The provers and emotional vampirism

emotional vampirism

The provers and emotional vampirism.
The attention bridge. Chapter 18.

Or, on affective vampirism by “the power of action”

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Initially all human beings fall prey to self-pity and dependence. We give in to our feelings of lovelessness and feel sorry for ourselves waiting for other people to (after transferring their feelings of self-pity[1] to us) take on our problems and help us resolve them.

       This is a model of behaviour which is deeply rooted in all our personalities. This is due to the fact that as newly borns we, unavoidably, depend totally on the attention of others. It is years before we have the understanding or mobility to even be able to feed ourselves.

      But, as we get older, we do not all feel comfortable admitting our feelings of inferiority, inability, dependence etc…And, unable to root out the problem at the source, we do all we can to keep these thoughts from our consciousness and from those around us. Instead, we try to project an image which is diametrically opposed to what we truly feel.

We behave like provers when we try to cover up our feelings of being unloved and our sense of inferiority by proving to ourselves and those around us the opposite to what we really feel. So we need to prove we are more and better and give the impression of being full of ourselves as a result.

        So, if we feel inferior and unloved because we believe we are uncharismatic, we will do everything possible to prove we are more charismatic, brave, useful and worthy of love and admiration as a result.

This modus operandi is what turns provers into affective vampires. Since, as we saw in the chapter “The combined flow of subtle and vital energy”, one person cannot transfer an emotion to another without the latter acquiring the opposite emotion. So that in order to prove that you are more or better at “whatever”, a way needs to be found that makes your public less or worse at the same “whatever”.

        That is the truth of it. If we are unable to admit this, it is because we have never been honest enough to recognize the true reach of the many ways we express ourselves and demand attention (including speeches, comments, sighs, gestures and so on). We use this attention to demonstrate our self-worth and so receive the recognition and admiration of our peers.

        Although provers may not admit this to themselves, their demonstrations of self-worth are always based on arrogance or the belittling of others which leads to their victims to develop the same feelings of inferiority and lovelessness which the former are trying to free themselves from.

Take a child who, after feeling rejected by the girl he was madly in love with, decides he is not attractive to the opposite sex.

        What might he do, having swallowed that bitter pill, in order to cover up his feelings?

        He may boast about his many sexual conquests (real or invented) and tell his friends about all the girls who are mad about him or perhaps point out this or that girl who keeps looking at him.

        So how would this make the friends who have been taken in by all this bragging, think or feel?

        “If he’s had so many girlfriends and we’ve had only one or none…”

        “If so many girls are in love with him and none are in love with us, or only that girl we don’t really like…”

        “If so many girls look at him…”

        They will perceive themselves as less or not at all attractive to girls. They will develop feelings of being unloved and inferior while transferring feelings of admiration and superiority to their “Casanovian” friend.

Our message (whether covert or not) as provers or affective vampires is always the same: “I am more than everyone else.” The implicit message being: “Everyone else is less than me.” Or more direct and devastating: “You are less than me.”

        Similar messages are, “My things are more than everyone else’s” and “Your things are less than mine”, since when we try to prove our self-worth we boost our self-esteem by projecting ourselves in what we possess or feel we possess in comparison to what others possess or feel they possess.

        The external elements that are used to compensate for or cover up our feelings of inadequacy are innumerable: my girlfriend is better-looking than yours, my car is newer than yours, I wear designer clothes and you don’t, I have more friends on facebook than you, I earn more than you, my mobile has more functions than yours….

Depending on which feelings of inferiority we are trying to hide, we may take on a wide amalgam of prover archetypes. Here are a few of the more common ones:

        The tough guy/girl: craves feelings of bravery and even the ability to intimidate; inspires feelings of cowardice and helplessness.

        The Casanova/diva: craves feelings of attractiveness and success in amorous or sexual exploits; inspires feelings of being unattractive and a failure in sexual or amorous conquests.

        The smart aleck: craves feelings of being smart and mentally astute; inspires feelings of being unintelligent, slow and even of excessive innocence.

        The know-it –all: craves feelings of academic and cultural superiority; inspires feelings of ignorance in the academic sense.

        Mr./Mrs. Let me do this – you don’t have a clue: craves feelings of competence and usefulness; inspires feeling of being incompetent or useless.

        Mr./Mrs. Popular: craves feelings of congeniality and social integration; inspires feelings of lack of congeniality and social integration .

        Mr./Mrs. Happy: craves feelings of happiness; inspires feelings of not having a full life or even of being bitter.

        Mr./Mrs. Formal: craves feelings of good manners and protocol; inspires feelings of not knowing how to behave in public or of being rude.

        The Superprofessional: craves feelings of being the best in their profession; inspires feelings of not performing well professionally.

         Mr./Mrs. Perfect: Craves any kind of feeling that they consider worthy of admiration; inspires diametrically opposed feelings to those they crave.

        The false guru: craves feelings of wisdom in the deepest sense and spiritual development; inspires feelings of lack of wisdom and spiritual development.

        The dark witch/wizard: craves feelings related to the development of intuition and other abilities considered magical or paranormal; inspires the sense of being excessively rational or ordinary and that of never being able to attain intuitive or paranormal abilities.

And depending on the strategy we come up with in our attempt to get others to transfer feelings of admiration and superiority to us, there exist four very different images we can project: the seducer (an image all provers aspire to), the big head, the monster and the bullshitter.

When provers take on the role of seducer[2] they manage to get their victims to transfer especially exquisite feelings of admiration and superiority to them.

        These individuals become an indispensable part of the lives of their victims since they are made to believe they would be lost without the prover’s advice, support, example, company and wonderful personality and behaviour.

        Just as dependants are quintessential followers, provers in seducer mode are quintessential leaders that everyone wants to follow. When they inspire admiration in those who are caught in their web of seduction, they also inspire the need to follow (or adhere) and therefore feelings of dependence.

        If a prover manages to give the impression of being, let us say, “the cleverest” or “top of the class” , many, feeling themselves to be insignificant in comparison, will want to fellow in their wake, which can serve as  a cover for the prover’s  presumption or arrogance.

        Provers in seducer mode are, in the long run, the most dangerous there are. They hide their feelings of inferiority and mask their arrogance perfectly. So at no time do they give the impression of weakness or of manipulating their victims’ attention in order to get them to transfer feelings of superiority to them and develop the corresponding feelings of inferiority in themselves. Those who fall prey to their web of seduction take a long time to realise (if they ever do) the true castrating and vampire-like influence they are being subjected to.

Tough guy provers in seducer mode use demonstrations of courage in order to absorb feelings of bravery and the ability to defend themselves from assaults (both physical and psychological). Despite this, they try to keep their victims from being aware of this or from feeling wounded or undervalued as a result. On the contrary, they will feel protected in their company and thankful for the chance of enjoying it. They may even believe that if they imitate this behaviour, they might too learn to be brave.

        Mr. Happy provers in seducer mode make their victims transfer feelings of happiness in their company without inciting them to consciously develop feelings of being less happy or bitter. They will, however, develop these feelings subconsciously.

Provers in bighead mode make their victims transfer the feelings of superiority they crave without effectively concealing their pretensions or arrogant behaviour.

        These individuals cannot or do not bother to hide[3] their airs of superiority. So that, generally, along with feelings of admiration and superiority, they are transferred less appetizing feelings of antipathy, rejection, envy etc…

Diva provers in bighead mode manage to prove to their victims that they are great seductresses and have more sexual conquests than them. But in doing this they give the impression of being full of themselves and people feel coerced into transferring them the corresponding feelings of admiration and superiority.

        Know-it-all provers in bighead mode manage to convince their victims of their great academic knowledge while making it clear that they feel superior as a result. This may get others to transfer feelings of superiority but they will also receive feelings of antipathy and repulsion.


Provers in monster mode get their victims to transfer feelings of superiority by causing them to feel diminished and scorned.

These individuals go further than bighead provers. Not only do they put on airs of superiority but they also try to disparage others, showing very little consideration for other people’s feelings. They, therefore, attract feelings of antipathy, mistrust, resentment and hate, or even fear brought about by their ferocious attacks.

        Due to the risks that this kind of behaviour poses, the victims they choose tend to be weak and have low self esteem. They first show their more seductive side in order to create emotional dependence. If they manage to forge a close relationship with their victim they then expose their insensitive, sadistic and ultimately monstrous side.

Mr. Popular types of provers in monster mode do not conceal the fact that they believe themselves to be more congenial and better accepted socially than their victims. What is more, they delight in pointing their social failings. They mock those who fall under their influence for not being likeable or not having enough friends. Those who form a “friendship” with them may even be made to feel that if it were not for the fact they were hanging out with them, no-one would be interested in them.

        Mr. Perfect provers in monster mode are not simply content with demonstrating that they are more “everything which is worthy of admiration”. They also mock them and belittle them for not being (in their presumptuous opinion) as perfect as they are. And in the most extreme cases they do all they can to make their victims fell imperfect by undermining and humiliating them to the point of exhaustion.

Provers in bullshitter mode do not manage to get their audience to transfer the feelings of admiration or superiority that they crave. Their demonstrations of self-worth are naive and clumsy and convince on-one. Quite the opposite: they only serve to highlight the very feelings of inferiority that they are trying to hide and their great need of recognition. These displays bring about the transference of feelings of inferiority rather than the desired feelings of superiority and admiration.

        Provers in bullshitter mode thus become the victims of their supposed victims as a result of their own failings.

False guru provers in bullshitter mode try to demonstrate how much they know and how evolved they are in matters related to spirituality or the growth of consciousness. But all they display is their inexperience or total ignorance in these matters. So that the only benefit they receive from their victims is the vital energy which is transferred when they are forced to pay them attention. And on the emotional level, all they will receive is feelings of inferiority when their shortcomings[4] are made evident.

The methods used by provers to demand attention lead others to adopt dependant or aloof behaviour, depending on whether or not they are seduced by their demonstrations of self-worth.

        If a prover manages to prove to another person how much they are worth (never forget, this is in comparison to that person), the latter will find it difficult no to develop some kind of dependency on the former. If, conversely, the victim considers the prover to be annoying or arrogant or monstrous, they will tend to distance themselves and ignore their demonstrations of self-worth.

          When provers start to feel that people are starting to depend on or distance themselves from them excessively so that they feel suffocated or rejected accordingly, they need to reflect on their own behaviour before reproaching them. It is surely their demonstrations of self-worth that are, to a greater or lesser extent, causing this behaviour. In this examination of conscience the first thing they will need to do is actually admit to themselves that they are provers.

A big ego (trademark of all would-be provers or the aloof) is a reflection of an equally large sense of inadequacy. Arrogance is our shield from self-pity since we use it to cover up feelings of insecurity and lovelessness.

          Until we are able to recognize the truth of this, not only will we fall into the emotional trap the owners of these egos set for us, we may also be seduced by their apparent glamour or supremacy and wish to emulate them.

Although it is not the intention of provers to absorb vital energy, they do nevertheless – and in large quantities. As we well know, this they do when they demand attention with constant demonstrations of their worth. And since they fall prey to comparisons that they themselves implement in order to place themselves above those “mere mortals” who surround them, they cannot help disregarding all the latter do, say or experience. As a result, the level of attentional openness and quantity of vital energy the provers bestow on others is rather poor.

        Whether or not those who interact with provers transfer feelings of admiration or superiority, they nonetheless transfer rather more energy to them than they receive. When in their company they tend to feel low in energy and, as a consequence, feel less in charge and less confident of their abilities.


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[1] One person feels compassion for another because they put themselves in their shoes; for they project themselves onto them. This, in terms of energy, is one and the same because they transfer their own feelings of self-pity. We should bear in mind that every psychological projection involves a transfer of attentional energy.

[2] The line that separates wizards from provers in seduction mode is so fine that it tends to disappear completely.

[3] Normally because they are unaware (or barely aware) of their arrogance.

[4] We must take into account that the false guru archetype is in itself paradoxical in any of its modes of representation. This is because the path to spirituality involves surrendering the ego, not bolstering it with demonstrations of one’s worth; thus the name “false” guru.