Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Types of Life Leeches - People who Suck You Dry

People Who Suck…You Dry:
Life Leeches, Energy Vampires and Toxic People
Dr. John Schinnerer
Guide To Self Radio

Life leeches and energy Life Leeches – people who suck…the energy right out of you!  There are more than a dozen types of Life Leeches.     None of the Life Leech labels are necessarily a life sentence. So you want to keep the door open because the possibility exists in many cases that the Life Leech can change for the better. Remember the human brain has the ability to make new pathways and grow new brain cells throughout our lifespan. This means that every day is a new opportunity to recreate who you are and how you treat other people.
So focus on what you can control – your actions, your feelings, your thoughts. Foster forgiveness and compassion. Take good care of yourself. And treat everyone around you with respect and dignity.
So here are the types of Life Leeches to lookout for…

  • There is the Whining Leech who always wants to complain but never looks for a solution.

  • The Judgmental Leech who casts a judgmental finger at everyone but himself.

  • The Drama Leech who is overwhelmed by life and treats even minor crises as major catastrophes.

  • The Non-stop Talker who takes 6 hours to tell you that he is short on words.

  • The Advice Junkie who complains and seeks out advice, yet never implements one potential solution.

  • The Sprinting Leech who runs from any and all confrontation.

  • The Oblivious Life Leech who is anyone who sucks energy from you without knowing it. This is an innocent type of Life Leech but one you need to be aware of in terms of your overall energy level. Any of you who have children know what I’m talking about here – kids can suck your energy from you in a matter of minutes with a good tantrum.

  • The Two Types of Malicious Life Leeches

  • Antisocial Life Leech. This type is not antisocial in terms of disliking company. Rather they are antisocial in the sense that he has no regard for society’s rules, personal boundaries, values, or the feelings of others. He is distrustful of others and suspicious of coworkers. He has a pessimistic outlook and frequently takes statements out of context and twists other people’s words until they are unrecognizable.  A dangerous leech.

  • The Empty Shell Life Leech feels things very deeply, lacks a sense of self, and sees people as all good or all bad. They fill themselves up with what you are doing, thinking or feeling. You don’t want to fall into the all bad category or this Life Leech will make your life miserable. A dangerous leech.

  • The Volcanic Life Leech, one of the scariest Life Leeches due to their angry outbursts, you never know when they will explode and you don’t know exactly where you stand with them. They are expert at hiding their feelings. And when they blow, there is often a fear that they may become physically violent. The volcano is always filled with inner fury. They keep a long list of the injustices done to them. They never forget a slight.

  • The Emotional Ice Cube, They show no emotion. The ice cube has no emotional awareness. They do not know how they are perceived by other people. They are totally numb. You may get the feeling as if you want to take them by the arms and shake them.

  • The Self-Loving Life Leech, This Life Leech loves to talk with other people – about themselves. They usually talk a great deal – about themselves. Deep down, in their core, they are fearful, insecure and feel unworthy. Their goal is to impress you with their experience, knowledge, travels, accomplishments or skill.

  • The Browbeating Bullying Leech.
I think everyone had their own personal bully growing up. Unfortunately, some bullies never grow up. They continue their bullying ways right into adulthood, using intimidation to get what they want.
The browbeating bully tends to use a loud voice and close physical quarters to scare you into giving them whatever it is they want. When you make a mistake, the bully leech will yell at you to correct it. When you call them on their mistake, the bully will yell at you and tell you that you make mistakes also. The bully loves to watch you sweat and fret.
How do you get out of that position?
Don’t buy into their game. You can give them back a taste of their own medicine by standing up to them and refusing to be intimidated. Using your deep breathing, remind yourself that you will not stand for bullying. Put your hands on your hips and in a loud and firm voice, tell them “Stop. You sound as if you are trying to get what you want by yelling at me. That may work with other people, but I don’t appreciate being yelled at as I was your four year old child.” This will typically cause them to respect you and back off the yelling game. Normally, just calling them on their game is enough to snap them out of their little drama.
There are specific ways to deal with each type of life leech. Stay tuned in to Guide To Self Radio to find out tips to deal with each type.
Dr. John Schinnerer
Guide To Self Radio


At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Schinnerer,
I read your material with great interest and having been through the book "The 10 people who suck"
i find the whole subject very fascinating, keep up the good work.
My question to you is:
The volume of analytical data and discussion on the subject presented here exposes the "Vamps". One can very well profile the typical behaviors from these by studying others. Some of each of the typical patterns, however, resides in all of us. Can you establish a norm for behavior to contrast the presented undesirable patterns. In other words, it is difficult to stay in the middle of the road unless there is a center line to guide us, and the center line is referenced by the left and right extremes.

Thank you in advance for your response.

Jon Michalek

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Dr. John Schinnerer said...

Dear Jon:

Great question!

That’s what I’ve spent much of my professional life doing - trying to establish normal, productive ranges for different competencies and constructs.

I work for one company – Infinet Assessment ( – which does typical pre-employment screening. They use online testing to look at …
• personality traits such as orderliness, neuroticism, flexibility of thought, attitude towards technology,
• intelligence
• emotional intelligence
• ethics and
• knowledge

The way we approach it is to assume that, in most areas, the ideal range exists somewhere in the middle ground. For instance, on the introversion – extroversion scale, the ideal bank teller scores between 3.8 and 4.3 (these are made up scores) on a 5 point scale. As an employer, you don’t want them too introverted or they will get drained from interacting with customers all day. You don’t want them overly extroverted or they’ll be chatting with coworkers and overlook work at times.

The exception to this is in intelligence which is a threshold competency. IOW, for most positions, you need a certain amount of IQ to succeed. Anything more than that threshold may or may not be helpful.

I am also working with a second company, Emotion Mining Company ( which has a new patented method to measure and quantify conscious and subconscious emotions. It does not rely on the traditional self-report which is a major plus. It works based on projection. We have used it with large companies such as AOL, Coke, Penske, Campbell’s and more. The use is largely for marketing and branding purposes.

However, we’ve also done a presidential campaign study looking at conscious and subconscious emotions surrounding the presidential candidates and accurately predicted Barack would win out over Hillary (he should win the big one as well).

We are working towards studies that will help to identify normal ranges for individuals in Emotion Mining but are not quite there yet.

Hope that helps!


John Schinnerer, Ph.D.
Chief Communication Officer
Emotion Mining Company, Inc.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Brendan said...

Dr.(yeah right) John,

Quick question, you're an idiot?

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Investigator said...


I love your blog, I too am in the psych field. I hope to get some good valuable advice from you one day and hopefully we can work together.

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Mary said...

This is an insightful blog...I have 2 people at this time that must think I'm good to feed on. In being with these people and watching the behavior of others in general, I have come to realize that how ever hard we try to maintain an emotional balance, we all fail to some extent, until we have a personal relationship and daily walk with God.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Catherine Pettersson said...

Hello. I was wondering how you deal with a multitude of leeches? Their are a handful of leeches who live on my block and have made my life a living hell since we moved here. I have been bullied, harassed (both sexually and non sexually), my property trespassed on, people stealing from my property... The list goes on. They have shown absolutely no respect for my boundaries. One in particular would actually make it a point to get as close to me as possible, even touching me at times. The more I tell them to leave me alone, the worse they get. Its gotten so bad I'm literally a prisoner in my own home. The police and courts have been no help. These people people actually make me out to be the leech (strength in numbers I suppose). I do have PTSD so I have a tendency of overreacting when put in these type of situations, so that hasn't helped. It's been a nightmare. This is actually my childhood home that I inheritated (not that it matters but these are mostly renters). My family has over 40 years invested in this house and my husband actually died in it (cancer) so I'm not exactly ready to walk away. Can you offer any suggestions as to deal with a gang of leeches? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Justin d Robinson said...

What is the best way to confront a leech, who they and their family have leeched $, materials? I confronted one and seems to have exculated friction rathen then resolve this matter. I want my stuff back. Shld I get police involved? Thanks!

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Leslie Welky said...

I totally agree. I think everyone does some of these things some of the time, even IF we have a walk with God because we are totally flawed. I have been delivered from many things, but still fall into unproductive patterns at times, but none are consistently troublesome only because of God working in me.


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