Our conversations often followed a circular pattern, with her telling the same stories repeatedly, rehashing them despite my gentle protestations that I had heard them before. She wouldn’t allow me to bring her solutions to her issues — she just wanted to complain. At the end of our conversations, I felt mentally diminished. I would stare at my computer, unsure o…
Yup. Sounds like a vampire to me. The biggest issue with this is she doesn’t want to hear solutions, even if they are sound and helpful. She’ll never follow through with them. She just wants to vent. Venting is fine. But when you vent about the same thing day in, day out and do little to nothing to change it, it is not productive venting — you’re just complaining about the bullsh*t injustice of your situation to anyone who is too polite to brush you off. I knew one guy. His spouse cheated on him with several different men over the course of several years. He told anyone and everyone who would listen about it. We tried to be helpful; urging on counseling, separation, divorce, etc. But no. He just wanted to bitch and did so for y-e-a-r-s. After a while, you could tune it out or predict what he would say next. It was heartbreaking and frustrating because we just wanted the best for the guy. He was obviously hurting and just couldn’t get out of his own way enough to take a step towards action. Action means change, and once the ball would start rolling — say towards divorce — it would likely continue.
Emotional vampires don’t want to have to make a decision yet. Instead, they will beat you to death about the details until you are sick of hearing about it. Which is sad because you want to be supportive, you want to be helpful.