How to manage the bloodsuckers - Intelligent Lazy

How To Manage The Bloodsuckers

The curious case of South American Vampire bats can be easily related to human behaviour and in this chapter, I will be talking about givers and bloodsuckers.

Share If You Want To Live

This small creature lives in colonies and each individual has to eat every 2nd day in order to survive. When they are lucky enough and perform another happy landing on a donkey back, one bite grants them access to a source of fresh blood. However it is not always possible for everyone to get the midnight meal, so the colony has a mechanism called “blood sharing” in order to stay alive. First, they eat, or I should rather say drink, and when they have had enough they drink some more and store the rest.  When a hungry fellow is found, they simply spit the blood into his mouth, how nice is that! All bats know their regular companions well and the bat that is receiving now may repay tomorrow as the situation can change. There is more to this, however, like any social organisation, you may come across the cheat.

The Lazy and Stupid

The cheat is the lazy one (not intelligent) who can literally be called a bloodsucker. As fun as it may seem at first, cheats will quickly be detected and the consequence is, they might never be helped again, ending as an outcast. This sharing mechanism requires quite a lot of mental apparatus, as they have to be able to memorise who they share with, who is repaying and who is not and when the cheat is found you also have to remember to punish him.

How Does It Relate to Humans?

man is an animal

This can also be compared with far more complicated human social interactions, an example being a round of drinks at the bar. Unless you hit the jackpot you kind of expect others to return the favour and if the favour is not returned by one single person, discomfort will grow and eventually you will finish the night with a bit of disappointment. Next morning after the 90% of satisfaction, the 10% of the bitterness will follow and the bloodsucker will be remembered, avoided and if such behaviour is repeated, consequently, they will be excluded from the group. Back in the Medieval times, being banished, or being a cast as an outlaw, were some of the worst punishments and no wonder as we human need each other like Vampire bats. This can also be easily translated to a business relationship with a law of reciprocity described by Robert Cialdini. Now you know why free samples in marketing can be so persuasive? We simply tend to return the favour.

Have You Met a Bloodsucker?

As you were going through the vampire bat nightlife, you were probably thinking about someone. Was it someone you would relate to as a giver or as a receiver? If you were a receiver, have you managed to equalise and bring the balance to the force? If you were the giver, do you feel like they owe you something? Like I said before, human relationships are multilayered and the complicity is second to none, compared to all global species. This phenomenon is very powerful and one of the reasons for being so is that it is unconscious. We simply do not know why, but we can sense it, we can feel it and at the end of the day, feelings and emotions are what makes us move.

The Exercise

Now when you observe and draw the conclusions from your personal or business relations, you can consciously make a decision and take action if required and below you will find a simple guide on how to do it. You need to trust your feelings on this one as they are your internal compass and that is the only way to make it valid, useful and fun!

  1. Thinking about the specific situation, you have to establish your position, that would be a good starting point. Are you a giver or a receiver?
  2. Whatever you have given or received in terms of value ie. Emotions, time, gifts, favours – put that onto a 1-10 scale
  3. Has the “blood” been repaid?
  4. If the answer is yes, this is a simple sign that the relationship can continue undisrupted, but remember to bleed it once in a while to keep it going! If not, make a little action plan. If you feel that you have a bloodsucker on your back and wish to end this rather unpleasant relationship, act on the very next occasion. Be firm about how you see it, but remember to describe your own feelings, do not judge the others and pass the blame back, as this is your responsibility! On the other hand, if you have been a receiver (hopefully not a bloodsucker) please repay, for your own good. Remember that the value has to be similar and that you can exchange emotions for gifts, favours for emotions, time for advice, it depends on what is required.

The Importance of Contract

If you have any conflicts or problems with defining your relationships go back to your contract. Yes, you have read it correctly, contract. It is the case that most of the misunderstandings coming from the lack of the clear contract, an agreement. It does not have to be a written one though, but it has to be specific on important matters. I will give you an example, let us say that you are on a date. How do you and the other side understand “date”? Is it something of meaning or is it just evening entertainment? I will write about the importance of contract on the next occasion, but until then I encourage you to define your position and take action. And why is taking action so important? Action can bring change, and change is the only measure of us learning something.


Try to keep your bosses, associates, friends and family on the level terms. That is the only way to have open, healthy and honest relationships.

Martin May

Managing Director at Intelligent and Lazy Management Consulting. Coach, trainer, blogger. "How we say it is more important than what we say"

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