Have you ever found yourself in the presence of a vampire? I know I have! Let me tell you this story that happened to me just last week, and you let me know if you’ve run into a similar situation.
So I’m out here just trying to do the dishes before my wife and her son get home. All of the sudden my door bell rings.
I rush over to the door, excited to maybe have a friend, and there is this creepy ass dude standing there.
“May I come in?” He asks.
Naturally I’m thinking, “Eh, best not.” But then I realize that maybe this weird, old, lanky guy is my new neighbor, and Sarah is always up my ass about how I need to get to know the neighbors, and I’m just finishing the dishes anyway, so why not?
“Sure!” I say, not knowing anything more about this guy.
“Excellent,” He hisses at me, “Let me just grab my scythe.”
I know, I know! It happens to literally everyone. And it usually isn’t until he’s tearing his way through your wife’s son’s flesh that you realize you might not should’ve let him in.
Poor Billy, first paying for his mother’s mistakes, now mine….
But did you know there are other types of vampires?
All vampires are definitely leaches of some sort, but not all vampires suck blood.
I’m referring, of course, to emotional vampires. You know what I’m talking about: The kind of people in your life whose sole purpose seems to be draining you of vital energy.
You know this kind of person. Maybe they’re a friend, usually they’re a colleague. They are almost always a Negative Nancy. No matter what you do, or what anyone else does, it’s just wrong.
And this poor person is struggling so much with every choice. And they just have to weigh you down with all of their bullshit.
Now, not every person who is being negative is being an emotional vampire. And not every emotional vampire is negative. It just usually works out that way.
What is an emotional vampire?
An emotional vampire, really, is just someone who requires so much of your emotional capital when you’re dealing with them. For most of us this is a negative person who can’t take responsibility for themselves.
Sometimes emotional vampires are up-beat and happy people, but still require you to put in a lot of emotional energy to enjoy the interaction.
If you’re highly introverted, almost everyone is going to be an emotional vampire to you. If that’s you then let me be straight up with you right now: This post isn’t for you.
Highly introverted people will need to learn how to feed off of social energy – becoming a sort of vampire themselves – and not get so drained.
This post assumes you’re at least average on a social scale and just find the occasional person in your sphere incredibly draining.
You need to get away from these people
Emotional Vampires destroy you in so many ways. They exhaust your force of will, they deplete your reserve energy, and generally do everything they can to make sure they leave you feeling worse than they found you.
It is highly important to recognize these people as soon as possible in an interaction and then excise them from your personal space like the malignant cancer they are.
What great luck, then! I happen to have developed the world’s greatest technique for dealing with emotional vampires of all stripes.
The “Excuse Me” Technique
The “Excuse Me” technique is the perfect way to deal with cancerous people in your life in a safe and effective way. What’s so great about it is how insanely gentle it is!
Perhaps one of these vampires is a coworker, and you need to maintain a good relationship with them. You obviously can’t just stuff bulbs of garlic in their mouth every time they try to talk – that’s assault!
No, what you need is a way to get out from under their trance without tipping them off. They need to be okay with you leaving, and not really think any more of it.
The Excuse Me technique accomplishes all of this! It works, literally, every single time and no one will ever get mad at you for using it. They will never catch on. Not once.
What is the “Excuse Me” technique?
I’m glad you asked! So let’s say you’re in a conversation with a EV and it suddenly takes a turn towards the negative. You realize a moment too late that you’ve hit a conversational trip wire and this whole thing is about to blow.
How do we rectify this mistake!? It’s a simple, four step process. Behold, The Excuse Me Technique:
- Genuinely smile.
- Say “Excuse me.”
- Touch them personally.
- Walk The Fuck Outta There Man!
Let’s look at a few examples.
Deploying Excuse Me at work
You’re at work, taping up oddly shaped boxes of dildos at Teddy’s Pack & Ship for $8 an hour, and talking about normal job things. Suddenly…
“OH MY GOD”, your gay coworker says, “I can’t believe you mentioned Stacy! You won’t believe what this bitch did they other day!”
Here we go, you think.
“She brought her food in from home, and microwaved it!”
You sit there, blankly.
“In the break room!” He says, expecting you to negatively emote about this normal event.
“I… I did that too?” You question hesitantly.
“Okay, sure, so did I, but what you have to understand is Stacy brought fish, and like, I was about to use the microwave.”
This is clearly a non-issue that your coworker – a well known emotional vampire – is trying to make into a big issue because drama. You remember that great post you read on The Alpha Persona the other day and opt to deploy an Excuse Me.
You smile a friendly smile, “Hey, Excuse me for a second.”
“Oh yeah, sure.” Your coworker says, assuming you just remember to print a shipping label or something.
You pat him on the shoulder as you walk away.
Deploying Excuse Me at a bar
So you’re at a bar with your friends, and your one friend – Gary – is having a pretty good time. That’s cool because Gary is a good guy and all, but doesn’t understand that his emotional neediness suffocates the sex appeal right out of him.
Because of this, he’s been pretty unlucky in love and sometimes he can get unnecessarily mopey about it.
You think that tonight may be a pretty fun night, but oh no! Your friend Gary has already gotten through half of his second beer! He’s a well known light weight.
“You know why women don’t like me?” He asks rhetorically.
“I don’t have a fancy car! Or big muscles! That’s what they want! All women just want muscle dudes with cars! Do they even know how expensive my ten speed was?”
Realizing what needs to be done, you smile and say, “Excuse me for a sec, Gary.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, sure man.” Gary says, assuming you have to use the restroom.
You pat him on the back as you walk a few tables down and start chatting up some cute girls.
How To deploy Excuse me at a black tie
You’re at a black tie event with that 61 year old lady lawyer you met on Plenty of Fish. She insisted you come, even rented you the tux. You were hesitant, but she promised that if you went, she’d let you take a turn on top tonight.
She’s left you alone at a table with a judge, some lawyers, and the head of sanitation. Suddenly, the judge starts talking up all of this drama about how hard lawyers are to deal with.
You see where this is going, and you know that it won’t end well if Lawyer Lady gets wind of any of this.
“Yeah,” You say, smiling, as you interrupt him mid stream, “Hey guys, excuse me for a moment!”
“Sure!” They all unanimously agree, assuming you just saw someone you want to rub elbows with.
You shake the judge’s hand and walk away.
What makes this so powerful
In all of the above examples, I’ve highlighted in bold what makes this technique so powerful: No one assumes you’re ditching them (but you are)!
When you politely say “excuse me” to someone, even if they’re mid sentence, they will just assume you’ve remembered something that you need to urgently take care of.
No one will think, “Oh he’s just avoiding me!”
This technique is so effective and works every time. People are shitty and really selfish and self-centered. They imagine that you want to listen to them as much as they want to talk to you.
They will come to all sorts of conclusions when you gently say “excuse me” and walk away from them – and none of them will be that you’re ditching them.
Even if you stay within eyesight and don’t actually do anything! I’ve done it myself to a coworker. I deployed an excuse me, then walked across the sales floor and just stood there doing nothing.
He didn’t follow me. He didn’t get mad at me. The next time we were close to each other, he just found a way to resume his story. I deployed another excuse me, and we were good to go.
People will always just assume that you have something reasonable to do that you just remembered. If they don’t see you doing that thing, they’ll just shut their brain off and not think.
What do you think?
The Excuse Me technique has saved me countless times from emotional vampires and shitty social situations that I didn’t want to be a part of.
What techniques do you have for avoiding terrible people? Do you think you can add the excuse me technique to your repertoire?
Let me know in the comments below, and share this article with your friends!
Until next time,