Emotional Vampires at Work by Albert Bernstein

Book cover
  1. Anti-socials break social rules and conventions to “do their own things” for the excitement and thrill of the moment regardless of who they embarrass or hurt.
  2. Histrionics are the phonies who manipulate and pretend to do good as long as it is to their benefit. They are all show with little substance.
  3. Narcissists need to win. They move on to their next victim once they have what they need from one person.
  4. Obsessive compulsives believe they can achieve through control and scrupulous attention to detail. The “anal-retentive” person corrects, admonishes and monitors to create their version of the perfect order of things.
  5. Paranoids will tell you what they see as the truth in a black and white world with little gray. They see only certainty and no ambiguity. They become self-righteous and belligerent when asked to consider new methods, or ideas.

These vampires can change a person in a slow methodical step-by-step grooming process until the individual no longer feels or acts like the person they used to be. It becomes a hypnotic addictive process so subtle that it tends to go unnoticed by the individual, yet others who know the person well can see the change but are frequently rebuffed when they try to help as the vampires gain control.

There is hope. To break the emotional vampire’s spell and power one needs to understand that these personality disorders are childlike and immature. A smart and knowing person can defend against the vampire’s power by knowing that the vampire’s instincts and behavior is wired into the most primitive part of their brain. To deal with them effectively all it takes is to see their actions for what they are – with conviction and without the emotion. Slow and methodical rebuffing to the vampire’s emotional games is required to maintain one’s personal power – like a shield in battle.

The advice in the book is priceless and may give some readers their life back. The first step is to think more slowly and deliberately than the vampire. This will take them off guard and throw them off course. To be the adult and not allow childish vampire behavior is the book’s main message. There are 22 chapters that can be read in small increments.

In the end, we are cautioned to assess the organizational and social environments that shape our values and culture. These can either become subtle traps of misery or our environment and the people we associate with can be positive and generate health and well-being. This book can help us know the difference – to choose wisely

Lucia Worthington is at home in her garden in Washougal with her dog Jackie who guards against emotional vampires. She teaches business management at Clark College and strategic entrepreneurship at Portland State University. To recommend a book for review, email bookreviews@vbjusa.com.

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