Self-care lists can go on forever, there are so many different forms of how we need and should take care of our mind, body and soul! One of them is getting rid of anyone who doesn’t bring you happiness to your life!
Toxic people. We have all come in contact with them, possibly without even knowing it. Maybe it’s that person who no matter how great a situation is, they find something wrong with it. It could be a beautiful day, but to them it’s too hot, or not hot enough, or it’s too sunny etc. Or the type of person whom you share your goals with and they somehow make your dreams feel miniscule or impossible. That person, when you say, I’m going to save up for a certain car, and they tell you it will never happen because you don’t make enough money, or that person who you share a fitness goal with, and they give you a laundry list of why you’ll fail.
These types of people, my friends, are toxic, and I want to show you how to identify them, and get them out of your life forever.
There are many different levels when it comes to toxic people, but they are all detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Below is a list of the 5 most common types of toxic people, how to identify them, and cope with their negative attitudes.
1) The Negative Nancy
This person is someone who cannot see the good in ANYTHING. They could win 100 million dollars and they would still find a problem with it. They could be debt free with no care in the world but would still get pissed off at something that is so inconsequential it isn’t even worth talking about. We all know this person and have experienced them in one way or another. These types of people are emotional vampires and drain the fun out of any situation no matter how enjoyable it could be.
Have you ever noticed that if you are with someone who is carefree and happy that you automatically feed off of their energy and find yourself randomly smiling for no reason? Well the exact opposite can happen with a negative Nancy. When you hang out with these people, you will find yourself also focusing on the doom and gloom of that picture-perfect day. Or even worse, you’ll spend all of your energy trying to change their outlook, and show them the good in things; both are unequivocally draining and not worth your effort.
2) The Doubter
This is usually a friend or a loved one, whom you share a dream or goal with, and they find ways of shooting it down with a machine gun. Maybe you tell them that you want to get into shape, and that perhaps your goal is to have a beach ready body in a year, and they start giving you reasons why you could never accomplish it. They tell you that you don’t have willpower, that you can’t change your habits, that your genetics are crap, or that you will have serious FOMO from not going out drinking and partying with your friends. Firstly; if you call these people your friends, change that damn title right now, because a friend is someone who is supportive of your goals and dreams; even if you are just dreaming. That isn’t to say that you should shun away friends who give you honest and sometimes hard to swallow advice, but there is a big difference between someone who is looking out for you, and someone who constantly tells you that you will fail at everything.
I have come across many “doubters” in my life, people who have told me in one way or another that my goals weren’t worth chasing and that I was wasting my time. When this happened, I was obviously hurt that a “friend” would instantly tell me that what I wanted to do was a waste of time, but after a few years, I’ve realized something about the “doubters.” They tend to shoot down your goals because they are too afraid to do what you are doing. I don’t mean afraid in that they are actually scared, but rather, they don’t want to try something and possibly fail at it. But all I can say is that, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, and eventually you will achieve what you want. So, ignore those people, and truly focus on what is important to you; because at the end of the day that is all that matters.
3) The Ghost
Have you ever had that friend who never ever ever reaches out, but when you do, they respond, and are always down for plans? I call these people ghosts, as you never hear from them unless you extend the olive branch first. In the beginning we tend to make excuses as to why they never contact us first; they are too busy, they don’t have enough time, they forgot etc. Ultimately, these excuses aren’t valid; as any relationship worth having is one that is a two-way street. Whether it’s a partnership, friendship or family, communication needs to go both ways so both parties feel the love. Think of when it’s your birthday and you get a plethora of messages from people you barely talk to, and how it brightens up your day. It’s the exact same way when it comes to a normal friendship; when someone reaches out, it means that they want to spend time with you, shoot the breeze or just say hi.
I’ve known people who have said that they never reach out to people first because they are too important or don’t have the time; and while this obviously isn’t the case for everyone, it gave me insight into these type of people. The hard and simple truth is that with these types of personalities, if you stop reaching out to them, the friendship eventually falls apart as no one ends up reaching out anymore. The challenge with a ghost is that you may want to simply stop extending that olive branch; as you feel that you are the only one putting effort into a relationship. Be aware that if you do decide to stop reaching out, that 99% of the time, these ghosts won’t call or message you first; and that is something you have to be comfortable with. It’s better to have a few quality friends, then a plethora of acquaintances.
4) The Gossiper
This one is straightforward and easy to notice. I get it, we all gossip in one way or another, however when you’re in a group with the same friends you see every weekend and your friends go out of their way to talk about someone in the group in a horrible way, it sucks. Because you end up wondering what they’re saying about you. We all know that person who always has some new juicy story about a friend or colleague that they must tell just you and only you. Gossiping, is simply put not classy; and if you know someone who loves to talk about other people with you; imagine what they say when you’re not around? Sometimes these people are impossible to avoid, but my best advice is to not engage with them, as you never want to be involved with someone with loose lips; as they sink ships and cause drama, and you never want to willingly allow drama into your life. If your friend is talking bad about another friend you both hangout with instead of agreeing with them maybe stand up to them and stick up for your friend. I used to see a lot of this type of stuff in high school where someone would be talking bad to someone about the other friend who they both hangout with and no one confronts one another and I feel like it’s still like this to this day with friends and even family!
5) Judgmental Judy
Ahh, judgmental Judy, the person who constantly criticizes everything you do, almost like it’s their full time job. Why did you cut your hair that way? Why are you wearing that? Are you going to actually eat that? The list goes on and on. This type of person is someone who feels the need to judge and criticize everyone and anyone from their make-believe throne. This person will judge you for almost everything you do, unless you only listen to their sage wisdom that they have magically gained. My advice in these situations, is to simply ignore them and once again do what makes YOU happy. At the end of the day, if you are doing something and it isn’t harming anyone else, why should anyone chime in on whether or not it is the RIGHT thing to do. You want to dye your hair blue? Channel your inner Eifel 65 and do it. You want to get tattooed? Well it’s your body, so if it makes you happy, ink it up. If you want to quit your job, sell your belongings and travel the world, pack that bag baby, and leave on a jet plane.
I’ve been in many of the situations I mentioned above. I remember when we told people we wanted to travel; and while most were supportive, there were a few bad apples who criticized our life choices and said we were being foolish and irresponsible. We also faced this when we decided to leave Toronto and move to a smaller town. We dealt with statements like “OMG why would you want to live THERE,” or “just buy a condo in Toronto,” etc etc. Ultimately, we did exactly what WE wanted to do, as at the end of the day you only have one life to live, so there is no point in listening to other people criticize and judge you for what you want to do with your life. Just do you boo!
Toxic people are sometimes easy to identify, but sometimes they also fly under the radar. It’s really important to have a tight knit circle of friends and family of your choosing. Remember it’s quality that matters not quantity. Don’t surround yourself with people who are constantly trying to bring you down a notch or stop you from evolving. Instead, surround yourself with people who challenge and push you to be a better person, alongside supporting your dreams and goals.