As you read through every word of this article, you’ll think of at least one person who took the most vulnerable parts of you and ate them for breakfast. Some of you may even think of a handful of emotional cannibals, who helped themselves to your very own sense of self-worth as if granola on a nature walk.
You are not granola.
You are a majestic, creature who should be safe under the endangered species act. There’s no one like you. Protect yourself and all of that inner magic with a mixture of knowledge, self-love, and awareness.
What is an Emotional Cannibal?
They’re a savage breed of human, who sometimes lures you in with trust and kindness. They get you to open up and share your energy with them – without any chance of truly sharing in return. They manipulate your fears, insecurities, or even your past traumatic experiences for their own emotional gain. It’s a special breed of narcissist who seems to devour emotional stability for sport.
They leave you feeling empty, drained, or even insecure or victimized. All the while, they seem perfectly okay. No. Not okay. Even better than okay – they may even seem empowered.
If you’ve encountered an emotional cannibal, a narcissistic head-hunter you know exactly what I’m referring to. It takes a while to recover and rebuild after they’ve had their feed. It’s important to learn how to protect yourself from these savages to avoid attacks in the future.
Just as bush dwelling villagers have learned to protect themselves from lions, so must you protect yourselves from becoming prey to an emotional cannibal.
Knowledge is Power
Just recognizing them for what they are and that others like them exist is the first step in protecting yourself,
It could have been a friendship or a romantic relationship, but chances are the hunter lured you into their trap using trust. We’re not saying to never trust or love again by any means at all; however, we are saying to be cautious when opening up and sharing your energy with others.
Your true, personal energy is so sacred. It’s so precious. Learn to save it and protect it. We look for others for validation and our own worth that we forget we have everything we need to fiercely love ourselves nestled deeply inside. It’s there, but it can take time to find it. The more power you give yourself, the less power others can take from you.
Practice Self-Love & Mindfulness
The more you love yourself, the less you’ll need that love from others. When you shower yourself with all of the love and attention that you deserve, you’ll find that you rely on others much less often to fill those needs.
Practicing mindfulness will help you to keep your own emotions in check and recognize when your vibrations are low or pulled in places you don’t want them to go.
Self-Love and Mindfulness become the knights in shining armor, protecting you from any unwarranted cannibalistic attack. Instead of someone appealing to your fears and insecurities, you’ll only be noticing those who appeal to the traits you’re looking for.
Recognize Your Own Glows and Grows
In relationships or friendships, truly take note of what you do well and what you need to work on. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and we all have amazing and beautiful strengths. Take an inventory of areas of you that you’re proud of and you know are rock-solid. Give yourself an internal high-five for every single one of those “Glows.”
Now, also write down everything in relationships that you know needs work- your “Grows.” Are you easily jealous? Do you have unrealistic expectations? Are you a good listener? Really ask yourself the tough questions and where you need work.
Many of us enter relationships at a time when we should really be focusing on our own healing instead. Many of us have wounds, unhealed, from past hurts, relationships, or even our childhood. When we enter into a deep relationship and make ourselves vulnerable before those wounds have healed, they’re much more likely to rip back open, fester, or even cause an entirely new injury.
Sometimes, we’re forced to deal with toxic people whether we want to or not. It’s vital to set boundaries and avoid falling into their traps. Once they know they can get you, a narcissist or a cannibal will trigger your emotions at will. Set boundaries for yourself and you’ll be protected like the magical, endangered creature you know you are.
What kind of boundaries should you set? That’s entirely up to you; however, at the very least it’s important to stop engaging in the behavior that triggers the emotional “feeding session.” Do not engage in an argument. This can be so difficult as the narcissist will often times become even more scornful when you do not seem triggered by their jabs. You must rise above.
Remember, knowledge is power. The more you know about yourself, the less power you’re giving to anyone else to affect your own, personal world. Taking the time to identify the emotional cannibals in your life, build your own self-worth and love, assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and set healthy boundaries – you’ll be in a position to not only protect yourself from ever being hurt again so deeply, you’ll also be able to help others rise above the pain.
You’ll start to see how others are so innocently trading their own self-worth for what they think is love, being led astray by the narcissistic head-hunter.
Who knows? There’s a chance you’re reading this realizing you could be an emotional cannibal…