As you may have found out in the previous articles of this series, anyone in our lives can be an energy vampire.
Some may resort to energy vampire tactics in response to a stressful time in their lives, while for others it all comes down to bad habits.
Sadly the small minority are left dealing with someone who’s an energy vampire through and through and isn’t looking to change their ways any time soon.
Of course, everything in life sits on a scale, and for the large majority of us, there are ways to help the energy vampire in our lives to change.
But how do you go about this when it’s your Mom that is the energy vampire?
Let’s take a look at the different types of maternal energy vampire, and what to do about them.
What Is An Energy Vampire?
To recap, an energy vampire is an individual who thrives by draining the positive energy from others.
The energy vampire may be aware of their behavior or completely unaware.
There are a variety of different strategies that an energy vampire can use to get the energy they crave such as putting others down, being woeful, and being narcissistic.
Mom’s, however, can often exert their energy vampire tendencies in different ways.
Different Types of Maternal Energy Vampire
While of course, some maternal energy vampires are exactly as I described in the previous paragraph, most are a different breed entirely.
Their actions are often a misdirected expression of love, instead of a drive to feel superior.
Here are some common types of Maternal energy vampire:
1. The Gatling Gun
Ever found you can’t get a word in edgeways with your Mom? Does your Mom ask your questions only to answer them herself?
Chances are your Mom is a constant talker, the human embodiment of a Gatling Gun.
Interactions with your Mom may be overwhelming and draining simply from being asked a thousand questions a minute, or having to use all your brainpower to process her jabberings.
This type of energy vampire can often be seen in Moms whose children have flown the nest and can be a sign of loneliness, combined with over-excitement that you’re visiting.
2. The Control Freak
Does it feel like your Mom is back-seat driving your life?
Is she trying to control what you do and when?
Do they have a set way that things are done and will become frustrated with you if you do things differently?
Chances are your Mom is a control freak.
The traits of this type of energy vampire are usually borne out of anxiety and/or a reluctance to let go of you as their baby even though you’re fully grown.
3. The Nagger
All Moms can be prone to nagging from time to time, but when your mom starts to become a broken record of requests you can become frustrated and worn down.
Again, this can be because of anxiety your mom is feeling.
She wants you to do well or worries that certain things that need doing aren’t being done.
Put simply, she cares deeply about you but is going the wrong way about showing it.
4. The Critic
Is nothing ever good enough for your mother?
The critic is an energy vampire which can often be seen in families which uphold traditional values.
Being constantly criticized really affects your self-esteem and can make you want to avoid trying in the first place, but stop and think a moment as to why your Mom might be exhibiting this behavior.
Like with ‘The Nagger’ criticizing you can often be your Mom’s misplaced way of showing she cares about you.
She wants you to be the best you can be and is, therefore, pointing out what you’re (in her eyes) doing wrong so that you can improve.
5. Mrs. Over-Protective
If in childhood your mother wrapped you up in metaphorical cotton wool, then chances are this behavior will continue into adulthood.
Being over-protective can often be a result of your Mom’s own unstable childhood or anxiety which manifests in a need to keep those they love safe.
While an over-protective mother can be suffocating, remember it comes from a place of deep love.
Why Is Your Mom This Way?
First things first, let’s preface this paragraph by stating that not all Moms are the type of energy vampire mentioned above.
Sadly, some are the nefarious, manipulative, and selfish sort.
If this is the case for you, then you may need to reduce the contact you have with your mom for your own emotional safety.
You could also try reaching out to professional services for support and guidance.
So, why is your Mom this way?
The answer can largely be put down to a simple phrase ‘misguided love’.
Put simply, your Mom loves you, but may lack the healthy emotional blueprint from her own mother, or may have underlying anxiety which causes her to show her love in an emotionally draining way.
She likely doesn’t realize she’s doing this or making you feel this way, and with some help and input can change her way of showing she cares into an emotionally positive form.
Ways To Help Your Energy Vampire Mom
Of course, allowing your mother to continue her negative behavior for fear of upsetting her isn’t possible.
It’s not fair for you to be drained simply because you’re holding your tongue.
I know many Moms who, though they might be hurt when initially told by their child how they’ve been making them feel, will, after a time, be much happier that they know, as they can take steps to change.
Here are some ways that you can help your energy vampire Mom express her love more positively.
When Your Mom Nags, Draw Attention To It
As mentioned, nagging can often be an anxious response, like an itch.
The only way to scratch it is to ask again, and again, and again.
Oftentimes this behavior becomes habitual, and your Mom likely doesn’t realize just how many times she has pestered you.
Next time, when she starts to nag, draw attention to it.
The first time say; ‘Okay Mom, thanks for reminding me’, the second time say ‘thankyou Mom, this is the second time you’ve asked’, the third time say something like ‘ I appreciate your concern, but this is the third time mom’, and so on and so forth.
Your comments will act as a reminder to your Mom of the frequency of her nagging and provide a chance for her to reflect each time she asks you.
Over time, this can help her to reduce the number of times she nags you.
Break The Flow
If your Mom is a Gatling Gun then try to break her conversational flow.
For example, if when you visit your Mom immediately starts chatting at you before you’ve even got through the door, you can break the flow of conversation by asking if she’d like a hot drink.
The moment needed to pause the conversation and answer the question can be all you need to enter the conversation.
In general, asking questions is a great way to break up the conversational flow and reduce the stress upon your energy reserves.
Remove Her Control
Control freak moms can be the hardest nut to crack because they’re often stubborn.
Try putting your mother in situations where it isn’t possible to be in control For example, take her to a restaurant that has a set menu.
Not only is this a great way to spend time with your mom and spoil her, but to enjoy her meal she has to let go of control.
The same can be said for taking your Mom on an outing.
Don’t let her know beforehand where she is going, and instead frame the experience as a surprise.
This gives you control over the situation and can help you Mom to start to learn that giving up control isn’t a bad thing, and can instead lead to something positive.
Tell Her How You Feel
Critics often don’t realize the impact that their words can have upon you.
They think they’re building you up and helping you to achieve greater things when in fact they’re knocking you down.
The best way to start to resolve the situation with a critic is to let them know how their words make you feel.
Reassure them by saying that you know they’re only showing they care, and suggest more positive ways in which they can encourage you.
With an overprotective Mom, you can take a two-pronged attack.
Removing control can help them to see that there is a reward in risk instead of only worry.
Next, you can establish boundaries.
Remember as an adult you don’t need to tell your Mom everything that’s going on in your life, and she doesn’t need to be a part of every facet of your life.
Setting boundaries and limiting your mothers’ involvement in certain areas of your life will help to create positive boundaries that still allow her to exert her protective side, but give you space to breathe too.