I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Five Tips to Deal w Emotional Leeches: Psychology

An emotional leech:  The biggest source of energy drain in people is their relationships. Emotional leeches are people who can drain your energy and suck you dry.
They are people who make your mood take a nose-dive, who you feel sick or tired around.
Basically, it’s a person who changes your mood for the worse just by being around.
What are the five types of leeches: 
disclaimer: picture from happiness reflector.

Narcissistic, Victim, Controller, Constant talker, and Drama Queen –- the victim is the most common. That is the friend that you have who complains about everything, nothing is her fault, but she never seems to do anything about how miserable she is. 
She is exhausting, so you start to avoid her phone calls after a while. You feel you can say nothing about it, because you’re afraid of being seen as impolite.  A lot of people don’t speak up for themselves because they are afraid of offending someone.
Here are five strategies of how to lovingly and with
 sensitivity deal with people like this:
Tip number one:

You have to notice how your energy is when you’re around the person. If you’re on a date and everything seems to be going great, but you notice that you’re exhausted, there is a problem.

Tip number two:

 Know yourself and think of your top five buttons. The top five things that set you off: Things like guilt trips, petty criticisms and anger. Everyone has buttons, emotional leeches happen to be able to see these buttons more than other people, and they will push them. Once you know what sets you off, it can help you take the emotionality out of dealing with them. That is key; it may take a while for you to be calm enough to respond, but at least you will know when to go and calm yourself.
 Tip number three:
 Your tone of voice is critical when talking to an emotional leech. You have to talk in a very matter-of-fact or compassionate manner, rather than trying to deal with them the way they are talking to you. You don’t want to turn them off, because you have a goal: you want to change their

behavior. You have to stick to that goal. If you take the

bait and get emotional, then nothing will change.

Tip number four:
 Use the technique of limiting the setting, calmly tell the person who criticizes you that they hurt your feelings and you would appreciate it if they did not do it again. Get in and get out quickly, with a smile. You do not want a dialogue. For a boss who is narcissistic, frame the things you want in terms of what they are going to get out of it.
Tip number five:

Use the tool of body language, along with the matter of fact tone and satisfy the self-interest question of “what is in it for me.” For a drama queen coworker, do not ask how she is
doing. Use not interested body language. Turning away from them, crossing your arms, and calmly explain that you have work to do. It takes practice, but it’s definitely worth it.   If you want a raise or a vacation, word it in a way that shows a benefit to the company, like, “Rather than work in an exhausted state and potentially make a mistake, it will benefit the company if I take time off, so that I can return with a fully charged battery”. That will get them to see their own self-interest in your request, rather than, “I’m exhausted and I need more money and time off.” 

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