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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

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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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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