Some people are emotional pirates who plunder every last ounce of energy you’ve got. Some are charming or charismatic, while others are whiny; but they all have one thing in common — they want others to pay them attention. Here are a few pointers on how to defend against these emotional scourges.
Always stay shipshape: Are you physically at ease? Wearing comfortable clothes? If there’s any discomfort in your life, take immediate action to make yourself feel better. This is called meeting your own needs, and it is a great defense against emotional pirates. Some people balk at the thought of putting self-care over demands by others; but ignoring your needs to pour energy into a self-absorbed person’s self-absorption will only set you up to get hurt.
Evaluate every vessel: If you feel good about yourself, you will notice the kind of self-absorbed energy that you should never let into your consciousness. You will recognize women who are emotional pirates as they try to steer their victims’ attention away from the fact that they are being emotionally looted.
Mount defense measures: Some emotional pirates make themselves obvious. Their arrogance or neediness is palpable while for others, their intentions are subtle. They can lie so effectively that your first signal of something amiss may be your own anger, frustration, or lack of energy. As soon as you recognize an emotional pirate, try to space your interactions farther apart and eventually stop answering calls from the pirate. If the pirate throws a fit, be civil, but don’t ever offer the attention the pirate craves. Limit yourself to bland, noncommittal comments.
Head for calmer seas: You may be one of those warmhearted people who naturally attract pirates. If so, the tactics above will feel awkward, especially at first. But do not relent; for motivation, recall that while you are willing to give many hours of intense emotional energy to your pirate, the pirate would not notice if you were on fire.