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Success Formula No. 1: Distance Yourself From Toxic People

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Success Formula No. 1: Distance Yourself From Toxic People

Some people exist only to bring others down. The worst part about this type of person is they do so under the guise of being a caring friend, when in reality they simply don’t want others to succeed and leave them behind. The trick is in realizing the difference between someone who is genuinely looking out for you, and someone who is trying to hold you back from true success. The following toxic people don’t belong in your life, and you should do whatever you can to rid yourself of them:

1. The Statistician

The Statistician will be the one constantly reminding you of your odds of success. If you’re trying to start your own business, they’ll be the one reminding you that most businesses fail within their first year. If you’re applying for a job, they’ll tell you that hundreds of other people are applying for the same position. Of course, they do so under the guise of being a friend that “doesn’t want to see us let down.” But when they tell us how small our chance of success is, what shows is that they don’t believe you’ll be the one out of ten businesses that succeed, or the one chosen out of the hundreds for the position. Throw some statistics back at them in the form of cost/benefit analysis. Show these toxic “friends” you’ve done your homework and deserve the success you’ll receive.

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2. The Ridiculer

The Ridiculer just thinks your ideas are, well, ridiculous. They’re most likely a toxic, inside-the-box thinker who won’t entertain any innovative, mind-boggling idea that comes from anyone else simply because they can’t imagine it working. This is probably due to the fact that they aren’t intelligent enough to truly understand the concept, but will play it off as if it’s the idea itself that is stupid. They’re the ones being sarcastically optimistic about your ideas, saying things like “Good luck with that,” which we all know means “That’s never gonna work.” Shut them up by sincerely thanking them for their “well wishes,” and put your plan into motion.

3. The Fault Finder

The Fault Finder is similar to the Ridiculer, in that they’ll constantly point out the flaws in your plan. Like the Statistician, the Fault Finder doesn’t give you credit enough to think that you’ve thought of these hang-ups in your plan, and doesn’t believe you have any contingent ideas for if a problem arises. They’re the ones asking toxic questions like “Well what if this happens?” whenever you discuss your ideas, and then shrug you off even if you have a perfectly valid explanation for what you’d do if “this happens.” Counter their barrage of questions with equally ridiculous questions, like “What if a meteor hits the Earth and we all get launched into outer space?” or “What if aliens actually do visit, and they don’t come in peace?”

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4. The Pessimist

The Pessimist could also be called the Nihilist. Not only do they not see any chance of success in whatever you’re setting out to do, but they also don’t see any purpose in trying. While you’re keeping your eye on success, you also don’t see failure as the be all and end all of your existence. The Pessimist, on the other hand, seems to think that failure is synonymous with ultimate demise. Instead of asking “What if” questions like the Fault Finder, the Pessimist will state negative effects as if they’ve already happened. “If you start your own business, you’ll have to work 12-14 hour days.” Yeah, and? “If you don’t succeed, you’ll end up right back where you started, but in more debt.” Yeah, and? Just keep following up their negativity with “Yeah, and?” and see how long it takes for them to get the hint.

5. The Passive-Aggresor

The Passive-Aggressor clearly doesn’t agree with what you’re setting out to do, but won’t come out and say it. They’ll most likely skirt the issue by saying something like “If you think it’s a good idea…” That kind of statement obviously isn’t any sort of attempt to lend support when you’re trying something new. Of course, if you happen to fall short of your goal, the Passive-Aggressor will be the first person to chime in with “I told you so.” Again, not helping. Regardless, you should turn the other cheek toward them. Ask them nicely (in a non-sarcastic tone, even though you’re not exactly happy with them) how they would have done it differently. They probably won’t have an answer for you, and will shut up quickly.

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6. The Staller

The Staller doesn’t want to see you succeed simply because they don’t want to be left in the dust. Whenever you start talking about your big plans, they’ll change the subject to something menial, toss you a beer, and try to make you forget you had any kind of ambition to leave your stagnant life behind. The Staller is the college friend that’s fun to hang around with once in a while, but can be absolutely deadly if you want to get anywhere in life. Meet them out for happy hour every few months, but call it a night after one or two drinks. Otherwise you’ll be out until 2AM against your wishes, and wake up the next day too tired to get your dreams moving.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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