Ever notice how being around happy people improves your mood? Whereas other people can suck the life out of you?
It is a known fact we are the product of those with whom we choose to surround ourselves. The people close to us have the greatest impact on our lives, not only as friends and family, but as motivators and influencers.
According to Travis Bradberry, …Negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs. Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus!
Author of “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” Travis Bradberry identifies ten types of toxic people:
1. The Gossip: Gossipers derive pleasure from other people’s misfortunes…which gets tiring, makes you feel gross, and hurts other people. It can be slanderous and tear relationships apart. There are too many positives out there and too much to learn from interesting people to waste your time talking about the misfortune of others.
2. The Temperamental: They will lash out at you and project their feelings onto you, all the while thinking that you’re the one causing their malaise… temperamental people will use you as their emotional toilet and should be avoided at all costs.
3. The Victim: Victims are tough to identify because you initially empathize with their problems. As time passes, you begin to realize their “time of need” is all the time… They don’t see tough times as opportunities to learn and grow; instead, they see them as an [excuse].
4. The Self-Absorbed: You can usually tell when you’re hanging around self-absorbed people because you start to feel completely alone. This happens because as far as they’re concerned, there’s no point in having a real connection between them and anyone else. You’re merely a tool used to build their self-esteem.
5. The Envious: To envious people, the grass is always greener somewhere else…they measure their fortune against the world’s when they should be deriving their satisfaction from within. Spending too much time around envious people is dangerous because they teach you to trivialize your own accomplishments.
6. The Manipulator: Manipulators can be tricky to deal with because they treat you like a friend. They know what you like, what makes you happy, and what you think is funny, but the difference is that they use this information as part of a hidden agenda. Manipulators always want something from you…They’ll do anything to win you over just so they can work you over.
7. The Dementor: The concept for Dementors was based on highly negative people – the kind of people who have the ability to walk into a room and instantly suck the life out of it…by imposing their negativity and pessimism upon everyone they encounter. A Notre Dame University study found that students assigned to roommates who thought negatively were far more likely to develop negative thinking and even depression themselves.
8. The Twisted: There are certain toxic people who have bad intentions, deriving deep satisfaction from the pain and misery of others. They are either out to hurt you, to make you feel bad, or to get something from you; otherwise, they have no interest in you.
9. The Judgmental: Judgmental people are quick to tell you exactly what is and isn’t cool. They have a way of taking the thing you’re most passionate about and making you feel terrible about it. Instead of appreciating and learning from people who are different from them, judgmental people look down on others.
10. The Arrogant: Arrogant people…see everything you do as a personal challenge. Arrogance is false confidence, and it always masks major insecurities. Many studies, as published in the national Library of Science, attributes arrogance to narcissism. Arrogant people tend to be lower performers, more disagreeable, and have more cognitive problems than the average person.
Awareness of these toxic types is the first step in identifying with whom you choose to spend your time. As you read the descriptions, it is likely that someone you know comes to mind.
Now that you are armed with the knowledge, only you can decide who is worthy of your time.
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.”– Hans F. Hansen