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Say Goodbye To These Toxic Persons Before 2015

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Say Goodbye To These Toxic Persons Before 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Gerd Altmann/ree for commercial use / No attribution required via pixabay.com

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Sarita King

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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