Created on: June 02, 2010
In Emotional Vampires: Dealing with people who drain you dry, Albert J. Bernstein, Ph.D. describes different types of Emotional Vampires. He classifies them by the personality disorder that best fits their behavior. Following is a description of each type.
THE ANTISOCIAL VAMPIRE
In a way, “antisocial” is a misnomer because this type of vampire is social. Social environments provide opportunities to prey on others. But Antisocial vampires are also mistrustful of others because they suspects that all people are motivated by self-interest, and—like them—are only capable of predatory behavior.
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Antisocial vampires are often attractive, energetic and fun to be around, but they are inherently unreliable and have no problem lying to get what they want. The author uses the analogy of the Ferrari and the Toyota to explain the attractiveness of this type of Emotional Vampire: “Toyotas are safe and practical, but not much fun. Ferraris are dangerously powerful, fabulously expensive, and in the shop more than they are on the road. Still, they’re what we dream about when we buy Toyotas.”
VAMPIRE USED CAR SALESMEN
“Used Car Salesmen have the terrifying ability to imitate human warmth without feeling anything but desire for something you have.” They try to establish trust by pretending to be similar to their target. In order to do this, they ask seemingly harmless questions to establish the likes and dislikes of people so they can pretend to share the same interests. But what appears to be friendly chit-chat is actually a sales pitch.
People have a tendency to feel indebted to those who are kind to them; as a result, this type of vampire is able to trap people into politely agreeing to “deals” they never wanted. Most importantly, “Used Car Salesmen never ignore a chance to abuse trust.” They are masters of deception and therefore must be dealt with directly. When dealing with the Used Car Salesman type, “No is the most important word you can say…Say it often. In fact it’s a good idea to use it even before it’s needed.”
“Vampire Bullies like power, but they don’t understand it.” They evoke the fight or flight response in others, causing them to lose the ability to think rationally, and therefore forcing them to rely on the primitive part of the brain: “Bullies just attack and let your own do the rest.” They