"Avoid or weed out those that wear You out pulling You into their drama and problems, leech Your time, money and attention, sucking Your energy, leaving You feeling drained, people who take much and add little or nothing to Your life."
Rational Hedonists distance themselves emotionally and physically from "Life Leeches", also known in other circles as "Emotional Vampires" or "Emotional Parasites". Just as a leech is empty at first, Life Leeches seek to feed off others, filling themselves with what they lack and need. Whether they feed off you emotionally, intellectually, or sucking up your energy, time, money and/or attention; like a leech merely sucking life's blood, they leave you feeling emotionally drained, frustrated, unheard, depressed, agitated, inadequate and used. Theirs is a parasitic relationship, one living and feeding off the other person.
Leeches can be family members, a "friend", a spouse or lover, a boss or co-worker. They are easy to recognize, drawing you into their seemingly daily drama, hot/cold mood swings, managing to swing the attention to themselves, or having an opinion about everything including what you ought to do. Unlike the symbiotic relationship with a friend, Leeches leave you feeling worse when they walk away. Rational Hedonists learn to pluck off these Leeches in order to enjoy a pleasurable, happy life. Let them feed elsewhere!
1) Do Not socialize with them. Cut them out of your life! (This is not always possible if they are close family members). If this is not possible, emotionally and/or mentally separate and distance yourself in order that you . . . .
2) Do Not Feed them! (Or give them an "in").
3) Do not lose time with them when they constantly demand attention or one-sided dialogue (you know, the "conversation" where you can't get a word in) they may mistake as "conversation".
4) Do Not continue to "talk" when they are not listening to what you say, or are brushing off any helpful advice offered with a "yes, but". They do not want it, you do not need it.
5) Do not fall into their most recent needy self-pity and drama event.
6) Do not get suckered into bickering, absorbing their demeaning criticisms, taking what they say personally, goading you into responding defensively (again, they win, you are feeding the Leech's hunger).
7) Do address misplaced criticism towards you in a firm, direct answer without getting sidetracked.
8) Do set time limits for those you can't avoid, such as co-workers, family. This keeps you in your rightful place, in control. "I want to hear what happened, but I have to get (home, to work, etc.). You have ten minutes, starting . . . Now!"
9) Do screen your calls until they are retrained.
To begin to feel better, lighthearted, happy and energized - pluck off the life leeches who leave you feeling diminished!
A Rational Hedonist's path leads to a flourishing, creative life, surrounding yourself with those who make you happy, inspired, bring out your creativity, enjoying much conversation and laughter.
G.K. is currently the official Spokesman representing Rational Hedonism online; an Ordained Celebrant (not "celibate"!) with R.H. and conducts or advises others with Weddings, Civil Unions, Remembrance Ceremonies (both people and pets), Adoption and Naming Ceremonies; and conducts "Garden" Parties for Rational Hedonists throughout the United States.