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5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

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5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

Associating with the right people can be the difference between happiness and misery. You may have heard the Jim Rohn quote,

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Others have an effect on the way we live our lives whether we like it or not. Choose your friends and associates wisely to foster positive and healthy relationships.

We only have a limited time to live a meaningful life. Just like you should avoid the 6 Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret Sooner or Later, you must steer clear of people who will waste your life.

Toxic People Are Like Soft Drinks, They Will Kill You Slowly

Cigarettes and drugs can kill you quickly, but toxic people are more like soft drinks. When you drink a soda, it is unlikely to cause you immediate harm, and it certainly shouldn’t kill you. If you drink a soda every day, though, you may notice the negative health effects of your soft drink consumption.

In the same way, toxic people slowly drain you of your vitality. The more energy you spend on them, the more stressed and empty you feel. Some of them create such a negative force in your life that they can turn you into a toxic person without you realizing it.

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You may enjoy the temporary high of drinking a Coke, but drinking them habitually can cause diabetes and obesity. Hanging out with that toxic individual may seem okay at first, but in the end you’ll feel tired and used .

5 Types of Toxic People You Should Avoid at All Costs

Nobody strikes up a relationship hoping that it will be a drain on productivity and happiness. Unless you pay careful attention, toxic people weasel their way into your life and use your mental energy, patience, and happiness without you realizing it.

We have all encountered people like this, and some of us may have even been toxic people at some point in our lives. If we really are the sum of the five people we associate with the most, it is crucial to avoid these five types of toxic people.

1. The Gossiper

The gossiper is an insidious force in any organization. They make you feel like they are bringing you into the fold by sharing delicate information with you. It seems like all they do is gather and disperse chitchat about other people.

When someone wants to talk to you about someone else behind their back, it is almost always a toxic situation. It doesn’t add value to your life, and if the gossiper will talk to you, you can be sure that they’re also talking about you to someone else.

This is the person at work that corners you during break time and talks badly about another coworker’s performance. When the person feels that they can come to you, they’ll be likely to repeat this over and over. People see you together, and they may even label you as a gossiper just for being associated with this type of toxic person.

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If you think about what you can get from the conversation, it is most likely that these talks will not benefit you in any way. In fact, associating with a gossiper could really hurt you. Think about how you’d feel if you knew someone was talking about you behind your back. Now imagine someone catching you in the middle of a gossipy exchange. You don’t need that drama in your life.

2. The Manipulator

A manipulator knows what they want, and they’ll use you to get it. They don’t care about your thoughts and feelings. It seems like the more time you spend with them, the less power you have over your own destiny. Stick around this person too long, and you’ll end up doing whatever they want instead of standing up for yourself.

Most of us don’t act without a purpose, but the manipulator is bent on achieving their mission at the expense of everyone around them. Manipulation can take several forms, but a classic way to manipulate is through victim hood.[1]

For example, I have a friend who is being in a toxic relationship. His girlfriend is controlling and abusive, and every time it seems as though he will get out of the negative situation, she manipulates him into staying. Whenever he tries to leave, she fakes a health crisis to make him feel sorry for her. Since my friend is a nice guy, he sticks around to try to maker her feel better.

3. The Judge

So many cultures revolve around shame, and the judge takes full advantage of our discomfort with shame to steal your energy. Regardless of what you say, think, or do, the judge will always have some criticism for you.

The judge never tries to put themselves in your shoes. Their only concern is what you did or didn’t do. The more time you spend with them, the more depressed you’ll be. You can never make them happy, and if their opinion of you influences your self-worth, you’re doomed to misery. When you’re dealing with a judge, you’ll always take the blame.

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I had a friend who was married to a hard-working entrepreneur. The entrepreneur loved his wife very much. Unfortunately, his wife epitomized the judge. Often, he would have to go away for long periods of time for work. She blamed and resented him because he was away for so long, even though his job required it. It didn’t matter that his efforts paid for their home, gave them security, and allowed them to lead a good lifestyle. No matter how much he tried to make her happy, she was too consumed with finding fault to appreciate him.

4. The Exaggerator

An exaggerator doesn’t know how to keep a small problem small. They often resort to saying things like, “You never do…” or “You have always been…” They don’t take the time to consider steps you’ve taken to fix the problem or correct your mistake. Mess up in front of an exaggerator, and be prepared to be labeled by your mistake. To an exaggerator, everything feels like the end of the world.

Imagine you’re on a team, and you’re planning a big presentation. You were assigned to work on part of the presentation, but then someone in your family became ill and had to go to the hospital. You miss the deadline to turn your part of the project in to the team, but the final presentation is still over a week away.

Most people would understand these difficult circumstances, and a few might offer to help you complete your work during this stressful time. The exaggerator is not most people, though. An exaggerator will treat missing deadline as a horrible oversight that demonstrates your lack of dedication to the team. They will continue to hang this missed deadline over your head long after the presentation.

5. The Emotional Expresser

Being vulnerable enough to talk about feelings can be valuable in relationships, but sometimes people take this too far. The emotional expresser loves talking about feelings, but they never do this in a constructive way. This is the person who repeatedly tells you how something makes them feel, but they never take any action to improve bad situations.

It is so easy to fall into this trap of talking instead of taking action. If you hang out with an emotional expresser, sooner or later, you’ll become just like them. People like this can become so caught up in discussing their feelings that they lose the ability to solve their problems. This is not a productive or healthy way to live.

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The emotional expresser comes to you with a personal problem that must be fixed. They’ll tell you about their terrible relationship or their evil boss, but they aren’t willing to do anything to solve their problems. They won’t cut ties with the person harming them, and they won’t look for a new job.

Any suggestion that you make for how they can improve their lives will be met with resistance. “I can’t do that…” and “I’ve already tried that…” are the default responses that the emotional expresser will give to you when you challenge them to face their problems head on.

Do Yourself a Favor, and Keep Excellent Company

When you allow these toxic people into your life, you set yourself up for a depressing, infuriating, emotionally exhausting experience. It can feel harsh to cut these types of people out of your life, but if they’re having a negative effect on you, then you need to act.

You have a limited amount of time and energy to apply to all the things that you want to do with your life. Don’t allow a toxic person to rob you of your potential.

Reference

[1] Psychology Today: 14 Signs of Psychological Manipulation

More by this author

Anna Chui

Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

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20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

    If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

    The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

    Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

    There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

    Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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    Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

    Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

    Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

    • The idea for Google -Larry Page
    • Alternating current generator -Tesla
    • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
    • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
    • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

    …and many, many more.

    Fact #4: Premonition dreams

    There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

    You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

    • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
    • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
    • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
    • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

    Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

    Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

    Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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    Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

    In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

    Fact #7: Sexual dreams

    The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

    Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

      Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

      Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

      • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
      • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
      • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

      Fact #9: Dream drug

      There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

      Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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        The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

        Fact #11: Increased brain activity

        You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

        Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

        As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

        Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

        In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

        Fact #13: Pets dream too

          Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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          Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

          Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

          Fact #15: Blind people dream too

          Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

          Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

            It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

            Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

            Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

            Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

            You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

            Fact #19: Gender differences

            Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

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            Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

            As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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