In our daily lives, we come across people and have interactions. Some of them leave everlasting impressions, others you want to avoid like the plague.
Summer is here and so are plans to get out more and attend gatherings after two years of living with the unknown. Many of us are hungry for company, community, and connection. For the sake of your mental, emotional, and psychological wellness, weed out the toxic lot without apologies.
Toxic people are everywhere, and most of us know at least one or two. Observe your family, look at your friend circle, pay attention to your colleagues, and observe your networks. You will easily spot them. In fact, we may live with toxic people, be related to them, work with them, or know them socially. If you’ve ever spent time with truly toxic people, you already know how destructive and exhausting they can be. Their behavior is self-serving and irrational. As a result, they might bring out the worst in you or spark tension, stress, and unnecessary problems. Toxic people also bring negativity and curate strife.
The hardest part is that, in many cases, you may still care about the toxic people in your life. If this Negative Nelly is a parent or a sibling or a childhood friend, it makes things complicated. But you need to examine your entire network and its influence on your life for the sake of your own well-being. Avoid these 5 kinds of toxic people, so you can enjoy your much-deserved summer.
Narcissist ghosters: These are the people whose world starts and ends with them. They can’t stop talking about themselves at any given opportunity. I am all for self-love, but people under this category are pathologically self-absorbed and use others for their benefit. They treat every other person as irrelevant. They are so preoccupied with their own needs, desires, and wants that they have no consideration for the rest of the world. They are arrogant and feel entitled. Every plan, every outing, every activity is centered around what they want.
For example, I know somebody who will make 50 million plans a year. You block your calendar because they confirm dates with you. And then they move their plans around and don’t even bother to inform you. No apologies, no acknowledgment. They make you feel crazy — as if you imagined the conversation, and it never really transpired. Because they intentionally ghost people and never fear consequences, they make you feel invisible. These types of people can make you question your self-worth as well as confidence.
Overly negative: These are people who constantly see the world as glass half empty. They assume the worst in others and the world in general. They have the skills to turn anything positive into negative. They constantly find faults in every situation.
Jim Rohn, renowned businessman and personal development guru, said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you aren’t watchful, the pessimist types can start to rub off their negative energy on you. These people are, often, set in a cycle of complaints without any desire to find solutions or accept the situation. They can make you question your trust in others and faith in your own dreams. They leave you feeling extremely hopeless and drained.
The envious types: They can’t appreciate it when others achieve anything in life. Their behavior feels extremely frustrating because they make everything about themselves. They have never known how to be happy for others. For example, think of that family member or friend who struggles with celebrating your wins because your success (for some strange reason) makes them focus on their own shortcomings. You tell them you got a new job or a new house or admission in graduate school, and they will somehow take the news and measure it against their own accomplishments. At the core, I believe such people lack both self-esteem and self-confidence. But on the surface, they can be brash, unresponsive, and unempathetic.
Gossip-mongers: I am a big believer in never trusting people who talk behind other people’s backs. This type derives pleasure from other people’s misfortunes. They don’t evaluate the damage their speculation, not fact, can do. They spread rumors with malicious intent to feign deep understanding and connections. This behavior is gross and degrading. I believe the gossipers lack any sense of integrity or honesty. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average ones discuss events, and small minds discuss people.”
Manipulators: These are the kind of people who will easily play victim to get attention. They will say what you want to hear just so they can steer the relationship in a way that suits them best. I believe they lack any kind of impulse control and are too arrogant to think of anyone beyond themselves. Why do people try to control? I am no psychologist, but I think it’s because they are insecure underneath it all. I have seen manipulators be all emotional one moment and furious the next. They can be extremely temperamental and abusive, leaving you feeling confused. Often they are chronic liars. Why are they harmful? Because you never know what to believe, so you can’t count on their promises or their word. These people will lie to you about others, and they will lie to others about you.
Toxic people leave you feeling worse off after interacting with them. They drive you crazy because their behavior is so unreasonable and inhumane. We might not always be able to disconnect and disengage 100% with them if they are related to you or a childhood friend. But stay as distant and guarded as you can, so you aren’t hurt in the process.