Dr. Christiane Northrup on How to Spot an Energy Vampire

Author : Ari Whitten
Medical Reviewer: Evan Hirsch, M.D.

Dr. Christiane Northrup is a board-certified OB/GYN physician and leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. She is also a New York Times best-selling author and has written the book Dodging Energy Vampires where she gives expert advice on how to avoid negativity, toxicity, and narcissism from others.

This article is derived from one of our most popular podcasts Dodging Energy Vampires – Are Toxic Relationships Draining Your Energy with Dr. Northrup

The Most Common Traits of an Energy Vampire

“These people are self-centered, and they lack empathy, and they're out for themselves.” – Dr. Christiane Northrup

An energy vampire is a narcissistic person whose primary focus is to better their circumstances at all costs with no regard for the feelings of people around them. An energy vampire often works in management, but they come in all walks of life, and their narcissistic tendencies permeate all of their relationships, professional and personal alike.

They are born with a superior ego, and they don’t believe anything’s wrong with them. Instead, an energy vampire is the best victim in the world and tends to blame people around them for mishaps and troubled situations.

A typical energy vampire:

  • Is self-centered
  • Lacks empathy
  • Plays the victim very well
  • Cries crocodile tears
  • Blames others for their unfortunate circumstances
  • Convinces you they need you, only to criticize you later
  • Is good looking
  • Is good in bed
  • Excels at what they do
  • Is often rejected by their closest family
  • Doesn’t age well
  • Focuses on status, money, glamour, and sex
  • Goes for what they want
  • Regularly attends therapy

One of their main priorities is to obtain narcissistic supply—they crave things like attention, admiration, and sympathy from others. Dr. Northrup explains: “I went to see a movie, Good Morning Vietnam, way back with this guy who at the end of the movie was weeping. He was a classic narcissist. These Vietnam vets in the theater came back, patted his knee and asked, ‘Are you okay, buddy?’ This guy I was with had never served in the armed forces. He was collecting narcissistic supply from the guys who’d really been there.”

In order to keep a steady influx of narcissistic supply available to them, energy vampires will often “love bomb” you by telling you how they never could do without you. They’ll tell you the things you’ve always wanted to hear only to take it all back at a later point when you do something that doesn’t serve them.

These energy vampires often end up in relationships with a person who is inclined to help people, or with someone who has low self-esteem and is susceptible to “love bombing.”

The “Overt Masochist:” a Different Kind of Energy Vampire

“There are those people who are so… pathologically needy." – Dr. Christiane Northrup

While many energy vampires have big egos, there exists a subgroup who are the stark opposite. These individuals rarely smile, are not ambitious, and are often disenchanted with life. They need people around to care for them.

Dr. Northrup shares: “I had a friend who was a psych resident at the hospital, and this guy came in with his wife who was in a wheelchair. One night, while in a delirious state, the woman got out of the wheelchair and walked down the hall. In the morning, all the psychiatrists said, ‘This is phenomenal news. You can walk. You’re not crippled.’ She sat there in her wheelchair and said, ‘No. I deserve total care.’”

People like this woman can be referred to as “overt masochists,” and they create their own suffering to attract attention. One of their most remarkable and predominate traits is that they rarely smile. Dr. Northrup gives a piece of dating advice: “Don’t go for the ones who aren’t smiling. If she’s not smiling, don’t go near her because you cannot fill an empty vessel. The filling has to come from within.”


An energy vampire is a narcissist and in many cases a psychopath. They are typically born with a superior ego and will often blame other people for their unfortunate circumstances. Energy vampires are usually good looking and very interested in status, money, glamour, and sex. They will try to make you feel needed by coaxing you with “love bombing” only to criticize you the moment you do something they disagree with.

Not as well-known as the classic narcissists, there is a subgroup of energy vampires who thrive on making themselves suffer to get attention and care from people around them. Regardless of which subgroup they’re in, energy vampires of all types often end up in relationships with empaths and people with super traits whom they manipulate into taking care of them.

Dodging Energy Vampires with Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD Do Toxic Relationships Rain Your Energy?
Click here to listen to the full podcast Dodging Energy Vampires – Are Toxic Relationships Draining Your Energy with Dr. Northrup


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Medically Reviewed ByEvan Hirsch, M.D.

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