THE EMOTIONAL VAMPIREMarissa has problems forming long-lasting relationships. She claims that it’s because no one understands her; she’s a very giving person who is always being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people. Her issue becomes evident when one knows her better. Marissa always has a major life crisis, which becomes the focus of every conversation with her. She also shares her insecurities, fears, and concerns with the people around her, all the while brushing aside suggestions from others on how to improve her situation. Her friends quickly distance themselves from her because her company leaves them feeling emotionally drained. People like Marissa are known as emotional vampires—those who feed off attention and emotions (both good and bad) from the people around them. Some will call them drama queens, while others may use the term ‘narcissists’ and ‘professional victims’.
“Are you an emotional vampire? Here’s how to drive a stake into the issue. ”
THE INVISIBLE PERSONMaryam thought she was happy. Her life was perfect. One day, however, she notices that she spends her time during mealtimes in the kitchen getting the food ready, while her family chat happily among themselves. When she joins them, everyone eats and drinks, giving short dismissive responses to her efforts to start a conversation when they are not messing with their phones. Maryam starts tallying up the various little instances when she is treated more like the efficient domestic helper by the rest of the family. Resentment mounts as the tally grows day by day. She has become invisible to her family—they only recall her existence when they want her to cook, clean or fix something. If you believe that you have become an invisible person, here’s some tips from Cathie Wu to be heard and seen again. Acknowledge your own inherent value. It is human nature to tie the perception of success and happiness to external achievements such as financial success or acclaim from other people. When these external markers are not present,resentment and a sense of inadequacy may arise. Instead of relying on these external markers, you should realize that you always have value as a human being. You are worthy to be appreciated and loved, regardless of how successful or beautiful you are. It is important to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you will be able to feel good about your accomplishments even should they go unrecognized by other people. By doing this, you will be able to maintain a more balanced, realistic measure of your own happiness and success. It will be easier to manage the negative emotions that can come with the perception that you are being underappreciated or overlooked. This doesn’t mean you should stay silent and let things be, though! See the next two points. Voice your needs and desires. Waiting in silence to be heard or be invited to speak only bring more feelings of powerlessness and/or helplessness. To break this unhealthy pattern, find the strength and courage inside you to speak up and make your feelings heard. Who knows, maybe your loved ones have no idea that you are feeling this way, and when you speak out about your feelings, they may be more willing to be more considerate to your needs. Set up a more balanced structure. If you choose to do everything for everyone, you will be associated to that role over time. This may lead to you being taken for granted by everyone! To prevent yourself from ending up in this situation, delegate responsibilities so that everyone has a reasonable share of the duties involved.
FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTERCreated with the mind of a simple, loving child, Frankenstein’s monster quickly discovers the fear people have of his large, hideous appearance, and how this fear quickly turns into violence. Eventually, he snaps… with tragic consequences for both himself and the ones he cares for.
“Perhaps you identify with Frankenstein’s monster. Maybe you believe that the world has abused you so much that it is only right that you retaliate in kind. Cathie Wu believes that there are other, more fulfilling ways to manage your emotions and find contentment in your life.”
“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.” − from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein