Are you surrounding yourself with emotional vampires?

mk_treesA lot of people come to me with a similar situation: they just figured out that they don’t want to be in a relationship with someone (it could be a someone they’re dating, a friend or even their spouse). Then they ask me how long should they wait to leave.

I always answer their question with a question: “How long do you want to keep suffering?”

You see, there is this idea out there that if we truly love someone that we will sacrifice and suffer for them to “prove” our love. And that if we take a stand and no longer accept or tolerate negative behavior, we are somehow “selfish” or “unloving”.

Finding this balance is one of the key mastery’s of life. As my parents, who have been married for 32 years, will tell you – a relationship is never 50/50, many times its 90/10 or 10/90. They will tell you that the average is 50/50, but in any given moment it’s not totally equal.

So I am not suggesting that you split the second things get hard. No, no, no. Please do not get that impression. I am suggesting, however, that if things are always 90/10 and one person is giving and giving and the other person is only receiving, or worse, that there is some kind of physical abuse going on… It is not a testament to how much you love someone if you are constantly giving to them and never receiving love back.

Remember: in order to be able to give love, we have to be full of love. The way to be full of love is to do things that love and honor ourselves, so we feel full, free and have more love to give away. Within a relationship, part of being able to create an environment where you are full is choosing someone who loves you in your power, rather than in your weakness. It’s also about choosing someone who doesn’t make you their Higher Power, but has their own relationship with The Uni-verse and their calling. This way you are not in a relationship with someone who is an emotional vampire; both of you are getting filled from other sources and then showing up for each other from a place of fullness rather than emptiness.

This is a much different situation than constantly giving to someone with no return. That isn’t Love – that’s being in a relationship with an emotional vampire and there is nothing wrong with picking up and walking away, now. Don’t prove your Love to someone by showing how much you are willing to suffer for them; instead prove your Love by showing how much you are willing to Live and be Full WITH them!

As always, the action happens in the comments below, leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!



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Mastin Kipp is the CEO and Founder of The Daily Love. Follow him on Twitter here.

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  • Gale

    Thanks for the reminder about the difference between loving someone, suffering fir love, and loving ourselves. As much as I am conscious of this, I find that I have a difficult time separating myself from this man who says he loves me, yet his actions does not support his words. This is where self love, pride, self esteem should kick in. Actually seeing me say this in black and white is making me think. .. who is that loser. I know better. Time to challenge myself and walk away.

    • Susan

      I am so entrenched in this exact situation. I see things clearly and know I must walk away because of the effects it has on my self-worth. When I finally get up the strength to distance myself he is relentless in pursuing me to get me back. The battle between head and heart is mighty. I pray for good sense to prevail so I can break these ties once and for all. I wish you all the best in this endeavor also!

    • Love is A Two Way Street

      Gale, I find it hard to believe he is a loser as you say as there must have been some connection there for him to say he loves you and you him? When a man says he loves you it is normally the truth as once a man gives his heart to a woman they are there 110%? His actions maybe so because of many things but we must realise that if you are giving him mixed reactions so will he? People forget this and wonder why their partner is acting weird when it is their own fears that are felt by the partner and they to in turn bring this on. It’s a vicious cycle which leads to many breakups. Talk to him openly about at the right time and in a good manor? I will say this, its sad that he says he loves you & you do to to some degree I’d say and you call him a loser? What your saying is spiteful to a degree and you should have a deep look within yourself first?

  • thank you Mastin.

  • Stacey

    Thank you. This post validated I did the right thing by recently leaving a friendship behind. My feeling was that this “friend” was somehow looking to me–and others–for her happiness, while consciously choosing to stay stuck in her own drama. I strongly feel that drama creates a smoke screen to avoid the real issues. As my former friend stated, “my drama isn’t going anywhere for a while.” Well, that’s her choice and my choice to move forward. I’ve accomplished more in the past month than I had in the previous six months with her in my life. The real sad part is, she acted as if she was the only one who invested any time in the relationship. But, in all honesty, when I met her, I knew something wasn’t right and proceeded anyway. Won’t be doing that again. 🙂 I know my gut is always right, and in this situation I need to acknowledge that for several reasons (listed in detail in my journal), I chose to allow a vampire to suck some of the life out of me. Done!

  • Marybeth

    As always just the message I needed to hear today!! Thanks!

  • Yvonne

    That’s how I feel in my marriage and I have already made plans to end it. I stayed for 20 years, because I made a commitment and thought I could make it better. Lately, he needed to stay in California for months at a time and during that time I learned how it feels living in my own power. Than he came back and the past two months were truly hell on earth for me. It affected me in my health, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I can’t imagine were this might have ended if I’d to endure this any longer. May 31 he has to go back to California for a couple of months. I will serve him with divorce papers. I can’t tell him now in his face, because I’m afraid he might hurt me.

  • Aawww…a topic I had to fully experience before I was willing to make a move. I am going on my 10 year Wedding Anniversary with my hubby. Like most marriages, we have had our challenges. At one point it was quite rocky, and I thought about divorce (NOT because of any abuse.) You see, my husband is quite the conservative and I am liberal. Once I started to attend my Living Love Classes, our “so-called” differences seemed to be insurmountable. Plus other marriage, “STUFF!”

    My mentor often talks about couples who stay together because of the “Endurance Contest,” and that was a lesson, I was unwilling to learn. And yet, when I thought I “wanted” a divorce, my heart “knew” to stay together. So, I was in the…”LIMBO contest,” It wasn’t until I learned about “LEAVING In LOVE or STAYING in LOVE” that my life (and our marriage) drastically started to change. You see, If I left my hubby THINKING I was better than..or judging HIM…I was NOT leaving in Love; and The Uni-verse would just continue to give me the same lesson. And, I was…judging him. I was NOT seeing his innocence behind his social mask.

    So, what did I do? Firstly, I was kind and patient with my process (If you divorce to relieve the pressure cooker of decision…you will suffer.) I started to REALLY focus on MY judgements. EVERY TIME I judged him, I would look at where I judged myself. I would then DROP my story. The more I became aware of my “not enoughness,” the more compassion I had for him.

    And guess what? Our marriage started to…CHANGE. Because I changed…he changed! Yes, he is still a conservative…and yes, I am still a liberal…but we honor our differences.

    We are soon to go to BELIZE, and I know we will be together forever. And, I couldn’t ask for more…than that.
    The Daily Commenter,

    • Yesenia Phethmany

      Many times I had thoughts of divorce every time, he did not agree of my free spirit and trust to life, because he likes to have a plan A and if A does not worked than he’ll go to B and prepare C..Lol! AS me I will just go with the flow and scare him with my trust in life…but couple years ago we were 90/10(90 him and me 10)
      a lot with my depression and crazyness but for the begining of our marriage and trough my depression. He alsways say YES! to our marriage, LOVE…. When I started waking up to my innerself and being aware of me and The I AM…was and is a challange to choose LOVE but everytime I don’t, even when I am at fear and mad of wanting to scape…the I AM lets me know I choose LOVE and by meaning I choose to keep learning to choose LOVE even if we are different and me crazy in love of life and seeking and Learning how to express my LOVe and him having enough with my love and our kid and planning his A, B and so on C,D…lol! I love him and happy he had say YES to our LOVE! with love and Smiles YESI <3

    • Love it, Kathleen! Thanks for sharing so openly! 🙂
      “Leaving in Love or Staying in Love.” I LOVE that you pointed out that difference! That oftentimes people leave NOT in love, or stay not in love. Having love be the driving force behind every decision truly should be all of our goal. If we act in love, whatever that act is, then it’s the right thing. It’ll work out.

      Very well-said, and you’ve given me stuff to think about. 🙂
      Love and peace to you!


  • Christian

    This touched my soul today. Thank you, Mastin.

  • Jess

    This is also so true within your career in terms of leaders, managers, peers and corporate social constructs that can be immensely draining! Thank you for this Mastin!

  • Joann

    Thanks Mastin-I related to everything in your post today. Last year I ended a 27 year marriage…it was extremely difficult and gut wrenching at times but yet my heart knew it was the right thing to do so I forged ahead and of course am still early in my journey but know I’m on the right path. I continue to be amazed at how one’s
    Iife can be transformed for the better when they are simply on the right path spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. And the beauty is I attract the same qualities in the people I meet now. I have made some amazing life long friends in the past 9 months.

    My takeaway: if you are in a miserable marriage and have tried everything to make it work it’s never too late to start over in life. There is no medal for suffering the longest because you said a vow to death do us part.

  • Paul Morales

    Thanks for this post Mastin. I often wonder why people stay in unhealthy relationships. I know I used to, but now I let them go rather than try to control them or worse, fix them. To me, I would rather be happy than exert any energy to a negative relationship. I love myself fully, the good, bad, and ugly. It allows me to love others fully, even love them enough to walk away from them.

  • Straight Up Talk Education

    Kicking the emotional vampires out of our lives can be very hard … they have their tricks to keep us hooked. That’s why I think you have to do an on-going analysis of how you feel before, during and after an encounter with each person in your life. Your feelings are talking to you? Are you listening?

    Here are a couple of articles on flushing the narcissists, a specific type of emotional vampire, right out of your life:

    • Susan

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This was exactly the information I needed. Real tools for ridding yourself of emotional vampires aka: narcissits . I loved your web site and will definitely be visiting it again.

  • lauren

    thanks i need to read this to show me i am worth more after 8 years.

  • Alexandra

    And if that energy vampire is your mother?

  • Rachel

    This article couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I just broke up with my boyfriend recently because he was an emotional vampire. Whenever he needed help, I would be there for him. When he needed money, I would give it to him with the promise that I would get it back. He has a job now and he keeps making excuses and has made excuses for the past year about why he couldn’t give me the money at that moment or even a little bit of money. Whenever I needed him to be there for me, he would ignore me or say that he’s too busy. It took me a year and a half to realize that I wasn’t happy anymore and that he was just bringing me down because he only cared about himself and would make me feel guilty when I would say no. I didn’t realize, until reading this article, that he was an emotional vampire and I’m glad that he’s not in my life. However, I would like my money back because it’s a lot of money. But, holding on to the money means holding on to him and I don’t need the negativity. So, I have to let go.

  • i can’t tell you how much i DESPERATELY needed to read this today to affirm that i made the right choice. even if the vampire is my own adult daughter.

  • Mc

    ‘choosing someone who loves you in your power, rather than in your weakness. It’s also about choosing someone who doesn’t make you their Higher Power, but has their own relationship with The Uni-verse and their calling. ….both of you are getting filled from other sources and then showing up for each other from a place of fullness rather than emptiness’

    Wow did this resonate! Every once in a while I will have thoughts about whether or not I did enough before I decided on divorce. This is exactly why it wasn’t working. Nice to feel validated.

  • As a naturally warm, loving, and kindhearted soul, confrontations are painful for me and ending any relationship goes completely against my nature. So I have struggled a lot in my life dealing with emotional vampires- both in my personal life and in business. Over the years, I’ve toughened up though, realizing that ending unhealthy relationships is necessary in making sure I’m living the happiest and most healthy life possible. I now realize that remaining in any unhealthy relationship is settling for less than what I really want in my life. The only relationships I’m willing to invest my time and energy in anymore are those that are emotionally healthy, mutually loving, compatible and respectful.

  • Faith

    You stalking me Mastin lol! I have to say that this has been the story of my life, not being able to discern between loving someone without conditions and suffering. The key for me was during the Life Class when I heard, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” That was a huge aha moment for me and it was then that I begin to realize that I had been suffering, mostly because of my child and family. I realize now that those relationships were not healthy, and that essentially they created more toxicity for me because I was constantly required to be someone else. I was constantly faking my way and as a result lost myself over the years trying to make other people comfortable, happy, and trying to prove that I was average. Average was not who I was, nor who I wanted to be but the fear of the unknown kept me suck, even in illness. The odd thing is that when I became ill, those people silently exploited the situation and I allowed them to do so. I did that and complained about it every day, whined about it every day, but secretly asked God to help me recover so that I could leave the situation. The funny thing is, and I can laugh about it today, when I had another aha moment about my health, I left immediately because I was done suffering for other people! But their love of me pulled me back into the storm. I love them very much, but I realize that they are very toxic people and while I’m still recovering my health, I choose love over fear, love over suffering, love over being “comfortable!” Namaste.

  • cheecucu

    Relate much esp. The part, “Don’t prove your Love to someone by showing how much you are willing to suffer for them; instead prove your Love by showing how much you are willing to “Live and be Full WITH them!” thank you for putting into words the feelings that we really can’t explain.. XD

    • I was One To A Degree

      Out of all the posts here cheecucu, I’m writing to yours as I felt you spoke it so elegantly and concisely. Beautifully said.

      I was struck by an arrow to the heart as I was one to a certain degree & did I feel like a piece of s..t. I’m so glad I can admit what i was and I can say with hesitation or doubt I have ceased to be one for some time now. I was under so mush distress from many things to which it doesnt matter now. Change is never easy but so worth it in the long run to be the better person.

  • maddie

    that’s beautiful and super helpful at this point in time. the best we can do is be honest with this other at the point in time that the giving and no receiving is happening – that’s being a good friend. sometimes we aren’t aware of our actions and having a friend that can bring us back to self-awareness is a beautiful gift. if the situation has been acknowledged and the “friend” just continues to suck your energy… that’s when it’s time to walk away.

  • Momma Bear

    Here’s MY big “But”… My husband is an emotional vampire. Unfortunately I didn’t realize it until the normal romance of the early stages of dating and marriage ended. He’s not only an emotional vampire, he’s a chores vampire, a sexual vampire and all around narcissistic with a total lack of drive and ambition. My emotional and physical needs aren’t being met and it totally drains me… BUT… We now have two boys. Isn’t it about them for now? I cannot see separating their family. Spending weekends without them. Having them split the holidays. I know you are going to tell me my husband and I aren’t teaching the boys what a relationship is supposed to be by staying together without love or even a relationship… but maybe we are staying in the same house for our love for them. Is that wrong?

  • I love this one! I love the comment about sometimes relationships are going to be 90/10 or 10/90. The key word, though, is sometimes. If it’s ALWALYS off balance like that, then it’s not a healthy relationship. But as long as things balance out, it’s ok.

    Sometimes I think I can be too quick to bail. Or even to think about bailing, even if I don’t do it at the time. I also appreciate the comments about how each person SHOULD have interests outside the relationship that fill them up and bring out the love in them. Then they can more fully show up in love in the relationship.

    Very well-written post today… much to learn and think about! 🙂