Yes, they exist. And it's all your fault, or let's say, manifestation!
One thing I hear about from time to time in my healing practice, and in conversations with friends, is complaints about energy vampires. There are people who thrive on feeding off of the energy of others. They feed on attention of all sorts. I am going to try to give you a different perspective on this kind of interaction and what you can do about it.
An energy vampire is like a con artist.
Con artists depend on the greed of their "mark" to do their work. Three card monte is an example. The con artist shuffles three cards and invites you to "find the lady" or Queen. Usually there is an accomplice that 'loses' the game repeatedly in front of you. He makes it look easy to win and engages your greed. You are sure you are going to win a lot and feel like you are going to cheat that dummy and take all of his cash. You never do.
Like a con artist, an energy vampire will lure you in with something enticing. Perhaps they make you feel like a hero by 'saving' them. They might entice you with the opportunity to feel wise, useful or even indispensable as they stroke your ego and give you a front row seat to their drama. Maybe that makes your life feel more meaningful. People love to feel involved in drama that feels significant.
You are not a victim of the energy vampire.
People love to blame the vampire even though they can't come into your house uninvited.
Energy vampires depend on you. They need for you to have some kind of opening in order to hook you. If you understand that, you understand that energy vampires are only showing you where you are weak and vulnerable to manipulation.
Healers like me are vulnerable to that amazing feeling we get when we help someone fundamentally change their life. It gets confusing because sometimes we have a calling and a talent that is extremely valid but don't have appropriate boundaries when it comes to these interactions.
We all like to feel wise, and energy vampires have an amazing knack for stroking our egos by praising our wisdom and problem solving genius. They ask for advice over and over until we are energetically and emotionally depleted. If we aren't careful, we become resentful and begin acting decidedly unwise!
One trick they use to keep us hooked is to continually find our advice lacking. "I tried that and it didn't work. Now what should I do?" This gets us digging deep into our reserves until we feel totally drained. This undermines our confidence in the very talent they came to us for. Now they cast doubt on our abilities and get us to double down on our energetic outlay.
Healing your vulnerability to energy vampires.
The main thing you need to do to heal your vulnerability to energy vampires is to figure out what you are getting out of the interaction. You have to think like a manifestor, not a victim. You have to take responsibility for manifesting the situation. Then you have to "reverse engineer" the situation. That means going to the root and pulling it out. For example, if you are addicted to feeling like a savior of others, you have to leave them to their fate. Here are a couple of scenarios and how to deal with them.
The Advice Addict
There are energy vampires who won't make a move without enlisting people to give them advice. You know the type. They ask for your advice, argue with the advice and either don't follow it or follow it in a way that ignores the spirit of the advice.
Here's what to do:
Tell them that you will only give them advice if they promise to do exactly what you say, no matter what it is. No preview allowed. They have to follow your advice no matter how crazy or you make clear that you will never give them any future advice. Then tell them that this is a shitty deal that they should NOT take. Tell them that they know better than you and definitely shouldn't even ask under these conditions. If they agree, give them some off the wall but harmless advice that they won't like.
The Tragedy/Drama/Failure Addict
These people love to call you and breathlessly relate their latest personal tragedy or drama. They aren't a well balanced person who shares their life with you. Those well balanced people share the ups and the downs. Tragedy/Drama addicts don't even get in touch when something good happens. If they get a big bonus at work they won't call you to take you to dinner. But if they have an accident, a break up, get fired or anything juicy like that they will be getting in touch. They don't really want advice or direction of any kind. They don't want a more optimistic way of looking at things. They just want to spread the energy of their suffering.
It is really important to distinguish this energy vampire from a true friend who needs a shoulder to lean on. Make sure you don't put someone in this category just because you don't want to hear anything negative. If that is the case you need to work on your reactivity.
Here's what to do:
As soon as you pick up the phone, ask this kind of energy vampire what the problem (disaster, tragedy, drama) is. Show them that you expect bad news when they call and that you are not surprised. Let them know that you see them as someone who offers only negative stories. Don't do it in a vindictive way like you have an axe to grind. Do it in a cheerful, accepting way. You recognize that this is what they bring and you know that if you pick up the phone when they call, you will not be receiving any uplifting energy.
Accept that this is their pattern but don't go into their "Can you believe what happened?" energy. Be in the energy of expecting drama when they get in touch. This will give them pause and a healthy reflection in the mirroring you offer. Be in the energy of "Of course there is drama. It is you, and you and drama always go together."
Allow energy vampires to show you where you leak energy because this is where they show up. A lot of us who seek personal evolution are susceptible to energy vampires because of a desire to help others and a generally compassionate nature. Understand that everyone wants love and attention and that it is your duty to give that love and attention in a way that supports the growth of others. Enabling the behavior of energy vampires does neither you or them any good. If you stay grounded, within clear personal boundaries, you can never be the victim of an energy vampire.