Sometimes your heartache, your pain and misery and everything that goes along with it is nothing more than another person’s entertainment. I never really considered that someone this heinous could ever exist until I met a whole group of them. When I realized what was happening I felt like I was caught dead on in the middle of a vortex of pure hatred.
These were what I believed to be normal people. I thought they were kind and thoughtful and I trusted them to have my best interest at heart. They provided all the right lip service and consolations. They gave me their time and their good thoughts and I gave them plenty of heartache to go around.
What kind of person gets off on watching others suffer?
I have written about bystanders in a post I wrote entitled Facebook Bullies. Essentially, bystanders will not speak out against the person that is hurting you. Either they are afraid or they just don’t want to get involved for fear of becoming a target themselves. These people were bystanders to a point, but it went an extra step beyond that because they weren’t willing to take a stand on my behalf for fear of losing their front row seat.
These are the people that crave reality television shows. The more drama and intrigue injected into the storyline, the better they like it. They can’t wait for the next episode to air and they hang on every word and analyze every move. Just as they are not friendly about any one of the show participants, they aren’t your friend either. All you are to them is endless entertainment.
How exactly does that work?
In the beginning this person will be overly solicitous of you. They will contact you and offer their shoulder to cry on. They want to hear all the juicy details and will even offer you a few of their own to add to the story. Their intention is to keep you as stirred up about the situation as possible. They will put you on alert and add to your paranoia if you let them.
One very important thing most people being victimized like this always forget to ask themselves is; What is this person’s involvement? Another good reality check is to think back to your relationship with this person before the bad stuff started happening. Were you friends before? Were you close? Or is this new friendship based solely on your current suffering?
There’s this friend that you confide in. You tell her everything because you trust her and because she’s always willing to listen. She always agrees with you and if you hate it, she hates it. Your conversations never end with you feeling better, you’re always still just as angry and instead of your problem getting better, it seizes in deeper, like a tick. Even a small issue can be ballooned to extravagance during one of her phone calls. Whatever is happening seems to feed on whatever could happen.
And then one day, she turns on you. In fact, she had probably been turning on you from the beginning, you’re just now finding out about it. You’re just finding out how much of your life she has bandied about among your mutual friends in an unpleasant way. She has talked about you to your friends and people that haven’t even met you yet and she has judged you, divulged private conversations and told everyone what a royal pain in the ass you are.
This is a social vampire.
~ from social Vampire written by Madeline Laughs
Social vampires have absolutely no emotional investment in your troubles. What’s hurting you never even touches them, but they enjoy watching you bleed. Like a vampire they are seductive with their fake friendship and will lull you into a false sense of security with their lies as long as you continue to provide them with the one thing they need in order to exist…bloody stories and suffering they can watch from afar in order to take their minds off of their own nonexistent and boring lives. They will give you the same one hour bites they give the reality television shows they watch with enthusiasm.
These are the same people that slow down to stare at car accidents, read bad news with relish and gossip about how awful everyone else is.
They are parasites.
I had to wonder if this was something I was also guilty of. If you are reading this, do your own reality check on yourself with me.
I rarely make such judgement calls without also checking myself. I was once a total addict to MTV’s Real World, the first and original reality television show. I watched it religiously! What I remember most about each season was rooting for the good roommates. Those were the ones I wanted to see come out of the situation on the upside.
I have never been one to gossip maliciously about people. I do talk about people though. Most of the time I’m just trying to understand why they do the things they do and what makes someone like that tick. This gets me into trouble because, unlike a social vampire, I tend to get emotionally involved. I genuinely love people and like to meet new people and make friends.
I am also not shy about warning someone about a bad person. Someone that lies, steals or cheats will get outted by me! I am fortunate to have friends that have that same feature. Without them I might have gotten myself into some pretty bad situations.
The one thing I do not get off on is watching someone suffer. I believe in karma and I believe in telling the truth. If someone suffers from my practice of either of those two things, then I can’t prevent that.
How do you know when you’re involved in a friendship like the ones I’ve described? I’m not sure how to instruct you, but asking yourself some probing questions might be very helpful. Here they are;
- What is this person’s involvement?
- Were you friends before?
- Were you close friends?
- Is this new friendship based solely on your current suffering?
What do you do once you come to the conclusion that you’re involved with a blood thirsty villain? The best thing to do is to cut off contact as quickly as possible. You owe them nothing, not even a goodbye.
Oh sure, you’ll miss having someone commiserate with you about your pitiful state of affairs, but that is easily fixed by finding something positive to fill your time with instead of filling it with this. They were never going to do you any favors by allowing you to forget, or get over it and move on. Moving on is what you should strive for. Strive to move past this hurtful time and learn from it so you don’t make the same mistake again.
Find friends that love you and want to see you be happy about life. Until then put a stake through the heart of every social vampire! We can always hope they’ll burst into a cloud of glitter and waft slowly to the ground so they can never hurt anyone again, but that’s not likely. As long as you stay out of the boneyard they like to frequent, your neck will never be full of the holes they like to leave behind.