I recently finished a book called “Emotional Vampires at Work” (affiliate link) written by Albert Bernstein, and found the text to be fairly amusing. Bernstein did a decent job summarizing five personality disorders, and did so in a manner that was engaging. Included in the book, are several strategies that can be used to help people overcome the oppressive nature of these emotional vampires at work. Each chapter also contains an assessment tool that can be used to determine if a person is an emotional vampires, but I would caution that you do not take these assessments too seriously.
Although the book “validated” many of my professional experiences, I did find myself becoming extremely critical and judgmental of the people around me. It was if the book had given me the knowledge and expertise to diagnose everyone I came into contact with. This feeling didn’t last long because I quickly put myself in check, and realized that my diagnosis was about as valid as Dr. Phil’s. Instead of judging others, I turned inward, and started assessing how others might perceive my actions.
Throughout the book, I was impressed that the author consistently reminded the reader that we all have some personality disorders traits, but none of us have all of them. The diagnostic tools were also helpful because I could identify some of my own personality traits that were consistent with a specific personality disorder. After conducting a self-assessment, I identified a few areas in which I could make a conscious effort to change people’s perceptions of me.
Although I am not a huge fan of pop psychology, I will probably end up reading this book again. “Emotional Vampires at Work“ is an easy read, and the author has a sense of humor that I can really connect with. Even though their are grains of truth in watered down assessment tools, I won’t be diagnosing other people at any point in the near future. I prefer to look inward, and focus on addressing how people perceive my actions. This assessment will help me become more conscious of self, and the people around me. This, my friends, is far less problematic than becoming the office version of Dr. Phil.
What are you reading these days? I’d love to hear your recommendations for summer reading, please share below.
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