Fans of What We Do In the Shadows know Colin Robinson, the boring, awkward small-talker who becomes energized from the despair of others: a textbook energy vampire. Now imagine that you’re dating someone similar. Scary, right? But don’t lose hope. Here’s how to know if you’re dating an energy vampire – and what you can do about it.
What is an Energy Vampire?
While sanguine vampires are the traditional blood-suckers, psychic vampires or energy vampires drain life forces rather than life juices. They attempt to evoke emotion in other parties, which results in the non-consensual draining of energy from whoever they’re close to. Psychic vampirism or energy vampirism is a euphemism for a person who’s emotionally exhausting and, according to some metaphysical researchers, an actual mystical phenomenon.
Historically, psychic vampirism was formally labeled in the 1930s by occultist, magician, and novelist Dion Fortune. Fortune, who used the term “psychic parasitism” rather than vampirism, wrote in Psychic Self-Defense that these people’s actions were “unconscious and voluntary,” like a parasite. Psychic parasitism, she says, is a combination of occult thought and psychology that brings together atypical mental health with psychic phenomena. And in some cases, these “parasites” may be more mentally ill than psychically corrupt, or vice-versa.
Founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, defined psychic vampires further in The Satanic Bible. He adds that psychic vampires can be physically or mentally handicapped (or, perhaps, malingering) and are more often than not “mentally or emotionally disturbed.” This renders those around the psychic vampire in a position of pitying or wanting to help the creature, and they become bound together.
Energy Vampirism in the Present Day
These days, outlets from Healthline to NBC News talk about energy vampires. Still, the types of psychic vampires are highly debated. Generally, they fall into two categories: high-energy vampires and low-energy vampires.
These intense and overwhelming energy vampires are constantly gabbing about boundaries, malignant narcissists, manipulation, and being “empaths.” Historical horror and comedy podcast The Last Podcast on the Left gives the example of someone who posts a lot about the topic on their social media pages, a fake deep person intensely invested in personal growth to the point of hyperbole.
Rather than riling you up, these energy vampires are more likely to bring you down. They’re consistently sad, can’t seem to look on the bright side, and frequently sabotage good moods. This brand of psychic vampire is more likely to “feed” passively; in The Satanic Bible, LaVey says that they “never demand anything of you… They simply let their wishes be known in subtle ways.”
Tips For a Vampiric Lover
Sadly, if you leave a date feeling drained, you could be in a psychic vampire situation. But you don’t have to cut ties completely. Here are some tips for surviving with a vampiric Valentine.
1. Take the weight off your shoulders and spend time alone to recharge and regroup. True love is unselfish, and true friendship is a give-and-take. In the words of Anton LaVey, “the only way to determine if you are being vampirized is to weigh what you give the person compared to what they give you in return.”
2. Realize it might not be intentional. Someone might not understand that they’re a psychic vampire or an energy vampire – especially if they’re the type of person who says they want to keep ‘narcissists’ or ‘bad vibes’ away. Let them realize they can get their energy fed in carefree or distractingly fun ways.
3. If your Valentine is an energy vacuum, but you aren’t quite ready to let go, remember that energy vampirism is essentially a condition. One’s mental health (or psychic health) is not their fault – but it is their responsibility. If you love someone and want to see them change for the better, help them get back on track. Don’t let the psychic vampire in your life off the hook, and kindly challenge their vitality-draining ways.