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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.