There is also another kind of conditional friend or acquaintance who performs the reverse function. They only enter your life when you are going through a particularity difficult period. Unlike a true friend who arrives under the guise of sincere support and compassion, the type I have come to term as the Trauma Vampire are a very different kettle of fish altogether. They come to feed and not to provide genuine compassion. The see themselves in the middle of a soap opera without the soap.
The Trauma Vampire is an individual who is literally energised by your personal difficultly. They will be there non-stop to constantly enforce and remind you of how bad things are for you. However, it'll be done under the guise of compassion and support. In many cases the Trauma Vampire has no deliberate design to compound your misery and harvest it. So they are not always evil or pathological in their intent. But sometimes they are too. Either way, they are very difficult and unhelpful people to have in your life.
The video below gives an outline of the personality type and how you might spot them.
One spectacular example I witnessed on Facebook a couple of years back was a woman who had her 'friend' post photos of her recent ex-husbands wedding to a woman he left her for onto her wall with comments such as, "he's already walking down the aisle!!!!" This wasn't stupidity, this was feeding the poor woman's trauma and soaking up her suffering.
CAR CRASH FRIENDSHIP 101
Common Traits of the Trauma Vampire:
- You feel much worse and far more despondent when they come in with their 'support'.
- Just when you feel you are getting some relief from your torment they knock on the door, call, email and throw you right back into the depths of despair once more.
- They try to convince you in a passive aggressive manner hidden in 'advice' that you will not recover from this.
- Other genuinely supportive friends will tell you the Trauma Vampire is only making your feel worse by constantly returning you to the sensations and misery you underwent at your lowest point.
- When you do stand up for yourself and try to get your old self back, you get warnings that you could be making a huge mistake.
- When you overcome your misery or hardship they vanish!
- They are very fond of disgusting statements based on nothing substantial such as: 'no smoke without fire...' and 'people are talking...' This is not support, they are enjoying and harvesting energy from your pain.
- They seem almost 'electrified' when talking about the pain you are going through. It is like they are watching an exciting 3D movie you are the star of.
If you have experienced this type of individual feel free to post your story in the comments section below.