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Say Goodbye To These Toxic Persons Before 2015

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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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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