophically as an academic choice, but by default, since the energy vampire does not consider a greater good outside of themself. The Id is clearly and prominently promoted, the Ego indulges and serves it, while the Superego is notably missing. The energy vampire is unaware of their ugliness, or rather takes pains to consciously ignore their ugliness, since the reactions of others are either too subtle or too offensive to acknowledge. Their loud campaign to be the main character is in part to hide what they fear—to be seen as empty inside. In moments of quiet they sigh, quite heavily, in order to avoid any of their extra characters existing with their space respected. It is hard work to keep up appearances, but the energy vampire sustains their work in survival mode, since maintaining the relationships of master-servants is like treading water, busy and constant.
Energy vampires are addicted to the attention of others, and therefore are controlling to ensure they can have their next meal. They are rather good at the fight for the stage in social situations, since they are persistent and incentivized—once they see what bothers others, they know the trick to play the next time, honing their skill with each interaction. Rather like the jester, who is annoying yet has premium access to power. A common phenomenon of energy vampires is that they laugh, rather obnoxiously, at their own jokes. Laughter is contagious, which is a useful tool to identify the weak in the crowd, who will follow the social rules, be passive, and avoid asserting themself when the energy vampire is feasting. Self laughter is one tangible example of how they grab attention, attempt to dominate, ensure they are acknowledged, seek validation, and create an overbearing presence. Manipulation need not have a specific objective of control; just to exercise their control of distorting the environment confirms their power and feeds the hunger.
Energy vampires lack emotional maturity to want to change their behaviors. They base their attitudes on emotions and are reactionary in interactions. Many of their traits are defensive positioning to mask their insecurity or avoid self reflection. Asserting themselves is to create an image of themselves they want others to believe, most of all because it will help them to believe it. To be the life of the party, the rescuing hero, the one others look to for their disco ball brilliance, or at least to pretend to be, is consolation for being disliked by all and by the self most of all. They never developed the morality of thinking of others, since that lesson was too difficult. So it is easy to offer pity rather than forgiveness, as one treats a child or a pet. Others would not attempt to reason with a pet, or make them feel guilty, as it is irrational to think they have the mental means to do so.
Energy vampires are a husk of a rational creature, so rather their animal impulses and material thirsts drive them from the inside, while the living energy of others call to them from the outside. Uneducated emotion is the inertia that their soul is in, feeling one moment to the next, they are too frustrated, envious of life, stuck or horrified of the hell they are in (having only this hollow soul). But then, the energy vampire sees life in others and wants some for themself, so they use their mimicry of humanity to simulate interest or expression when in fact they are offering no real substance, not revealing any truth, not creating any idea, not making it easy for people to be inspired.