Eliminate Emotional Parasites
Emotional parasites are people who emotionally feed off another without regard to their host’s emotional well being. Emotional parasites emotionally consume their host. We all know someone who engages in parasitic behavior. You know they are emotional parasites, if after any amount of time spent with them, you feel exhausted and drained afterwards. These people overly indulge in “I” and “me” sentences. They monopolize 90% of a conversation. They seldom have time for you or your issues. Emotional reciprocity doesn’t exist in the relationship. They are overly needy and interpersonally clingy.
Not all, emotional parasites, are clinging ivies. Some are professional successes and display a facade of self-confidence. They can still engage in chronic parasitic behavior. They usually have one or two favorite hosts, but actually anyone who will listen to them and not demand anything in return will suffice.
If the griever has friends or even family members who emotionally drain them – suggest avoidance. Grievers are entitled to protect themselves. Offer the griever the one-liners below to escape from emotional parasites:
- “I’m sorry, I’m unavailable to talk right now”
- “That won’t work for me.”
- “I cannot commit to that right now.”
- “I need to think about that and get back to you.”
- “I’m not comfortable with that.”
- “I’m not in a place right now to do ________.”
Suggest the griever write some of these phrases down by the telephone. Remind the griever to be firm. The griever may need to repeat the same phrase several times. If the offender is rude enough to persist, a griever is under no obligation to explain their position. This is not unkind – it is self-preservation.