"Biting Back takes a compelling look at self-care, setting boundaries, and protecting ourselves from friends, loved ones, enemies, and sometimes even ourselves. Written in a page-turning and warm style, Claudia’s refreshing addition to the self-help shelves offers empowering solutions to effectively remind us to stop inviting troubleinto our homes and souls." -- MELODY BEATTIE, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF CODEPENDENT NO MORE


Reader Question

Dear PVS,

Why are so many women vampires to their sisters -- to other women, I mean?? I know several women who are nice to your face but the back-biting that goes on when you turn around is incredible.
I have taken myself out of several circles of friends because of this and have started to be with people who are truly accepting of one another and are truly spiritual. These people are not easy to find, however, because like me, they keep their distance.

Some insight would be great!!


Hi Janet,

You know, before I sobered up and started practicing some spiritual principles myself, I was pretty mistrustful of women...well, actually, I was pretty mistrustful of everyone...but it's funny how many women I know today who have relationships with other women who they don't trust at all!

I always feel so shocked when they tell me about their girlfriends who they feel are lying or, as you say, "back-biting," I guess because having those kinds of relationships ended for me so long ago now that I just think: Why would you want to be friends with someone who behaves that way anyhow?

And that sounds pretty much like the question you asked yourself, and answered, too: it sounds like you've made the choice to have relationships with people who are seeking the same depth, honesty, and trustworthiness in their friendships that you are.

But when I've asked people who've complained to me about these vampires whom they find so hard to trust, their reasons for staying in relationship with them often come down to politics: like the social politics of needing to be friendly with a vampire because that vampire is also friends with someone you really have a good friendship with; or it can be a problem of politics at work -- you know, like somebody you have to interact with about 40 hours a week, so of course you have to have a relationship with them of some kind. And of course it bothers you.
And Janet, I'm no expert on feminism but I know there are plenty of people who are, and they've written books about our culture that might help to answer your question -- but me? I'm just a vampire slayer, and I have the same solution for all vampires, whether they're men, women, organizations, institutions or whatever -- as far as I'm concerned, the answer is always the same: We bring both our vampires and ourselves into the light where we can get a better look at what's really going on and whether we want to continue in relationship with our vampires or not.

Then we take steps to be free: if not free of the vampire, at least free of feeling victimized by them -- since, in practical vampire slaying, we always look for the invitation we extended to our vampires to cross our thresholds (enter our lives) and for the ways in which we've kept the door open to them ever since.

Even just acknowledging that can bring us a LOT of freedom. At least that way we're not feeling victimized, and at least that way we're reminding ourselves that if we had the power to invite the vampire in, then we also have the power to revoke our invitation to them, too.
Either way: we free ourselves from our former draining relationships -- not only with our vampires, but with ourselves.

Obviously, it's difficult to summarize in one blog post -- but in any case, it seems from what you say that you've already looked at these relationships and made your decision to revoke your invitations to them. It sounds like you've decided to move on to new and more fulfilling relationships for yourself.
So: Good for you! And thanks so much for writing!



Angela said...

What a great question and answer. You know, I think it just hurts more when it's other women who are sucking our blood-energy. We feel we should all be sisters. Unfortunately, that ain't life! Thanks, as always, PVS, for great slaying wisdom.

pvslayer said...

Thanks for coming over Ms. A. You know, I really should search Amazon for books on this subject...it's always felt like some kind of a cultural set-up to me: like the way we're brought up encourages competition of the least elevated kind. But I need to read about it by people who've studied it, and as I say, I bet there's tons of books out there about it.

Anonymous said...

:) thanks!!

Anonymous said...

those people are in our life for a reason. What they do to us is one thing. The real question is what are they doing for us. I think they make me be a better person, better friend, better and honorable woman. And I pray for them. They need it

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