Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Vampires DO Exist and They are Living Among Us!
We all know one – that person who is the smartest, most intellectual person in the world and who is not afraid to tell you. It’s that person that everyone shuns because to speak a word to that person interminably traps you for hours listening to them espouse their latest accomplishments. It’s that person who is never wrong, never able to see their own faults and who NEVER listens to other people. It’s that person who, upon hearing another speak of some accomplishment, has been there, done that and has done it a whole lot better. It’s that person you must avoid at all costs or your day will suddenly become bleaker and colder…downright dismal.
I am on a rant today because of that type of person. By definition, I believe the person suffers from what is termed Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is not a mental disease but rather a problem with personality – what makes this person function. The NPD person needs others to validate themselves at any cost. As one friend put it “She/he is just a bad person.” The disorder is pervasive, and according to the news, becoming more pervasive in American society. The disorder is not curable and most psychologists shudder when they speak of it. We all know a person who: has no empathy; only cares for his/herself; never accepts responsibility for his/her actions; is adept at blaming others (called projection); believes he/she is entitled to special treatment just because; and attaches his/her self to nice people to feed his/her ego. LJ has repeatedly termed this type of person an “emotional vampire.” She’s right - Vampires do exist, I know, I’ve seen one in action.
These vampires cruise for prey, watching and lurking in the shadows until some unwitting NICE person goes by. Then, wham, the vampire attaches like a suckerfish. The emotional vampire will then proceed to feed, bleeding the poor person dry before moving on to the next hapless victim. You have no clue that this is a narcissistic person until it is too late and you are caught in his/her web. These people usually require complete adoration, complete devotion and will not tolerate any insubordination from their “possessions” and that means you.
So what to do with these vampires? You cannot drive a stake through their hearts because, in all honesty, I don’t think you would find one. The suggestions on all the websites state “Ignore, Ignore, Ignore. DO NOT ENGAGE.” Which means, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE and don’t look back. I have to say that is harder than it sounds because these types are relentless in their pursuit of attention, good or bad. I have had to practice this time and time again but I think I am getting the hang of ignoring (as all of you know, my personality is to confront and destroy so this is hard for me). To try to correct this vampirism is kind of like beating your head against a brick wall – useless. You will never convince them that what they are doing is wrong, self-centered and, simply put, without conscience.
My next book, which is still in the thinking stages, is going to involve one of these NPD persons. I believe they make the ultimate villain/bad girl. They are never wrong. They plot and scheme, using others to get ahead. They destroy people with little or no thought. The only thing that matters is them. The real problem comes in how you get rid of them so the heroine can ultimately prevail. I don’t want my heroine to be weak and IGNORE. I want her to confront the issue and make the NPD person see her foibles. That would never happen in real life because NPD people won’t listen. I could make the villain listen but what good is that? No satisfaction. At least in fiction you can kill them…
Do you know an emotional vampire? Do you feel like a victim every time you talk to them? How do you deal with that person who knows more, has done more and will forever be better than you? I know, I can hear you say “I just avoid them” but some of these people won’t let you or you have to work with them or they are part of your family. So tell me how you get rid of them or, hopefully, make them see the light. I need fodder for my next book.