Protect yourself from people who take undue advantage and suck the energy out of your life
Emotional Vampires will help you cope effectively with the people in your life that confound you, confuse you, and seem to sap every ounce of your energy. Bestselling author Dr. Al Bernstein shows you how to recognize each vampire type--antisocial, histrionic, narcissists, obsessive-compulsives, paranoids--and deal with them effectively. He uses many examples from the latest news headlines, which will help you distinguish between the types and deepen your understanding of each one.
In response to the daily calls and emails he got about the previous edition of this book, Dr. Al Bernstein has added his advice for dealing with those emotional vampires who come in the shape of spouses and lovers, relatives, and children. Dr. Bernstein shows you how to deal with each vampire type and what you need to do to keep from getting drained.
|Publisher:||McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Albert J. Bernstein, Ph. D., is a clinical psychologist, speaker, columnist, and business consultant. Dr. Bernstein is also the author of Dinosaur Brains, Neanderthals at Work, and Sacred Bull.
Read an Excerpt
Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry
By Albert Bernstein
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Copyright © 2012Albert J. Bernstein
All rights reserved.
Children of the Night
Who Are These Emotional Vampires?
Vampires stalk you, even as we speak. On broad daylit streets, under the blue pulsations of your office fluorescents, and maybe even in the warm lights of home, they're out there, masquerading as regular people until their internal needs change them into predatory beasts.
It's not your blood they drain; it's your emotional energy.
Make no mistake, we aren't talking about everyday annoyances that swarm around you like bugs in a porch light, easily whisked away with affirmations and assertive I statements. These are authentic creatures of darkness. They have the power not only to aggravate you, but to hypnotize you, to cloud your mind with false promises until you are tangled in their spell. Emotional vampires draw you in, then drain you.
At first, emotional vampires look better than regular people. They're as bright, talented, and charming as a Romanian count. You like them; you trust them; you expect more from them than you do from other people. You expect more, you get less, and in the end you get taken. You invite them into your life, and seldom realize your mistake until they've disappeared into the night, leaving you drained dry with a pain in the neck, an empty wallet, or perhaps a broken heart. Even then, you wonder—is it them or is it me?
It's them. Emotional vampires.
Do you know them? Have you experienced their dark power in your life?
Have you met people who seemed so perfect at first, but later turned out to be a perfect mess? Have you been blinded by brilliant bursts of charm that switched on and off like a cheap neon sign? Have you heard promises whispered in the night that were forgotten before dawn?
Have you been drained dry?
Emotional vampires don't rise from coffins at night. They live down the street. They're the neighbors who are so warm and cordial to your face, but spread stories behind your back. Emotional vampires are on your softball team; they're star players until a call goes against them. Then, they throw tantrums that would embarrass a three-year-old.
Emotional vampires could be lurking within your family. Consider your brother-in-law, the genius who can't hold down a job. What about that vague, almost invisible aunt who takes care of everybody else until her strange and debilitating illnesses force you to take care of her? Do we even need to mention those loving, infuriating parents who are always telling you to please yourself, then expecting you to please them?
A vampire may even share your bed, a loving partner one minute and in the next, a cold, distant stranger.
ARE THEY REALLY VAMPIRES?
Though they act like creatures of darkness, there's nothing supernatural about emotional vampires. The melodramatic metaphor is nothing more than clinical psychology dressed up in a Halloween costume. Emotional vampires are people who have characteristics of what psychologists call personality disorders.
In graduate school, I learned this simple distinction: when people are driving themselves crazy, they have neuroses or psychoses. When they drive other people crazy, they have personality disorders. According to the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, a personality disorder is:
An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture. The pattern is manifested in two (or more) of the following areas:
1. Ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events.
2. Range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response.
3. Interpersonal functioning.
4. Impulse control.
The manual describes diagnostic patterns of thoughts and behavior for eleven different personality disorders, of which we will consider the five that are most likely to cause you trouble in your daily life: Antisocial, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Paranoid. I chose these five because they occur most frequently in the population, and, more often than the others, they may be present to a subclinical degree. Day to day, you are far more likely to meet people who are a little bit Narcissistic or Histrionic, say, than people who are slightly Borderline or Schizoid.
The main reason I chose these five is that each of the types discussed here, although pathological and draining, also has characteristics that people find very attractive. Over the course of more than 40 years as a psychologist and business consultant, I have seen that these five disorders consistently cause the most trouble for the most people, at home, at work, and everywhere in between.
The bulk of the emotional vampires discussed in this book are not severely disturbed enough to qualify for an official diagnosis of personality disorder, but the ways they think and act still correspond to the patterns described in the diagnostic manual. Think of the patterns as a catalog of the ways in which difficult people can be difficult, ranging from severe enough to be hospitalized to mild enough to behave normally until the person is subjected to significant stress. In the world of psychology, everything is on a continuum.
All the patterns derive from the fact that emotional vampires see the world differently than other people do. Their perceptions are distorted by their cravings for immature and unattainable goals. They want everybody's complete and exclusive attention. They expect perfect love that gives but never demands anything in return. They want lives filled with fun and excitement, and to have someone else take care of anything that's boring or difficult. Vampires look like adults on the outside, but inside, they're still babies.
Emotional vampires don't go around wearing capes and snapping at people with their fangs. Usually, the difficult people discussed in this book are indistinguishable, both physically and psychologically, from everybody else. Vampires' immature tendencies usually come out only in threatening situations. The rest of the time, emotional vampires act like normal, responsible adults. That said, I'll also point out that vampires tend to be threatened by things that don't bother ordinary people. If you use your own experience as a guide, you wouldn't expect anyone to have problems with crosses, garlic, or holy water. Just as real vampires cringe in the presence of those traditional banes, emotional vampires are inordinately threatened by common adult experiences, including boredom, uncertainty, accountability, and having to give as well as receive. In the rest of the first section, we will more fully discuss the ways of vampires, the subtle differences in their personalities that make them both dangerous and seductive.
The easiest way to classify emotional vampires is according to the personality disorders to which their thoughts and actions are most similar. Each vampire type is driven by a particular immature and impossible need that, to the vampire, is the most important thing in the world. Vampires themselves are usually not aware of the childish needs that drive them. That's all the more reason you should be.
Antisocial vampires are addicted to excitement. They're called antisocial, not because they don't like parties, but because they're heedless of social rules. These vampires love parties. They also love sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and anything else stimulating. They hate boredom worse than a stake through the heart. All they want out of life is a good time, a little action, and immediate gratification of their every desire.
Excerpted from Emotional Vampires by Albert Bernstein. Copyright © 2012 by Albert J. Bernstein. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Children of the Night 1
Who Are These Emotional Vampires?
Are They Really Vampires? 2
Antisocial Vampires 4
Histrionic Vampires 5
Narcissistic Vampires 5
Obsessive-Compulsive Vampires 6
Paranoid Vampires 7
2 Maturity and Mental Health 9
If Emotional Vampires Are Children, What Does It Take to Be a Grown-Up?
What Causes People to Become Emotional Vampires? 11
Immaturity Versus Evil 11
The Everybody and Nobody Rule 12
What If You See Yourself? 12
3 The Way of Vampires 15
How Emotional Vampires Are Different from and More Dangerous than Other Annoying People
Vampires Are Different 16
Vampires Prey on Humans 17
Vampires Can't See Themselves in a Mirror 19
Vampires Are More Powerful in the Dark 20
Protecting Yourself from Vampires 20
4 Lovable Rogues 21
The Antisocial Types
The Ferrari-Toyota Dilemma 22
How to Recognize an Antisocial Vampire 23
The Antisocial Emotional Vampire Checklist: Listening to the Call of the Wild 24
What the Questions Measure 25
5 Vampire Daredevils 27
Sexy, Thrilling, and Definitely Bad for Your Health
The Physiology of Excitement 27
Daredevil Hypnosis 28
Female Daredevils 29
How Vampires Keep You Coming Back for More 30
10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Daredevils 31
6 Daredevils in Your Life 39
Daredevil Lovers and Spouses
The Action Hero 39
The Liar 42
The Unfaithful Lover 43
Daredevil Ex-Husband 44
Daredevil Dads 47
Daredevil Adult Children 50
7 Antisocial Used Car Salesmen 53
Slicker than Cheap Polyester, So Always Remember to Read the Fine Print
Used Car Hypnosis 55
Is Honesty Really the Best Policy? 61
8 Vampire Bullies 63
Big, Scary, Powerful, and Stupid as the Guys Who Used to Take Lunch Money
The Instinct for Aggression 63
Vampire Bully Hypnosis 65
What to Do About Bullies 65
How to Do the Unexpected 67
9 Antisocial Used Car Salesmen and Bullies in Your Life 75
Living with a Liar 75
Bullies in Your Life 80
Living in a Minefield 80
10 Therapy for Antisocial Vampires 89
The Goal 89
Anger Control Treatment 90
Treatment for Addiction 90
What Will Hurt 92
11 Show Business, Vampire Style 93
The Histrionic Types
What It's Like to Be Histrionic 94
The Histrionic Dilemma 95
What the Questions Measure 95
The Histrionic Vampire Checklist: Living a Soap Opera 96
How to Protect Yourself from Histrionic Vampires 99
12 Vampires Who Ham It Up 101
Whether It's Sex, Sickness, or Secrets of Success, There's Only One Show Business
Ham-It-Up Hypnosis 103
Writing a Safe Role for Yourself 105
Illness as Theater 105
Celebrities, Fans, and Wannabes 106
Nine Ways to Protect Yourself from Histrionic Hams 106
13 Passive-Aggressive Vampires 111
Deliver Us from Ghoulies and Ghosties and People Who Are Only Trying to Help
Giving Until It Hurts 115
Illness as Communication 115
Passive-Aggressive Hypnosis 120
The High-Self-Esteem Syndrome 120
Nine Ways to Protect Yourself from Passive-Aggressive Histrionics 121
14 Histrionics in Your Life 127
Histrionic Martial Arts 127
My Mother, the Drama Queen 128
The Queen of Gossip 129
Your Depressed Sister 130
Male Histrionics 134
15 Therapy for Histrionic Vampires 137
The Goal 137
Professional Help 138
What Will Hurt 140
16 Big Egos, Small Everywhere Else 141
The Narcissistic Types
What It's Like to Be Narcissistic 142
The Narcissistic Dilemma 143
Narcissism and Self-Esteem 144
What the Questions Measure 144
The Narcissistic Vampire Checklist: Identifying the Self-Styled Smartest, Most Talented, All-Around Best People in the World 145
17 Vampires Who Are Legends in Their Own Minds 151
With Talent Like Theirs, Who Needs Performance?
How Narcissistic Legends Prevent Themselves from Succeeding 153
Narcissistic Legend Hypnosis 155
How to Socialize Narcissistic Legends 158
Nine Ways to Protect Yourself from Narcissistic Legends in Their Own Minds 159
18 Vampire Superstars 165
You've Got to Love These Guys! Worship Them, Actually
Dealing with Superstars' Insatiable Needs 166
Superstar Hypnosis 169
Sex and the Superstar 169
Superstar Depression and Anger 171
Nine Ways to Protect Yourself from Narcissistic Superstars 173
19 Narcissists in Your Life 179
Pundits from Hell 180
Tiger Mom 182
Season's Greetings from the Narcissist in Your Life 184
20 Therapy for Narcissistic Vampires 187
The Goal 187
Professional Help 187
What Will Hurt 189
21 Too Much of a Good Thing 191
The Obsessive-Compulsive Types
What It's Like to Be Obsessive-Compulsive 192
How Much Is Too Much? 193
Punishment, Where Good and Evil Meet 193
What the Questions Measure 194
The Obsessive-Compulsive Vampire Checklist: Vice Masquerading as Virtue 195
The Obsessive-Compulsive Dilemma 197
22 Vampire Perfectionists and Puritans 199
Can the Undead Be Anal-Retentive?
Why Do They Always Seem Angry? 200
Obsessive-Compulsive Hypnosis 200
Product Versus Process 201
Demanding Priorities 202
Perfectionists How the Imperfect Can Deal with Perfectionists 205
Meet Your Inner Teenager 207
Nine Ways to Protect Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsives: What to Do When the Good Guys Are After You 210
23 Obsessive-Compulsives in Your Life 215
Control Freak 215
Control Freak Parents 218
Married to a Control Freak 218
24 Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Vampires 223
The Goal 223
Professional Help 223
What Will Hurt 225
25 Seeing Things That Others Can't 227
The Paranoid Types
Paranoid Purity 228
What It's Like to Be Paranoid 229
The Paranoid Emotional Vampire Checklist: Next Stop, the Twilight Zone 230
What the Questions Measure 231
26 Vampire Visionaries and Green-Eyed Monsters 235
Inspiration Always Involves Blowing Things out of Proportion
The Paranoid Quest 235
Paranoid Hypnosis 236
How to Recognize Crazy Ideas 238
Paranoids and Religion 241
Green-Eyed Monsters 241
The Nine Elements of Vampire-Fighting Strategy: How to Give Paranoids a Glimpse of Reality 244
27 Therapy for Paranoid Vampires 249
The Goal 249
Professional Help 249
What Will Hurt 250
28 Sunrise at Dracula's Castle 251
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Personality-disordered people are not ignorant dummies - far from it. They are super-slick users and the more you know about them ahead of time, the more likely to you will respond effectively to your body's inner thump of warning you that are being taken advantage of. This book details such conscience-less characters for you in such a way that you will never disbelieve yourself again!