We all have them in our lives. Emotional leeches come in many forms and usually once you have them, it’s pretty darn hard to get rid of them. They are your closest friends, family members, coworkers and relationship partners. They have a way of simply sucking the life out of you whenever they are near and perhaps even the sound of their voice has become a trigger for you. As hard as it is to separate yourself from them, or even tell them how their behavior is affecting you, it is something that must be done to ensure your own sanity. Here are several ways to deal with and rid yourself of emotional leeches.
The venter loves to talk about themselves.They often start the conversations with all of the horrible things that are going on in their lives, cut you off when you mention anything about yourself, or half listen to you before going back to their own issues. You only hear from them when they need to vent, they never return the favor or they make the situation about them and are off the phone before you get a word in about your day.The venter can’t see past their circumstance and act as though every situation is the end of the world. It’s hard for us to see our friends and family suffering but at the same time it is completely draining to have to hear the same issues daily, especially when the conversation revolves around them and the relationship is one sided. It’s time for you to let your loved one know exactly how you feel. They obviously have no problem laying all of their issues on you, so have an open and honest conversation with them. Let venting Velma know that you too have a life and it’s not fair to only talk about their issues. Let them know that as much as you love them, sometimes it’s draining to be bombarded with all of the issues going on in their life. If they continue to vent to you relentlessly it might be time to simply stop answering their phone calls. If they can’t respect you enough to stop plowing their issues on you, you need to respect yourself enough to give them a break until they can.
The borrower knows exactly how much your income is after taxes, has your pay date saved in their phone and has your paypal account in their recent history. They know just what to say to guilt you into “loaning” them money and never seem to have it on the day they promised they would pay you back. Despite their horrible financial state they never seem to miss a party, expensive dinner date or sale at Saks. You’ve purchased them books on financing, offered to help them create a budget, and bailed them out more times than you can count. Every month they are still begging you and asking you for help. As much as it hurts, you are going to have to cut them off financially. By you constantly giving your loved one money you are hurting them more than helping. As an adult it’s time for them to learn how to responsibly handle their own financing without begging for help the second their funds run dry. The cycle will not stop until you stop it. Whether you have the funds to give or not, let your friend know that you can no longer help them out financially as you have your own financial responsibilities. They might say they understand until they hit another financial crisis but regardless of how much they beg, you can not continue to support them. By cutting them off financially you will be able to save more money, be less stressed and help your loved one mature.
3. The Gossiper
The gossiper tells everyones business but her own. She knows who is sleeping with whom, whose house is in foreclosure, who is behind on their car payments, who the pastor was preaching about at church on Sunday and who has been skipping on their tithes and offering. It may have been entertaining at first catching up on a little tea but now it’s full on draining. The gossiper has nothing positive to provide to your life and if she isn’t spilling tea she doesn’t have much else to say. You always feel drained after talking to her and are starting to question if you can even trust her, given she tells all of her friends business. Let miss gossip girl know that if you are dying for gossip you will head over to the shade room. What you require from her is friendship and positivity. If she keeps dropping the latest gossip on you, simply refrain from talking to her. If you continue allowing her to tell everyone else’s business to you, soon she will be telling yours as well if she isn’t already.
We all know that one person that comes up wih the most ridiculous lies.They post on Instagram about how they just got done shopping in Dubai when you saw them at the corner store the same day. They lie about anything and everything and everyone seems to know. No matter how much you beg for their honesty they repeatedly lie to you and further disregard your trust. It’s time you stop being taken for a fool and let them know how disrespected you feel by being lied to. People lie for a multitude of reasons and it’s not your place to try and figure out why they are doing this. Let your loved one know that you love them for who they are not the fallacies they create for themselves. Tell them that it hurts when they lie to you and you respect honesty. If they continue to lie and or manipulate you despite your pleas, once again you have to distance yourself from them and allow them to hopefully get the help they need.
5. The Drama Queen
She calls you at ungodly hours letting you know that she feels like she can’t go on in life. Her boyfriend of three days just texted another girl and she is dying inside. You spend hours trying to calm her down and console her as she weeps helplessly into the phone. Two hours later she texts you and tells you she met someone new and swears she’s going to marry him. She is a whirlwind of emotions and takes everyone in her path on the rollercoaster with her. Despite your advice, your consoling, your constant pep talks, and late night conversations she just doesn’t get it. Your friend is a drainer. She lives for drama and often causes the storm then cries bloody murder once it starts raining. Have a sit down with your friend and let her know how her drama is not only affecting her life but yours. Remind her of the many times she thought she couldn’t go on and how she is still alive. Life is too short to sweat over the small things, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Drama queens are nothing without their audience. Slowly but surely start separating yourself from her dramatic outburst and hopefully she will wise up and grow up.
6. The lover and leaver
He tells you that you are the most beautiful woman in the world. He spoils you rotten, attends to every need of your mind and body but leaves before the sun rises. He reassures you that you are the only one for him but has a million excuses on why he can’t commit to you. You are left feeling empty inside each time he departs and find yourself doing everything within your power to prove to him that you are a good woman deserving of his love. If you haven’t figured it out yet, he is using you. This is a relationship of convenience for him. He has you doing backflips to prove something to him, that he hasn’t proven to you. You deserve much more than late night phone calls and visits only for him to be gone before the sun rises. If he refuses to commit it is because he doesn’t see the need to. He knows he has you right where he wants you and nothing is going to change that. Until you start to value yourself he isn’t going to see your value either. Let him know it’s time for him to shape up or ship out. Until he can give you the love you deserve he doesn’t deserve your presence. Stop responding to his 1am texts pleading to see you. Ignore his late night phone calls the same way he ignores you during the day.
7. The Problematic Parent
This is a tough one. What do you do when the emotional leech in your life is the person who gave you life? When it is your mother or father that is causing strife in your life? Parents can be draining in many ways. Maybe they have a drug or alcohol problem, maybe they are disrespectful to your spouse, financially draining, dependent on you, the list goes on. Now to be clear, i’m not referring to an aging parent that has health issues and needs extra help. I’m referring to an able bodied parent that simply has not grown up. Either they are dependent on drugs or alcohol or simply not being very parent like. If you haven’t already you need to have a one on one with mom or dad. It’s best to address this topic very sensitively with them and speak to them with respect. Let them know their behavior is hurting you and possibly others in the family.Bring up specific examples of how you were affected by their behavior. Tell your parent you love them very much and you want to see them happy but their actions are stopping them from fulfilling that happiness and hurting those closest to them. If this is a long time problem your parent has had most likely they are not going to change it overnight. However, if you are able to clearly get the message across to them and they are receptive, they will make the necessary changes to shape up. If your parent continues this detrimental behavior you may need some time apart from them.
8. The Constant Competitor
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, but what about when it comes in the form of a close friend, family member, or coworker who always has to compete with you. You should never feel like you are in competition with those closest to you. You and your friends should constantly motivate, encourage each other and celebrate your victories. If you have a friend that always seems to have to try and one up you at whatever you do, or always has to find a way to downplay your accomplishments, she isn’t a real friend. Most likely she has some insecurities she needs to deal with and is probably jealous of you. Friendship and jealously certainly don’t mix. If you feel like this is a friend worth holding on to let her know how you feel about her need to always compete with you. If she doesn’t agree or continues to compete or try to tear you down, ditch her. You deserve a friend that wants to reach the top with you, not pull you back so she can beat you to it!
Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, spoken word poet, who doesn’t trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on twitter & instagram also check out her website.