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How to Identify and Remove the 4 Different Types of Leeches
It's good to know how to remove leeches of any kind, should one ever get attached.
Table of Contents for This Series
How to Identify and Remove Real and Emotional Leeches
The thought of an icky leech crawling on them makes most people shudder. It's such a horrible thought! To have this ribby, squirmy, somehow-stuck-to-you thing sucking your blood...gross!
Okay, wormy things are a bit creepy. But there are other types of leeches (AKA toxic people) that do far worse things to you than suck your blood and fall off. There are emotional leeches, productivity leeches, and financial leeches to contend with, as well.
It's helpful to know how to remove any of the leeches from you, just in case you ever get one attached. This three-part series will give you tips on identifying and removing them. This first part covers real leeches and emotional leeches.
[Introductory Sidebar: The trick here is to understand the difference between those people you can help and who'll help you and those people who are just draining your energy, time, and money. I am in no way implying that you shouldn't help others or that all people who need help are leeches.]
How to Identify and Remove a Real Leech
Description: Leeches are worm-like predatory invertebrates which live in fresh water, marine water, and on land. They survive by sucking on and ingesting the nutrients from their hosts.
1. Recognize that you have a leech on you. Leeches secrete an anesthetic so their hosts are unaware of their presence. If you feel something on you and try to remove it only to find that it will not come off on its own accord, you probably have a leech. You could also have a tick, but those aren't wormlike.
2. Find out where it's actually attached.
The leech is attached by an oral sucker at its skinny end, not by the gripped on the fat end.
3. Place a fingernail down next to the oral sucker and slowly push it away.
Do not grab a leech by its fat end and pull, as this may cause the leech to regurgitate and cause further infection. It is also inadvisable to burn or place chemical agents on the leech, as this may also cause it to regurgitate.
4. Once the leech is detached from your body, get rid of immediately, as it will try to reattach itself.
The leech may curl up and reattach itself to your finger. A sudden, forceful flick should remove the leech from your finger.
A leech will feed on you as long as it can or until it is full. At that point, the leech will drop off, as your blood will provide subsistence for it for several months.
The relatively small amount of blood sucked by the leech will not cause death. The wound will heal after several hours if it is properly cleaned. The aggregate effect of many leeches may drain you and decrease your physical performance
Leeches require a relatively flat, stable surface to attach themselves to. They are generally found in still water, on docks, and in other places where they can move themselves to potential hosts.
Leeches have incredible senses and can sense heat and movement up to ten feet away. Keep moving and wear clothing that covers your skin in order to avoid leech bites.
How to Remove and Identify Emotional Leeches
Description: Emotional leeches are toxic people who drain your emotional energy. Some variants include the Drama Queen, the Continual Crisis Crackhead, and the Complaining Coworker. Be careful of the families of emotional leeches, for the family may breed and propagate leechdom.
1. Recognize that you have a leech on you.
It's sometimes hard to recognize a toxic person because it initially may provide a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to your problems. However, once a leech attaches itself, you will find that you become emotionally drained around it every time it is in your proximity. If you find yourself avoiding contact with a person because s/he brings you down, odds are you have an emotional leech.
2. Find out where it's actually attached.
Emotional leeches normally exploit an admirable trait that you have and thus make that trait a flaw. For example, if you are the type of person that will talk to anyone if it makes their day feel better, the leech harnesses that trait and always find you to talk to. If you give good advice, the leech will approach you under the ruse of needing advice. Find out why and how the leech is attached to you before you attempt to remove it. (See notes below)
3. Calmly inform the leech that you can no longer provide it emotional support.
If you approach the leech the wrong way, it may regurgitate on you and make you feel like crap. If you have not identified how it is attached to you, it will only dig in deeper and make itself all the harder to remove in the future. Under no circumstance should you blow up or become emotionally hostile with the toxic person, as it will definitely regurgitate on you and make you feel like crap.
4. Once the leech is detached from you, get rid of it immediately, as it will try to reattach itself.
The leech will attempt to make contact with you again, since it will think that you were having a bad day or some such. So avoid the toxic person whenever possible, and do not answer phone calls unless you absolutely have to. If the leech begins sucking on you again, quickly detach it before it fully reattaches.
An emotional leech will feed on you for as long as it can or until it is full. At that point, it will find something else to do, as your energy will provide subsistence for it for several days.
Emotional leeches that are removed poorly will find a way to reattach themselves. Successive attempts to remove leeches become increasingly difficult, as your emotional reserve and ability to fight them is diminished every time they reattach themselves.
The relatively small amount of energy sucked by the emotional leech will not cause you too much harm. You will recover your energy after several hours if you have proper ways to recharge your emotional reserve. The aggregate effect of many emotional leeches may drain you and cause depression.
Emotional leeches require a relatively stable, happy person to attach themselves to. They are generally found in places where people are having a good time, as it is easier for them to spot potential hosts.
Emotional leeches are incredibly perceptive and can sense happiness and helpfulness from across a crowded room. Keep moving and interacting with people in order to avoid their attaching themselves to you.
The next part of this series covers How to Identify and Remove Productivity Leeches.