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435 of 451 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Bite out of Vampires
Emotional Vampires teaches you how to protect yourself from people who emotionally and materially drain you for their own gain and at your expense. These "vampires" prey on colleagues, friends, and family. They are especially dangerous because their self-absorption prevents them from seeing that they are harming others, and even makes them think they are...
Published on November 24, 2000 by joyce howell

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78 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay----but!
This is an adequate attempt to treat a difficult subject with a humorous twist. The problem is that readers who are seeking a book like this are in need of real help in dealing with a difficult person in their life and this book describes difficult people and provides a one solution fits all. People, unfortunately, do not fit into nicely defined categories and often...
Published on December 23, 2007 by Ima Reader


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435 of 451 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Bite out of Vampires, November 24, 2000
By 
joyce howell (virginia beach, va United States) - See all my reviews
Emotional Vampires teaches you how to protect yourself from people who emotionally and materially drain you for their own gain and at your expense. These "vampires" prey on colleagues, friends, and family. They are especially dangerous because their self-absorption prevents them from seeing that they are harming others, and even makes them think they are helping others. "Vampires" are especially gifted at finding the most vulnerable victims. With Dr. Bernstein's help, these vampires will see you as no easy prey and move on to others. You recognize Emotional Vampires by the emotional aftermath: they "take a lot out of you," they leave you feeling "drained," they "pushed your buttons," they are "high maintenance," etc. Dr. Bernstein is right on the money with "vampire bite" as a metaphorical diagnosis for the real harm these types cause, but beware: the fangs seldom show, and emotional vampires can seem as harmless and ineffectual as Aunt Bea, or as affable as Will Rogers. Each chapter is a recognizance of different "vampire" personality types. I realized I was particularly vulnerable to the "histrionics" who thrive on drama for its own sake. I used Bernstein's techniques on a certain "histrionic" vampire in my life, and now I'm thankfully out of her perpetual soap opera. I urge everybody to buy this book. It's a funny and easy read, but the subject is serious and the insights ring deeply true. Once you have read it you will have the power to protect yourself from a lot of hard times and wasted hours.
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231 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Master of Disorder Speaks., April 22, 2004
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This review is from: Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry (Paperback)
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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151 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important: a vampire is not a human being..., June 10, 2007
By 
Baz (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry (Paperback)
This is one book I wish I'd read before venturing, happily but naively, into the dim and murky world of the emotional vampire. But then, of course, none of this could possibly apply to the charming, gorgeous creature sharing my life. What a ridiculous thought! The poor thing has had a lot of tough breaks, and just needs a little help, right? Nobody's perfect. We can all use a little support. What's friendship for, let alone love? Yeah, lean on me, babe. I'm here for you... The next thing I know, a gradual sense of the surreal slowly begins to pervade my life. I find myself trying to figure stuff out all the time. What was that she said? Why did she say that? Why would someone do that? Is it me? Am I missing something? My mind going round and round in ever decreasing circles. Little did I know this is the first symptom of blood loss.

I enjoyed this book even though it's quite a while since I managed to escape, dragging my poor depleted body through the Transylvanian woods to freedom and slowly regaining my sanity. Bernstein is the emotional equivalent of Van Helsing and this book is the string of garlic you need to hang around your neck. He writes well with much wisdom and a few laughs thrown in and there were many 'Aha!' moments for me.

Good as it is, I feel that this book will be most useful for victims outside of intimate relationships. God forbid that your significant other is an emotional vampire. The effects are devastating, extremely damaging and the abuse of friendship and love (much worse than physical abuse in my opinion) takes years to get over. The important thing to grasp is that these creatures are NOT human in the sense that most 'normal' people would understand. By definition, a vampire is not a human being. These people are parasites inhabiting the weird and batty world of the undead. I am not joking. This is a difficult concept to explain if you haven't been in a relationship with one.

If you even suspect that your significant other is a vampire - there's only ONE thing you can do if you want to avoid more blood loss and keep your sanity. Run like hell in the opposite direction. And keep on running.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful, action-oriented book!, August 5, 2006
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This review is from: Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry (Paperback)
I found this to be incredibly helpful in dealing with strong, needy personalities that I encounter. In fact, I found it so like an instructional (how-to) text, I highlighted in it!

Many people are difficult sometimes or often -- including each one of us -- but Bernstein writes that his "emotional vampires" are people who see the world differently. "Their perceptions are distorted by their cravings for immature and unattainable goals. They want everybody's complete and exclusive attention. ... Emotional Vampires are inordinantly threatened by common adult experiences, including boredom, uncertainty, accountability, and having to give as well as receive" (p. 4). He bases his categorizations of emotional vampires on personality disorders as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, but states that the people who give us trouble, or the types he addresses in this book, aren't likely to be that seriously dysfunctional.

After a few introductory chapters helping to set the stage (and firmly establish his vampire metaphor), Bernstein dedicates a chapter to each type of vampire. The introductory chapters outline how "vampires" are different from other people, how they are "made" and how their sucking black holes of emotional needs will suck the life out of anyone who doesn't know how to defend him or herself. Bernstein repeatedly makes the point that life is lonely for vampires: For them, the world comprises only their needs, nothing else.

Regarding this last point, Bernstein emphasizes that to fight a vampire, or at least to protect oneself, individuals should NOT try to make vampires care about their feelings, or tell them they've been hurt by them. Bernstein's tips are entirely practical to ensure that the healthy person is not taken in by the need of the vampire, and can cope with him or her. He often focuses his scenarios and tips on a work environment, which I found very helpful.

While he states that most types of vampires have common traits, he divides the vampires into Antisocial (Vampire Daredevils, Vampire Used Car Salesmen, Vampire Bullies); Histrionic (Vampires Who Ham It Up, Passive-Aggressive Vampires); Narcissistic (Vampires Who Are Legends in their Own Minds, Vampire Superstars); Obsessive-Compulsive (Vampire Perfectionists and Puritans) and Paranoid. All chapters outline common behaviors, include hypothetical scenarios, behavior checklists, and most important, REALLY HELPFUL TIPS on how to cope with these people without getting scarred for life! (Some of these tips included things like telling a bully you need time to think about something before answering a "throwdown" type question, and to stop explaining yourself or your decisions to bullies, who only use your rationals as points of vulnerability or weakness.)

Throughout the book, Bernstein stresses that while one may be interested in how someone becamse a vampire, that is not necessary knowledge to develop the skills to defend oneself. He also says repeatedly that trying to change vampires is nearly impossible. The goal of his tips and instruction is to protect the reader from the harm that may come to them psychologically or organizationally from individuals whose own emotional needs overpower any other human and social instinct they have in dealing with others.

I have found this book to be extremely helpful in dealing with difficult people in a polite but self-protecting manner. I highly recommend this book if you have an emotional vampire in your life!

-----

Bernstein, A.J. (2001). Emotional vampires: Dealing with people who drain you dry. New York: McGraw Hill.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An answered prayer!, June 13, 2006
By 
Swan (Lawrence, KS) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry (Paperback)
I am one of those whose whole life has been sucked dry and made crazy by a pair of emotional vampires for decades. I have never been able to deal with them well at all until I read this book, no kidding. I have been to o so much therapy and that only helped a little. THIS is the manual I needed all this time. The analogies are perfect, they are NOT overdone. I'm glad they go all the way through the book because it helps me refer to what I need in a way my mind can understand when in that potentially dire state. The categories are amazingly insightful and helpful and instead of just stirring up anger at recognition of patterns like most books in this category, it told me effectively WHAT to do and what NOT to do about the situations they create. I just spent 6 days with this scary pair and feel relatively unscathed for the first time ever! And yes I learned to identify & hopefully erase the remnants of my own negative behaviors that I could not get my focus on before. If someone you can't avoid has been making you crazy, this investment, with diligent repeated reading, (you should see the number of dogeared pages in my copy already) might just give you the sanity you've been seeking. Thank you thank you thank you to the author.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best resource to deal with difficult people, October 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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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars humor and clarity work together, November 30, 2003
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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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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lightbulb went "DING!", June 11, 2001
By A Customer
If I hadn't read this book at the precise moment that I did, I would have quit my job. My boss is THAT obnoxious. The most important thing that helped me transcend my constant annoyance is this: you will NEVER NEVER NEVER be able to change these vampires or make them understand why they are wrong. Or that they are wrong at all, or at fault for anything. This book gives you tips on how to get around people's personality disorders and even work them to your advantage. And the best part is, you'll get out alive!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity & insight for dealing with people who drive you crazy!, February 18, 2007
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This review is from: Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry (Paperback)
This is a book I will never part with. I have gained so much insight into some of the impossible people I know - and a bit of insight into an issue of my own (perfectionism). The author is a genius who not only details the various kinds of "vampires", but gives very effective, practical advice on dealing with each and every variety. I think the best advice he gives for dealing with ALL vampires is "pay attention to actions, not words." Another invaluable directive is "Ignore tantrums" (a common vampire tactic).

Unless you've been living in a bubble, you will recognize at least a few people you know among the vampires described, and you will better understand what motivates them. More importantly, you'll learn how to keep them from draining you dry. If there are vampires in your life, BUY THIS BOOK!!!! It's money well spent. Possibly the best book purchase I've made - and I've made many. Many thanks and much praise to the author.
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78 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay----but!, December 23, 2007
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This review is from: Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry (Paperback)
This is an adequate attempt to treat a difficult subject with a humorous twist. The problem is that readers who are seeking a book like this are in need of real help in dealing with a difficult person in their life and this book describes difficult people and provides a one solution fits all. People, unfortunately, do not fit into nicely defined categories and often display observable behavioral traits that cross the boundaries between categories making the offered solutions in how to deal with them not very functional.
It may be a good tool for someone who has had no previous introduction to the literature on sociopathic or dysfunctional personalities but even then caution should be applied when pidgeonholing personalities. One size does not fit all.
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Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry
Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry by Albert J. Bernstein (Paperback - March 22, 2002)
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