How To Deal With “Happiness Vampires”

Published on September 30, 2010 by

In my last post, we looked at four tips to add more happiness to our lives. One of the tips had to do with staying away from what I call "Happiness Vampires."

A "Happiness Vampire" is someone who complains, whines about their circumstances and who is, more often than not, just plain negative and pessimistic.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you this: Spend enough time with me and you'll hear me complaining or whining every once in a while.

The key phrase here is "every once in a while."

There's a big difference between complaining every once and a while and being a serial complainer. Or being negative and pestimistic more often than not.

The former is simply being human.

The latter is what I call a "Happiness Vampire."

That person will suck the life out of you.

And here's how to deal with a "Happiness Vampire:"

Hold them accountable for actually doing something to improve what they're complaining about.

When you're talking with them, it's okay to hear them out...to some extent.

But don't let them go on and on and on and on. Because then, you're just feeding a vampire!

You have to jump in after a minute or two and ask them what they can do, will do, even if it's a tiny thing, that will improve their situation.

You have to be consistent, do this every time.

Remember, we train others how to treat us.

So, hold them accountable. Don't judge them, don't talk down to them, just hold them accountable.

That's the secret to dealing with "Happiness Vampires."

Do this consistently and one of two things will happen: they will take action of some sort and improve the situation they were complaining about...or they will stay away from you.

P.S. A blog reader asked me how to know when it's time to quit trying to help a "Happiness Vampire." Obviously there's no "right" answer to that question. But I ask myself this simple question: Is this person impacting me more than I'm impacting them?

That's how I decide when it's time to quit helping a "Happiness Vampire."

Who else cares to weigh in on this topic? Have a tip or two you'd like to share?

10 Comments

  1. Randall

    Great thoughts. I love the concept of holding the whiner accountable for taking action to improve his/her situation. You present a more diplomatic approach than I have typically followed!

    • Alan Allard

      Randall, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. laurie

    I love the term "happiness vampire". It hits the nail on the head. The mystery is, what do you do about them? Now I know! Thanks.

    • Alan Allard

      Thanks for stopping by Laurie, and for your comment.

    • Alan Allard

      Thanks Laurie, I appreciate your comments!

  3. Young

    The GREATEST page that I read all day..

    -Kindest regards
    Ilene

    ulm chat

    • Alan Allard

      Ilene, thank you for your comment, I appreciate it!

    • Alan Allard

      Ilene, thanks for your comment, I appreciate it!

  4. Wendy

    I have always been very optimistic, half full glass, 'isn't the storm wonderful' kind of person. Yet my mother and husband are happiness vampires. I can't steer clear of them, and holding them accountable means more work for me. I don't mind fixing things for them but how do I make them see that they make other people miserable? And it's funny how one sees the "happiness sucking" tenancies in the other but not in themselves. And don't dare compare the two. lol!

  5. Chan

    When this one is your only family member...
    Feel like kinda want to commit suicide

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