Identifying ‘Vampires’ In Your Community

Of the many questions I receive from fellow activists, community workers and others, one of the most popular is still: How do I handle my vampire problem?

That’s right. Vampires.

Contrary to popular opinion, vampires really do exist. They hide amongst us at work, at school, at our place of worship and even within our families only showing their teeth when it’s time to feed.

And because many have faced them not knowing who they are or have chosen to deliberately ignore the issue out of the goodness of their hearts, these vampires have had the good fortune to partake in a feeding frenzy.

Not anymore.

Here is what we know about vampires:
  1. They enjoy what they do.
  2. They’ll bite and pursue you in the most annoying way possible.
  3. They will hiss just a little.
  4. They will constantly try to feed on you until you either die or move away.
  5. They are driven by an emotional (some say physiological) condition, and they MUST feed on someone.

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How to identify them?

Luckily, they are incredibly easy to spot if you keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.

Their nourishment is derived through criticizing every move you make. If you try to do some good in this world, they will pick your efforts apart and consistently attempt to make you look silly.

Their coffins are lined with unaccomplished and failed efforts. For this reason, they will be highly critical and judgmental of anyone who accomplishes what they couldn’t and surpasses them. For this reason, they will backbite and mix pleasantry with fallacious remarks, and they are prone to exaggerate and draw erroneous conclusions from flimsy ‘facts’.

More than likely, their attire is created and fashioned out of the attention of those around them. They need it. They desire it. They love it. As long as people continuously keep an ear towards gossip, they will always dress well.

They are emotional creatures and prone to broadcasting their feelings in secret whispers behind closed doors and aliases.

Cowardice is their creed.

And when it is said to them: Don’t make mischief in the world, they say: We are only trying to do good.

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What to do?

Ignore them! Vampires will always exist in all walks of life, and they will always suck the life out of you, if you let them.

Never let their criticism and their cries of inadequacy hammer at your efforts. In fact, if your flock of vampires continues to grow, view it as a measure of success. Their words and actions only point towards you succeeding in your goals.

However, do not confuse unwanted criticism with vampire-like action. Criticism, in and of itself, is a great thing and through it we can mold our efforts and continuously improve. Without criticism we would continue this journey blind and unaware of the impact of our efforts.

As cliché as it sounds: Always believe in yourself despite what others say. Somewhere or another, either on the path which you are upon or another you discover from a fork in the road, you will find success.

There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self destruct. It never fails. – Richard Rybolt

Pack your wooden stake, keep a bottle of holy water handy and focus your eyes on the path of success.

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How Bill Clinton handles Vampires:

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