What are vampires?
Vampires are people who take a lot from you emotionally. They complain incessantly, engage you in pointless arguments, defend their points to no end, and otherwise make a living out of stirring you up emotionally. Mostly to look smart.
My general strategy is to avoid them.
I try not to care anymore, even if we’ve been friends for 10 years.
It’s just not worth it. It’s like spending a lot of money for food you thought would be delicious, and turns out to be horrible. So it’s not delicious, it’s not healthy, doesn’t make your life better… But you finish it anyway. Just because you already bought it. How logical is that?
But what if I can’t avoid them?
I just discovered another strategy. Instead of fuming, arguing, etc…
I will analyze them.
“Knowing yourself” is hard.
You don’t know who you are, what you stand for, what you want to do with your life.
I get it. Me too.
If you’ve ever stopped barraging yourself about how “I just need to figure it out” and actually sat down and thought it through… You realize it’s actually difficult for most people to know themselves.
Most of us think there’s something wrong with us if we don’t naturally know these things. That’s not true. It’s very hard.
I agonized over this for one year.
I’m starting to believe it’s not who you are, who you’re meant to be, etc. But what you invent yourself to be.
There are certain natural tendencies for sure — but a lot of it is exposing yourself to many different things, being aware of what you want and don’t want to be, and training yourself to be who you want to be, not some pre-determined you.
So instead of agonizing over how much I don’t know myself… I look for facts outside — people, businesses, ideas, etc. — and notice how I feel about them.
Why do I respect that person so much?
Why does this person make my blood boil?
Why do I find this idea so compelling?
Vampires as a tool for self-discovery
So that’s what I try to do with vampires.
I feel very strongly about them. How I can use that?
While I pretend to listen to what they’re saying… I now think of of why I hate this person so much and answer questions like:
1. Why don’t I like this person?
Usually it’s: Powerlessness over life, trying to be clever over being effective, no control over diet
Having control over my diet and life is obviously very important to me.
2. Do I have any of that in me?
It took me a year, but I am now fully-aware and taking advantage of the fact that I can be and do anything I want. I also try to not to argue with peasants anymore.
But no control over diet? Sometimes.
I’m still training myself to have more self-control and discipline. This is important, but sometimes gets less attention than urgent stuff.
4. How can I reduce/eliminate some of that?
Prioritize mastery over self. Define concretely what it means to be healthy. Make small actionable goals out of it, and start developing habits slowly.
So yeah, thank you vampire. I can now stand being with you in the same room without having all my energy sucked out of me.
How do you deal with vampires in your life? Discuss in comments below.