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Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry [Paperback]

Albert Bernstein
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition 4.0 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

March 22 2002

"Bernstein provides a field guide to the various types of Emotional Vampires and advises readers how to protect themselves from being victims of these predatory personalities."­­Boston Globe

From bestselling author Albert J. Bernstein

The author of Dinosaur Brains offers protection from people who seek to destroy the emotional and psychological well-being of others. Like the fabled demons, these vampires:

  • Think their needs are more important than yours
  • Believe "the rules" apply only to other people
  • Use their tempers in the same way terrorists use bombs

Emotional Vampires tells readers how to spot a "vampire" in their lives, which defense strategies to employ to prevent one from striking, and what to do if and when they find themselves under attack.

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Product Description


Clinical psychologist and business consultant Albert Bernstein's Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry is a humorous yet serious look at our interactions with people who seem to sap our energy. Through anecdotes, Bernstein makes the various categories of vampires distinctive and recognizable (Anti-Social, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Obssessive-Compulsive and Paranoid) and offers practical guidance for how readers can deal with them effectively (Understanding Emotional Vampires' immaturity is your ultimate weapon). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"If I'd had a copy of this book when I started therapy, I might have saved myself a lot of time and money. Bernstein provides a field guide to the various types of Emotional Vampires and advises readers how to protect themselves from being victims of these predatory personalities."­­Diane White, The Boston Globe

Emotional Vampires: They're out there . . . masquerading as ordinary people. They may lurk in your office, your family, your circle of friends; perhaps they even share your bed. Chances are, you know all too many of them. Bright, talented, and charismatic, they win your trust, your confidence, and your affection­­then drain you of your emotional energy. But take heart as you walk through the darkness, it doesn't have to be that way­­the more you know about vampires, the less power they have over you.

Here Dr. Albert J. Bernstein, vampire-slayer and author of the best-selling Dinosaur Brains and Neanderthals at Work, reveals the secrets that will protect you once and for all. Detailing a whole range of personality types and human responses, Bernstein shows you how to spot the "vampires" in your life: self-serving Narcissists, hedonistic Antisocials, exhausting Paranoids, or over-the-top Histrionic drama queens. And, with valuable advice, psychological perspective, and much-needed humor, he gives you a range of defense strategies that are guaranteed to keep the blood-sucking creatures of darkness from draining you dry.

By the end of Emotional Vampires, you'll be armed with superior knowledge, a treasure chest of vampire-slaying tools, and all the confidence you need to take on the most draining people in your life and win without shedding the first drop of blood.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars humor and clarity work together Nov. 30 2003
Dr. Albert Bernstein's book Emotional Vampires gives strategies for managing these personality types. Sometimes it's not practical to run away. It might mean living in a very small world if you are on the lookout to avoid these traits in people. Everyone has these traits to some degree on a continuum, from mild to extreme. The main tool is knowing yourself, esp. in regards to these behaviors. I'm re-reading it slowly.
A second benefit is trying to not inflict pain on others by MY personality.
He describes what it's like inside their minds. In extremes, the best thing he says MAY be to avoid them, especially if you're not willing to manage them in your life. They may represent either gifted and talented people or cranks, depending on the person or situation. He describes the usual reactions people use to deal with them, and why that doesn't work.
He offers a BALANCED viewpoint that seems to carry credibility.
Bernstein had definite strategies for managing my paranoid, jealous ex-girlfriend that would have worked, had I known and not tried to address her fears for her.
I see that I have always been attracted to extreme (and immature) personalities in friendships, and am one myself, though I think I have my own stuff completely repaired and managed by now. (yeah, right)
This book addresses some confusion about people that has baffled me forever. I laughed out loud several times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Insulting, Ignorant, and Arrogant Sept. 5 2011
The only way I was able to gain insight from this book is by taking it with a grain of salt. I started becoming sceptical of the claims in this book when I read the following statement on page 97:

"Histrionic vampires invented sexual harassment, both doing it and suing for it."

This is unbelievably offensive to anyone who has ever been sexually harassed, which is considered a form of abuse. This claim is similar to the myth that victims of rape were "asking for it."

Apart from making such offensive statements, the author also insults various professions. For example, in the chapter on Narcissism, he states on page 146-147:

"To begin with, the process is called `creativity' only when it generates ideas that are useful, convenient, and cost-effective. The rest of the time it's called `being weird' or `having a bad attitude' ... Creativity means seeing things differently than other people, and it means believing that your vision is better than what's already there. Nothing could be more insensitive, irreverent, annoying, threatening, and well, Narcissistic."

To Albert J. Bernstein, everyone in the creative professions such as artists, inventors, and writers are narcissists. Not only is his definition of creativity full of errors - for example, lots of talented, creative people such as Agatha Christie and Vincent Van Gogh actually think their work isn't any good - but the Narcissists I've known were the LEAST creative people in the world! They spent more time trying to project an image that society would accept and admire, judging the quality of things by the standards of society, and criticizing anything unique and creative than actually doing or developing anything creative.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best resource to deal with difficult people Oct. 1 2001
By A Customer
Normally, you would like to deal with people nicely, kindly and sometimes go out of the way to make others comfortable. It works with most people. However, with some people you always come out of a transaction feeling cheated and violated. This is a book to deal with such people.
A wonderful book, that provides you solid insight into the behavior of "vampires" those self-seeking, immature individuals. Has solid advise and some life guiding principles like - Do not attempt to change people, attempt to change their behaviour.
If I was forced to hold onto only 3 books in my library, this one would be among them. A persons education is incomplete without reading this book. This advice works! The best part is that you regain your peace of mind.
Thanks a million Albert Bernstein for encapsulating a lifetime's experience into a small and easy to read book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Most Highlighted Book July 18 2002
I wish I had this book years ago! The book is practical and very easy to read. Although the vampire references are numerous, the point is well taken. Special care is given to clarify that the purpose of the book is not to diagnose, judge or label people. It provides practical techniques for the layman to recognize and deal with people that can literally drain a person. Also, it can be used to recognize traits in our own selves that have the potential to drain others emotionally. In short, Thanks Dr. Berstein!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Master of Disorder Speaks. April 22 2004
Gee, I work with two vampire personalities but I have to tell you that this book by Bernstein has to be, by far, the finest non-technical description of personality disorders that I've ever encountered. It's for both the layman and the psychologist and, best of all, it's self-help. I can't say enough about it. It reads like deja vu for anyone who has ever suffered the attentions of self-promoting, self-worshipping, narcissistic psychopaths. His advice is sound but they're so crazy you can't always use it--yet you will feel better after reading his work.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected
As I read through this book I forgot who the author was referring to, real vampires or people...?
It's not the helpful book I expected, it was more of a "those vampires you... Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2009 by Shades
2.0 out of 5 stars A real Keeper
I have had this book over a year and go back and back for more clarification and validation. I would sincerely like to somehow thank the author for this insight. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had read this a year ago
I would have saved myself so much misery from having fallen into a nest of narcissistic vampires. Reading through this book was like having my whole life flash before me, only now... Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by Viktoria Whittaker
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Vampires-
This book is on target and insightful. It offers practical solutions and pinpoints the motives of difficult people. It can also expose our own motives. Read more
Published on May 23 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars False
This book is a disgrace to all vampyres, it is not stated on any facts, let alone there are some. You should not write a book when you know nothing about the subject, this book... Read more
Published on Dec 19 2001 by "ice_crystals"
4.0 out of 5 stars Eerily accurate
The tone is tongue-in-cheek, but the criteria the author lays out surprisingly spot on! For anyone who's been emotionally drained (as I've been for the past few years), you'll... Read more
Published on June 22 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Eerily accurate
The tone is tongue-in-cheek, but the criteria the author lays out surprisingly spot on! For anyone who's been emotionally drained (as I've been for the past few years), you'll... Read more
Published on June 22 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Real psychology, not pop psych!
I love self-help books and this ranks with the best: entertaining, highly accessible, and most surprisingly BASED IN SCIENTIFIC FACT! Read more
Published on June 22 2001 by Mrs. George
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