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

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 a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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