Advice

Grab the (Metaphorical) Garlic! Here’s How to Handle “Energy Vampires” Mooching off You

These relationship experts and life coaches share the top signs that your “friend” is actually more of a foe.

In any friend group, there are always one or two people who make you raise your eyebrow over whether they truly care about you or if they are just along for the ride. This person seems to be taking from you almost all the time, whether it’s your emotional intelligence, money from your wallet, or your free time to do what they want to do instead. So how do you put a stop to that person walking all over you and giving you nothing in return?

Read on to find out how to know if someone is mooching off you ASAP, especially before the holiday season starts.  

Everything Is Always About Them

One easy-to-catch sign of a moocher is that they truly believe everything revolves around them. 

Uma Beepat, an intuitive life coach and owner of Lotus Wellness Center, said that a moocher makes everything, from what TV show you end up watching to what restaurants you end up eating at to what hobbies you have, all in line with what they want. 

“A moocher knows how to twist the ropes of faith to get you to do their bidding! You might think it is harmless that they pick the restaurant or movie, but in truth, if you settle into this scenario, your needs and wants end up getting dismissed or ignored,” said Beepat. “Make the relationship better by asking to do something you want to do.”

Their Wallet Is Always MIA

When it comes time to pay for things, is their money where their mouth is? Chances are, the answer is no. 

Beepat said that if you end up pulling out your wallet for all the expenses, you are hanging with a serious moocher. 

“Don't be fooled! They have money, as evidenced by their new car or how they mysteriously came up with money to attend that rock concert with their friends. They just choose not to spend it on you!” said Beepat. “Make sure you hold a moocher accountable in your relationship by planning events where each person has to contribute, or just stop offering to help them with their bills or paying for them. In time, they will either learn to contribute or go their own way.” 

They Are Never There When You Need Them

If you look at your call log and notice that you’ve religiously answered their phone calls and their text messages during times of need but they’ve constantly ignored yours, then that person you’re hanging onto might just be the ultimate moocher. 

Holly Zink, a relationship expert for Grapevine, explained that a moocher doesn’t toss the support back to you, they only suck it out of you. 

“Are you supportive of your partner or friend in times of need, but they don’t reciprocate when you need them?” asked Zink. “This is clear sign they’re taking advantage of you. A true partner or friend will be there for you through thick and thin, no matter the situation.” 

They Don’t Show Up (At All)

When you think about that good partner or good friend that you have, usually it’s a person who is there to support you no matter what big thing is happening in your life.

“You got recognized at work for the amazing job you did and you are getting an award at the annual conference. If you find yourself having to convince this person to attend with you, they may not be in your life for all the right reasons,” noted Beepat. “People who love or like you want to support you and your goals, dreams, and vision. Something big happening for you should be big for them as well! Pay attention to who shows up for you and who doesn't. That speaks volumes!” 

You’re Feeling Drained

Take inventory on the people in your life and how they make you feel. If you’re thinking about one person in particular who is making your heart pump with anxiety or exhaustion, chances are they are mooching off you.

“When we are around people and places, it's important to pay attention to how we really feel. Signs of a healthy relationship include feelings of joy, happiness, inspiration, etc,” said Cindy Shaw, the founder of Best Me. “On the other hand, if you feel angry, emotionless, or plain-out drained after engaging or being with a person — it could be they are not only mooching off of you only in the physical, but they are also mooching off of your energy! I like to call them energy vampires.”

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