As 2014 comes to a close, you may be jotting down New Year’s resolutions and pondering whether some of the relationships you have are worth keeping. Perhaps the sayings “birds of a feather flock together” and “you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends” have been torturing you as you evaluate these relationships with very toxic persons. While you can’t close yourself out to the people that surround you because of their flaws, you can definitely make a commitment to bringing more positive people into your life. Even if you can’t completely say good bye to them, you can learn to draw boundaries and keep your distance from these ten kinds of toxic persons that negatively affect your life; doing so will guarantee you more fulfilling relationships in the new year!
1. The Doubter Of Your Dreams
You know you’ve always wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, a singer; you know your calling in life. Yet every time you talk about your dream with this very toxic person, they roll their eyes and pessimistically tell you that you are wasting your time. They tell you to be “realistic” and that you should forget about your dream. People that are afraid of stepping out of the mold society builds for them can’t help but question the courage you have to pursue your calling. Refuse to succumb to their questioning and learn to ignore their doubt. While at times you may feel strong enough in your quest to fulfill your dreams, it is best for you to draw a significant boundary between you and this person. Otherwise, when the tough times come for you, it will be easy to find the “truth” in their false statements and you may find yourself giving up on your passions and dreams.
2. The Manipulative Ex
You still love this person. You thought you would be spending the rest of your life with them and it now seems like you were quite wrong about this, and yet you can’t seem to let go. You are broken up but they still call you at night to talk about their day, or perhaps they still post little things online that only you two would understand. However, when you ask if there is a chance of a future, they look at you as if you had broken all commandments by daring to ask such a ridiculous question. To this type of person you must say goodbye, even if it’s not a permanent one and even if it hurts; friendship can come after you are over them, but not now. They are master manipulators and know what to say and do to keep you longing for a relationship that they very well know is over. For your own sake, this toxic person needs to be on the “keep your distance” list. Letting go of them will open up the doors to a very happy single life and, eventually, to a new person, one that knows your worth and will never manipulate you simply to get an ego boost.
3. The Guilt-Tripper
You are on deadline at work, your dog is sick, your car broke down and you can’t seem to live down the fact that you missed the family reunion in Alaska last weekend. This person cannot and will not simply say: “I understand.” They will guilt-trip you into thinking that you are a horrible person because you don’t ever comply with their wishes (to go out, to hang out, to do errands with them, etc.) and will constantly remind you that you are not what they think you should be. With their holier-than-thou attitude, they constantly make you feel inadequate, ungrateful, and worthless. This toxic person must go on the “gigantic boundary line” list. The truth is that you will never make them happy because they themselves are unhappy, and that is something they must work out on their own. Perhaps by you stepping away, they will be able to focus on their own lives and see that the problem isn’t you – it’s them.
4. The Ungrateful Boss
Let’s make this clear: yes you have a ton of bills to pay but at the end of your life you will not regret the bills that didn’t get payed but the life you didn’t live. If you are unhappy in your current job because your bosses can’t seem to get it in their head that you are truly invaluable: let go. Have faith in God that you’ll find the job you love and the boss who appreciates your abilities and your magnificent work ethic. If you can’t completely let go, draw a massive boundary which will allow you to carefully examine the importance of their opinion of you. This will set you free from their opinions and will empower you to have a more fulfilling professional life.
5. The Smartypants Commentator
“You weren’t ever really good at anything” or “Wow, your clothes seem to have shrunk a bit” or “Too bad you’re such a looser.” These statements are but a few examples of the nuggets of “wisdom” the smartypants commentator can’t help but share with you, with a smirk on their face. They claim to be joking, yet all statements are full of derogatory intentions that are sure to bring you down when you are having a tough day. This person may very well go on your “goodbye” list, they simply do not deserve your attention. Say goodbye to their negativity and hello to the person that builds you up and kindly jokes without crossing the line.
6. The Liar-liar
Their lips are moving, which means they are lying. This person absolutely refuses to be honest; it doesn’t matter how much they are encouraged to be truthful or how many people they are hurting. With this person, you may absolutely have to draw a boundary line that allows you to keep your distance and gives them the opportunity to feel they have lost you. This distance may in turn allow them to gain some insight and realize a change must take place and that honesty must be part of their lives or they may eventually lose all relationships. Do not make any excuses for their selfish lies; courageously walk away knowing you are doing the right thing, for your own sake as well as theirs.
7. The Reckless Friend
When you hang out with this individual, you know you are in for a “fun” time but one you will majorly regret after everything is said and done. Their inclinations seem to always be toward the reckless, the degrading, and the flat out morally wrong. While you may enjoy the thrill of the moment for a while and it may be fun to spend time with them sporadically, be sure to limit your time with these individuals. Be careful of the endeavors you agree to take on with them and remember that there is always a consequence for the choices you make in life, even if that choice was simply to be an accessory to whatever your reckless friend gets up to.
8. The Backstabber
You know who they are. The ones who are always gossiping nastily about your mutual friends, acquaintances or family. Do not indulge in the back-stabbing party or join them in speaking badly about others. It is very likely they are doing the very same thing with someone else and you are the subject of their talk. Don’t be naive in thinking that you are the only being in the universe they are actually honest with. If they are talking meanly about others, they are surely capable of talking about you behind your back too.
9. The Me-Me-Me Friend
You seem to be an ATM for this person, emotionally and sometimes financially too. You’re an ATM that only allows for withdrawals. You give, and give, and give some more but you never receive in return. This friend depletes your energy, your emotional reserve and many times your bank account too. Their selfish demeanor and manipulative actions always leave you feeling like you owe them something. The truth is you don’t. A relationship is a two way street, and if they cannot see that or refuse to be giving towards you when you need it the most, it is time to say goodbye to this individual. Don’t continue to let them have power over you; simply let go. You will feel refreshed and renewed when you do.
10. The Pessimist
Life is full of pain, trials and tough moments but the one thing you can’t ever lose is hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better; that you’ll land the job; that you’ll find the one; that you’ll reach your goals. The pessimist who always sees the glass half-empty will pride themselves on stating that they are simply being realistic. The fact of the matter is that no one ever made history by being realistic; instead, they stepped out in faith, in hope, and pressed on. Fighting the trials and the pain, they found strength in the hope of a better future and that made all the difference. You don’t have to entirely cut this person out, but say goodbye to their moods and take their opinion with a grain of salt. Know that you know better, know that hope will always conquer.
As you think of the people that you do not want in your life or that you feel should avoid, be sure that you are not on someone’s list of people to get rid of. Regardless of how much you want to say goodbye to these types of people, remember to be kind and tactful. Relationships are some of the most difficult yet rewarding things we can work out and while you need to guard your heart, remember to always show love to all that surround you!
Featured photo credit: Gerd Altmann/ree for commercial use / No attribution required via pixabay.com