Today one of my clients described her ex as an "emotional vampire." "He just sucked the life out of me until there was nothing left," she said.
That got me to thinking. That could be an accurate description of many of us. How many times are we sucking the life out of others? We are so concerned with our own wants, needs, desires, and comforts that we forget and ignore the wants, needs, desires and comforts of those around us.
We demand, coerce, manipulate, intimidate, threaten, whine--whatever it takes to get what we want--without a thought about the damage we might be inflicting on those around us. Whatever makes us feel uncomfortable--whether situational things beyond our control or consequences of our choices--it all gets thrown down because we are unwilling to own it and deal with it ourselves. We throw it down and expect someone else to pick it up, deal with it, and make us feel better. In the process we are hurting ourselves and hurting those around us. Often we inflict the most damage on those closest to us--spouses, children.
Own your own stuff. Acknowledge it. Deal with it. Find whatever information you need. Make whatever changes are required. You're the only one who can! Once you deal with your own stuff, you have the ability to look around and see hurting people who could use your help, your encouragement, your support as they deal with hard things in their lives.
That doesn't mean you allow them to become an emotional vampire to you--they need to deal with their own stuff just as you do. It simply means that you are no longer damaging people around you with your emotional demands and know how to point them towards healing and hope.
Be a life GIVER instead of an emotional vampire.