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11 Kinds Of People We Shouldn’t Take To Heart To Ruin Our Happiness

11 Kinds Of People We Shouldn’t Take To Heart To Ruin Our Happiness
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We all have toxic people in our lives. You know them – the people who just suck out your happiness, energy, and enthusiasm whenever they are around or when you let them take up space in your “universe,” either physically or emotionally. How about that person who, when their name pops up on your caller ID, you silently groan? You don’t want to answer the call, because you know you are in for an hour of draining conversation, and yet you feel guilty not taking the call. Who is in charge here? If you take that call, that toxic person is in charge! One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to get rid of these “blood suckers” and move on. Here is a list of 12 kinds of people who may have invaded your space and your well-being. Identify them in your life and dump them!

1. The Drama King/Queen

This is the individual who is not happy unless there is huge drama all around them and they want to suck into their drama as well. Whether it’s a slight by one of their relatives or a kid who is going through some pain, this individual has to broadcast the situation to all who will listen, and that listener may be you a lot of the time. Every situation, no matter how small and insignificant must be exaggerated into a major crisis. Learn to cut them off. Tell them you have something urgent to attend to, and maybe you can talk later (but don’t let that later ever come). If this is happening in the work place, you have an additional issue, because that individual is impacting your productivity. Cutting them off and getting back to the business at hand will benefit you in your career.

2. The Negative Nellie or Nelson

Nothing is ever right or good enough for Nellie or Nelson. This person could win the lottery and still find some negative aspects of that win. The problem with keeping this person in your life is that they will inevitably find negative things about your successes and accomplishments. You’re in a new relationship, and you are thrilled. Nellie or Nelson will point out all of the things that could go wrong, until you are second-guessing yourself about the whole thing. Dump this person. Do not engage them in any conversation; do not share anything about your personal or professional life; and stop making “dates” with this person!

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3. The Unreasonable Boss

If you have not yet experienced a really horrible situation with a boss, then you are lucky. Many have bosses who are just to hard to impress, unreasonable in their expectations, who throw “hissy” fits, who publicly belittle and bully their subordinates, and who seem to “get off” on making life miserable for those who work for them. And on top of this, these bosses are often responsible for performance reviews! You may try all of the normal things to lease such a boss to no avail. If you cannot get a transfer out of his/her department or is you are in a small

4. The Person Who Won’t Shut Up

Most of us like balance in our lives. We have times when we want to be social, to engage in lots of conversation with lots of people; we also have times when we want silence – time to reflect, to be at peace, and to be alone with our own selves. This is what a mentally healthy person does! If you have someone in your life who cannot stop talking, who calls you, emails you, messages you incessantly on Facebook, and who is generally bombarding you with conversation, you have to reduce that relationship.

You must be in charge of our own time and your own balance. Don’t answer that call; don’t respond to that email; and if the person is someone you must be around daily (e.g., work), you will have to find ways to excuse yourself from their presence. The incessant “talkers” of the world are those who are not comfortable in their own skin, who cannot be left alone with their own thoughts. You can feel sorry for them, but you do not have to put yourself in a position to be dominated by them.

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5. The Needy Person

This type does seem to be able to make a decision or to do anything on their own, and you have become the one person they can rely on. Please do their taxes for them; please write this letter for them; please make this phone call for them; please go shopping with them and make their clothing selection decisions. Stop it! If you stop, they will go and find someone else to latch onto. You may have to be blunt, and you will simply have to say “no” enough times, until they move on to the next victim.

6. People Who Use You

You know the type. They call you when they need something – favors, money, or help. In between times, they never call. They are “pseudo-friends.” Do you really need that kind of person in your life? Of course not – they do not contribute to your happiness, peace or comfort. From now on, your answer is “no.” You should leave such toxic relationships now.

7. People Who Do Not Respect You

These are generally people with very poor self-images. They cannot feel good about themselves unless they can belittle you or embarrass you in front of others. Further, they will never be mindful of your needs in a relationship; and your opinions do not matter. You may be in a co-dependent relationship with this individual, and it is tough to break out from that. If you begin to surround yourself with those who do respect you, the relationship will wither and die.

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8. People Who Hurt You

This pain can be physical or emotional, but both are bad. The emotional “hurts” include leaving you out of activities, cancelling engagements you have made, not showing up, making promises and commitments that they then don’t keep the physical “hurts” don’t even need explaining. The problem is that these people are usually those you care deeply about and it is painful to imagine life without them. If you are unable to break the hold such a person has on you, then you should get some help – you will be amazed at the ultimate relief you have when that person is out of your life.

9. Backstabbers

You know who they are – they are the ones who are backstabbing other people when they talk with you. Do you think you are somehow not the victim of the same treatment? Think again. This individual ruins reputations, harms relationships between other people, and gets some kind of sick pleasure out of doing so. Do not respond to the talk of a backstabber in any way. Do not be available for conversations or outings. Eventually, they will get the idea.

10. People Who Want You In Your Old Box

There is a great analogy of this kind of relationship. If you put one crab in a bucket, it will crawl out. If you put two crabs in a bucket, they will die in there. Why? Because as soon as one attempts to crawl out, the other will grab onto it. Neither will ever get out. There are people in your life like that. They don’t want you to “move on,” to grow, and to become more than you were in your past. And so, they will attempt to keep you in either your current situation or to return you to a previous situation or lifestyle that you have long ago discarded. You know people who never “grew up.” Perhaps it is the college friend from years ago who still drinks too much, still parties too much, still enjoys taking risks and being irresponsible. This is the person you may want to see once a year or so, but as a frequent friend? No.

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11. The Space Holders

These largely non-contributing souls are in your life for no purpose whatsoever. They don’t contribute to your well-being, to your peace, or to your happiness in any way. Why are you continuing to spend time with them? Are there not others with whom time is much more well-spent? Would you not be more productive is you were alone with yourself rather than with a space-holder? These people are generally not destructive or dangerous; but they are a waste of your time and energy.

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Elena Prokopets

Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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