What Does Energy Vampire Mean?

The logical answer would be to describe someone that causes another to feel emotionally and mentally drained and lifeless. With it being a behaviour that is usually carried out on a regular and consistent basis by the individual.

In addition to the emotional side, there can also be a physical aspect. With it sometimes being a whole body experience and not just an emotional and mental reaction; one can feel physically overwhelmed as well as come into contact with disempowering cognitions and emotions.

Who Are They?

Each one of us has the potential to be an energy vampire; with it being highly likely that there has been times or a time in our life when we have been one. So I don’t believe that it’s a black and white scenario.

It can also be easy to label and categorise someone as an energy vampire. When in reality the behaviour could be an isolated occurrence and the result of a stressful situation in the individual’s life. A situation that by no means makes them an energy vampire, with a more appropriate description being that it demonstrates where the person is currently at in their life.

However, there are clear instances of people who are energy vampires on a consistent basis. These are Individuals that seem have no awareness of their own behaviour and as a consequence are oblivious to the effect they are having on others. This is one of the reasons why energy vampires can be so dangerous.

When Are They Experienced?

They can be experienced in any kind relationship and are not limited to people we come into contact with on a short term or momentary basis. The people we spend the most time with, for example; family, friends, and loved ones; can also have a draining effect.

How Do They Behave?

When it comes to the behaviour of an energy vampire there is inevitably going to be many variations and subtleties.

As a rough guide I would say the common behaviours include (but are not limited to): control, aloofness, manipulation, passivity, interrogation and a lack of empathy.

Invisible Energy Vampirism

And as well as the visible side, there is also an invisible element. This is the side that is invisible to the naked eye; however this doesn’t mean that its effect is any less destructive. Understanding this ourselves or even describing this to another is often difficult; as the effects are clear but the cause can be somewhat hard to explain or comprehend.

What Do They Have In Common?

So what do energy vampires have in common? Firstly I would like to add (As I have briefly mentioned above) that I believe this behaviour is only possible due to the individual’s lack of awareness of themselves and of others.

To me the biggest commonality of the energy vampire is a lack of boundaries. If we look at what an energy vampire is doing; we can see that they are taking another person’s energy for themselves. The problem is not that they are taking energy; we all need to do it, the problem lies within how they are going about achieving this end.

They take, but what they offer is not equal to what they are taking; what they offer amounts to nothing. So the people they come into contact with will always feel low or compromised in some way. And will often not be able understand how or why it has happened to them.


Having boundaries allows one to say yes and no in an empowered way. When one of these sides is out of balance it can lead to all kinds of dysfunctional behaviour.

With the energy vampires boundaries being out of balance, they then go on to abuse the boundaries of another individual. The person they abuse probably has very similar boundaries.

It Takes Two

This is why this is a two way relationship and something that needs to be looked at from both sides. The energy vampire’s lack of boundaries creates their own need to take energy from another in a way that is dysfunctional.

However if someone is routinely attracting energy vampires into their life and I’m not talking about attracting them on the odd occasion, they might need to look at and perhaps work on their own boundaries.

Giving And Receiving

Boundaries also allow one to give and receive in a functional way.

For example: if one can only receive; they will be seen as always taking; they might also come across as aloof. If on the other hand one can only give, they will feel like they never get what they want and that their needs are rarely, if ever, met.

Why Do They Exist?

So what does the Energy Vampire really want? I believe they exist because deep down they are looking for attention. Their way of behaving is undeniably destructive and dysfunctional, but it has become a coping strategy that allows for their needs to be fulfilled in some form.

This is not dissimilar to how a child is dependent on its parents or caregivers to take care of its every need. At this stage it doesn’t have the capacity for assisting in the needs of others or the awareness to do so. This is normal; considering we are talking about a baby or a young child here.

Self Centred Behaviour

If someone is still acting from this stage of development in their later years they will have very little awareness of the needs of others and on their own behaviour. Their attention will be consumed by their need to have their needs met.

This will create behaviour that is self centred and perhaps unconsciously they still expect others to fulfil their needs just like when they were younger. Through not having these needs met during ones younger years there might also be anger, frustration and other emotions that have accumulated.

There might even be the desire or the longing for revenge. With a general indifference to the needs of others; this only reflects their own past. And given what they have probably gone through this wouldn’t be a surprise or unnatural.

Passive Or Active?

This can create two types of energy vampire; one being more active or masculine and the other being more passive or feminine in nature.

Some energy vampires will resort to one or the other or might even have instances where they display both. This will also depend on what was classed as acceptable ways of behaving during there childhood and how their parents/caregivers behaved.


We can see how important boundaries our not only when it comes to explaining the behaviour of energy vampires, but also in protecting ourselves from them.

It would have been easy to point the finger at energy vampires and make them the perpetrators. On a basic or surface level they are; but if we really want to understand them and empower ourselves, we have to look a little deeper than the usual victim/ perpetrator dynamic.

We can have moments in our life when we feel victimized, but it doesn’t mean we have to become a victim. The same goes to being a perpetrator, we may have had moments when we were a perpetrator, but it doesn’t make us perpetrators.

We only become these identities if we chose to be and this can happen either consciously or unconsciously. It is down to us to define who we are and who will be and not our past experiences.

By Oliver JR Cooper

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