There it is.
A new year.
After everything that happened in the world during 2020, 2021, and 2022 (I still can’t believe it’s been THIS long…), let’s be honest; when the clock struck twelve, I looked weirdly like this:
Joking aside, the transition from a year to the following, often synonym of reflection, is a time destined to take stock of what we have experienced and how we can improve our daily lives.
On my part, I won’t lie; for many reasons, 2022 has been rough.
Usually, when we feel down, we tend to try and connect with people that understand how we feel, even if they didn’t experience exactly the same trauma.
That’s basically empathy.
Unfortunately, you meet sometimes this one type of person who will never, ever, feel empathy towards you, and… well… they let you down. Constantly. And they make you feel worthless. And ugly. And stupid.
And they drain every bit of energy and self-esteem you have every time you see them.
Those infernal people are called emotional vampires, and I’ve been surrounded by them my whole life.
And I actually blame myself for it!
The Anatomy of the Emotional Vampire
There are many species of emotional vampires.
You may find them in the form of a zealous manager, always stealing your thunder, a toxic relative, controlling every aspect of your life, and of course a friend, talking about their misfortunes and blaming you for them.
However, they all have the same result: you don’t realize your own distress until it’s too late.
Because emotional vampires are sociable.
In fact, they are what we call ‘the life and soul of the party’.
They seem friendly, and open, and really fun to be around.
They have all known these life experiences, often sad, that tend to reflect you own, so you bond very fast, very strongly with them.
And they talk.
They Only Talk About Themselves
Ah! The heart of the problem.
Emotional vampire are fundamentally self-obsessed.
Everything that happens is about them, to the point you can never share your own troubles and sorrows for they never let you the opportunity to talk…
… And that’s exhausting.
I mean, I can’t even remember the last time I spoke to this one friend in particular and had the chance to tell them about my own little worries and successes.
I used to talk to them every single week, on the phone, for hours, and I’m not positive on the fact they could spell my husband’s last name.
It was that bad.
To this day, they don’t even know I wrote my first book!
I don’t like to brag (in fact, I have to force myself to talk about Porcelaine when people ask me about it) but yes, sometimes, it’s nice to be able to speak to my loved ones about the very first accomplishment of my life as a fiction author!
It took me a lot of strength and love of a few ones to be able to shut the door on that friendship.
Shutting The Door; A Guide From A Girl Who Used To Have Friends
I won’t lie; I used to believe everyone can change for the better.
Now, well… I guess I’ve grown up less naive than expected.
At some point, thanks to my family, I discovered my self-worth. It was a process, a recovery even, but here I am today, able to speak my mind and fight my battles.
And it started by saying no.
I know how hard it is. Those people, they are the ones telling you how you should be strong, fierce and feisty, but neeeever against them.
Nope; with them, because ‘they accept you for who you are’ (aka who you are supposed to be according to this image they have created in their mind, of course), you have to accept to be belittled.
At some point, you’ll have the guts to speak your mind; They will probably make some excuse, perhaps apologize, and because you are actually a good person, you’ll make the one mistake that’ll ultimately ruin your life.
You will forgive them.
And it will be magical. At first. For a while.
Then they will let you down, again.
And again. And you will have the courage to defend yourself; they’ll apologize, or worse: make you think you were the problem in the first place.
It’s never ending.
Do not believe them.
They WON’T change.
Remember: vampires suck. That what they do. Nothing less, nothing more.
And there is only one solution when it comes to vampires: kill or be killed.
(Or in this case, you know: hurt or be hurt. Don’t go and kill people. Please.)
Agnès The Vampire Slayer
In every generation there is a Chosen One.
She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness.
She is the Slayer.
As I said earlier, I’ve known my fair share of emotional vampires; I grew up in a loving and caring family, but some members were in fact really abusive, and the family’s motto was “if we don’t talk about bad stuff, then it didn’t really happen.”
Well, guess what: yes, it did happen.
Problem is, if you learn from a young age to not talk about your problems because they may seem insignificant, you’ll end up accepting in your adult life people who make you feel insignificant.
That is not acceptable any more.
You are worth a lifetime of happiness.
Surround yourself with positivity.
Shut the door and focus your energy on those who feel blessed by your presence in their life. The other ones, the vampy ones, let them go.
They don’t deserve you, and believe me, they never will.
They just suck.
Oh! I know how hard it is.
But believe me, in the end, you’ll thrive.
Even if, as I said, they were ‘the life and soul of the party’; if you end up anxious, depressed, and you end up binging comfort foods after they leave, it’s definitely not worth it.
Let’s make a vow to each other, you and I; may we promise to take action and make this year the best so far, filled with laughter, love, and cherished moments with (well-chosen) loved ones.
That’s the worst I wish you. 😉
And if you need some help, then seek help. It’s okay.
Be proud of yourself.
Looking forward to reading you,
Cover picture by Alexander Kagan via Unsplash