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Something I love about being an educator is how I get to reflect on the connection between children and adults. One of the biggest lessons any child can learn is to focus on who they surround themselves with.
What’s even more powerful is that, as we become adults, that lesson doesn’t change. Who we surround ourselves with will influence our worldview, mood, productivity, how we treat others, and even how we see ourselves.
This isn’t about judging people. But this is definitely about assessing those close to us and the individuals we allow to have our time.
10 Toxic People You Need Out of Your Life
1.) Time Wasters
“Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.” – Victor Hugo
How many times can you listen to the same old story? Every time you talk to this person is it like re-watching the same old episode? There are certain individuals in your life who just steal your time. Some of them may be family, others may be friends.
The key here is to find creative ways to hold onto your time and NOT let anyone steal it from you. People will use up all of your time if you allow them. So take 100 percent personal responsibility for who you give it to.
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.” ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
There is a difference between fair feedback and someone just trying to rip everything you do apart. Feedback is absolutely great. It can aid your growth and point out your blind spots. It starts to get tricky when whatever we do is just not good enough for certain people in your circle.
There might be some toxic people in your life who just have nothing constructive to say. Still, even though some folks who close to us might be constantly criticizing us, it is still our responsibility for how we interpret it – and if we allow it to get any head space.
3.) The Victims
“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”- Maya Angelou
Every time you talk to them, it’s a new catastrophe. You want to ask them how they’re doing, but you already know. There are some people in our life who take no responsibility for their own life. They feel as if they’re constantly being cheated, beaten up, or beaten down by life.
Everything is unfair and unjust. They feel as if they’re constantly getting picked on. They are masters of playing the blame game. Nothing negative that happens to them is their own making, or their responsibility.
Individuals of this type can be dangerous. It’s only a matter of time until they pull you into their own blame game and get caught up in their storm.
4.) The Always Negative
“There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers, and then there will be you, proving them wrong.” – Unknown
You have to be extremely careful bringing your dreams around these people. They never have anything positive to say. They don’t encourage you and will probably try to talk you out of anything exciting.
But you can’t take it personally, because you know they just have a negative mindset. You don’t know where this pessimism is coming from – and it’s not your job to figure it out. It is, however, up to you if you allow them to have your time.
5.) Hot Heads
“Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.” – Chuck Norris
Lights! Camera! Over Reaction! Getting upset and acting out of character often lead to regrets and are very unproductive. What’s even more unproductive is when you get dragged into someone else’s storm.
We all have our days and our moments. But emotional outbursts are just a non-negotiable. There is NO real need to have emotionally unstable people in your circle.
6.) The Emotionless
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato
It’s amazing to be around people who have compassion and empathy. Empathy is a great day-to-day skill that will allow you to have more positive interactions and feel better about life.
On the contrary, when we are around toxic people who don’t empathize, don’t show compassion, or love, it affects our overall experience. There is just no need for this.
“The liar’s punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” ― George Bernard Shaw
This might seem like an easy one, but you might be surprised by how many of us hang out with liars. In the past, I’ve had friends who were huge liars, and I kept them as friends by habit. I was just so used to having them around.
I soon realized that liars are the alternate time wasters and distractions in my life. On top of that, I see a liar as someone who tries to negatively alter my reality. To put it simply, if you can’t trust someone or have doubts if you can trust them, then you probably don’t need them around you.
“When you get enough inner peace and feel really positive about yourself, its almost impossible for you to be controlled or manipulated by anyone else.” – Wayne Dyer
These guys are almost as bad as liars. For the record, manipulators are also gossipers. These are people who will use you in any way they can. They will tell lies and stories to scare you out of doing something that they want to do, so there’s less competition.
They will use you to get a date, or a job, or an opportunity. They will try to get information from you and then throw it back in your face when it benefits them. They are only focused on getting what they want and will go to any stretch to get it. You do not need these toxic people around you.
9.) The Intentionally Hurtful
“In life, when you encounter mean and hurtful people, treat them like sandpaper. No matter how rough they may scrub you, you end up polished and smooth.” – Nishan Panwar
Have you ever had a conversation where you didn’t know if the other person was just throwing jab, after jab, after jab? Where you didn’t know if you just had a dialogue or was just insulted again and again?
There are just toxic people who, for whatever reason, everything that comes out of their mouth is just hurtful. When something small happens, they try to call into question your character, your integrity, or your values.
These folks do not serve you at all. It’s important to know that you can’t take what they say personally – even if it is personal. They might be jealous, resentful, or just negative. But it’s not your job to figure it out. Move on!
10.) The Always Stressed Out
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” ― Fred Rogers
We are in fact, wired to be stressed. There was a time in our human history when stress allowed us to remain protected and alert. For many of us, those threats and dangers no longer exist. But for too many of us, we still operate on high-stress levels.
Studies show that stress is one of the largest factors negatively impacting our overall health. We already have a ton of stress: whether it’s stress in the workplace, with our family, in our relationships and even with ourselves.
The absolute last thing we need in our lives is to be included in the stress of others. Again, we all have stress, but how we manage it is what truly matters. Surround yourself with people who know how to manage it well.
Feel free to leave a comment below with any ideas of how we can get toxic people out of our lives.