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Are you a sucker Do you draw emotional parasites Heres how to deal with someone who does more

rec eiving than giving Namrata.Bhawnani @timesgroup.com While relationships are all about give and take,sometimes you may find yourself in one that is lopsided.You may find that youre giving much more than youre rece iving,and this pattern can be very destructive in any kind of relationship.Wheth er its a partner,spouse,child or friend that is generously feeding his/her own n eeds without any particular regard for yours,this person becomes an emotional pa rasite or an emotional vampire. The giver always finds himself/herself offering a shoulder to cry on or being apologetic.Such relationships can leave the host e motionally drained,frustrated,inadequate and used. The forces at work in such relationships are complex and deep-rooted in the self -worth of both the people tangled in the tortuous bond.Psychologist Deepti Makhi ja says that there is a strong power play between sadism and masochism.Emotional parasites attract masochists as the giver keeps giving in and if they dont get anything in return,it is okay with them.When you look at such a relationship obj ectively,you cant do anything about it because it doesnt seem to bother both par tners,even if the balance is off. SPOT THE PARASITE Before you fall prey to an emotional parasite,learn how to recognise one: Emotio nal parasites are all for you in the beginning They will withdraw when they get what they want They excel at inciting guilt They can be drama queens and narciss istic There is a strong flair for playing the victim,at least till they reel in the bait They run away from responsibility Deepti says,Since they are very good manipulators,playing the blame game is a co mmon trait.Emotional parasites tend to lack empathy for others.Another strong tr ait is feeling self-pity,so they will commonly resort to the nobody understands me to manipulate people. Such people are also not beyond threatening to commit suicide,she adds,but they will never be able to go through with it. A COPING MECHANISM An emotional parasite often resorts to manipulative behaviour because it is thei r coping mechanism for survival.They could be nursing a deep-seated hurt and dec lare vengeance towards the world.Their negative self-image usually develops with in the family as a child.Deepti elaborates,This could be a faulty reinforcement pattern.If they are rewarded when they kept taking and not giving,the behaviour is reinforced. The low self-esteem is usually disguised as a superiority complex and it may lead the emotional parasite to criticise people and reject them. The most common examples she has seen is in a parent-child relationship.In the u rban space,she has noticed that the child is the puppeteer.The mother may feel g uilty for saying no to her child and she cant opt out.In a marriage,a spouse can love their partner before marriage,but become an emotional parasite later by no t being attentive to the partners needs.The negativity from the destructive rela tionships could spill over into other relationships like the one the taker has w ith you. DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL PARASITES

Be wary of the superficial charm Check their motive list and see what they want from you Be unavailable to them for some time It is important to level your expe ctations with the person A one-sided relationship needs therapeutic intervention .Dont think of it as a Me vs You situation.Introspect on your role to detoxify t he relationship Strategic and structural family therapy helps.It creates boundar ies or limits within the relationship In therapy,it is crucial to break the cycl e which involves the emotional parasite blaming the giver all the time or making a scapegoat out of the giver Where one problem created by the emotionally paras itic partner leads to another and escalates,it can lead to the domino effect.Thi s pattern is broken in therapy.