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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

motivational warrior!

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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