“Don’t trust what you see. Even salt looks like sugar.”
Let’s talk about toxic people.
I have had some pretty serious struggles with knowing what types of people to avoid in my life. I have been way too trusting in the past, let people take advantage of me, and control my happiness. I’ve believed people’s lies because I wanted to believe that everyone is good and honest. I used to have a hard time distinguishing who was truly loyal to me, who had motives for being my friend and hanging out around me, and who was set out to use me.
I tended to hang on to people because of
a) length of friendship
b) fear of starting “drama” by ending a friendship or
c) fear that I might be left with no friends at all
It wasn’t until about 2 1/2 years ago that I learned that it’s 100% okay to cut people off in your life that bring you troubles of ANY kind. You might lose people, but it’s better to have one genuine friend than 5 “friends” who are stabbing you in the back every time you turn around.
I take friendships seriously and value the very few people that I do have in my life that are true friends, so cutting people off is a hard thing to do for me still. I have come to realize though that removing toxic people from your life might be hard at first, but it always always makes life a little bit easier.
Not everyone in the world is good. There are some people who are truly manipulative and narcissistic and thrive off of drama and negativity like parasites. It’s important to be able to recognize these types of toxic people in your life. I’ve been able to reach a MUCH higher level of happiness now that I’ve learned who my true friends are and who was just sucking away all of my happiness.
So, here’s my list of 5 types of people who will always bring you down. You might not know every one of these types of people, but chances are you do know at least one off this list.
1. The one who gossips about their own friends.
Never trust a gossiper. ESPECIALLY one who trashes their own friends. You know the girl… Let’s call her Gossiping Glenda. She comes to you saying, “I swear, I just can’t stand Susie. She __________ and she ________ and I really don’t like the way that she __________. I only hang out with her because ____________.” But then next time you log onto your Facebook, there’s a picture of Glenda with Susie, smiling and happy, and a caption about how she’s soOOoooOo glad to have gotten to hang out with her. Sound familiar? Cut. This. Person. Off. You don’t have to be mean about it. Just cut ties. If they’re gossiping about the same person that they’re buddied up to when you’re not around, you can bet your butt that the same things Glenda tells you about Susie, Susie hears those same things about you.
Never ever vent to this type of person. This person is as fake and two-faced as they come. They say that a listening ear is a running mouth. In this case, it is. All that stuff Glenda told you about Susie? I bet Susie told her that thinking that Glenda would be her listening ear. She has motives for being around you. She wants you to confide in her so that she can take the information and run with it. She wants to use it to her advantage. She twists any info she gets from you and hand delivers it to that girl who doesn’t like you or someone who doesn’t quite know you well enough to have formed an opinion of you yet. Why? Gossipers want to be accepted and they have low self esteem so they have to compensate by making everyone look a lot worse than they do. They thrive off of ruining reputations and stealing people’s dignity. They lack creativity and happiness, so they’ve got nothing better to talk about than their corrupted versions of stories that they spew out like big drama fountains. These are the first and easiest to cut off.
2. The one who never wants to see you happy.
There’s always that person who no matter what you accomplish, it’s like it KILLS them to be excited for you. I used to have one of these people in my life. When Sean and I first got our apartment, we were over the moon about it. When we told this person, we expected the usual “congratulations” or an “oh, that’s so awesome!” but instead, we got a dirty glare and a “Do you really think y’all will be able to afford that? I mean, I wish y’all luck but…” and then proceeded to list all of the reasons why it would probably fail. No matter how happy the occasion, they will always find a way to rain on your parade. Wanna know why? I believe it’s because they’re jealous. They think they deserve to be in your spot. If you’ve got any kind of advantage on them, they don’t like it. They don’t necessarily want you to do BAD, but they just don’t want you to be doing better than them. This is the type of person who prides themselves on staying ahead and they feel better when they’ve got more than the next person. So once they see you pass them in any way, they want to pull out all the stops in order to make you feel insecure or hold you back. If you can’t cut this person out of your life, I’ve learned that it’s best to just leave them in the dark. Don’t tell them about your achievements or game plans. Don’t give anyone a chance to steal your joy just because they’re envious of you. Don’t hand them the opportunity to blow out your candles. They’ll never really be happy for you, because they’re not happy for themselves. So get rid of these people and invite people in who want to see you successful and thriving.
3. The one who is always putting someone down.
This type of person will go out of their way to make you feel bad about yourself.
Have you ever received a backhanded compliment? One of those that initially sound like a compliment but when taken in its entirety is completely rude or insulting?
“You look so much more awake with makeup on!” or “You’re pretty for a black girl.” or “You’re pretty for a bigger girl.” or “I love that shirt on you! It makes you look so much skinnier.” or “You’re a lot smarter than you look!” or “You’d be so pretty without your glasses.”
You’ll hear a lot of these when you’ve got a Negative Nancy hanging around. Negative Nancies will always make sure that you feel two inches tall by the time she’s done with you. They do it so subtly that it sounds just nice enough that you’re not mad until you sit and think about it. They’ll leave you feeling insecure and ugly and when confronted, they’ll tell you you have thin skin. These are the people who try to gain attention by making everyone else look bad, even if it is in the form of a joke. These are the ones who will sit around and nitpick everything that anyone does. They lack self confidence, so they find a sense of false confidence by sitting on their high horse and convincing themselves that everyone else is a tiny bit less than they are.
You don’t need that negativity in your life. People who spend their time putting everyone else down drain all the positive energy out of a room and will suck all of the happiness out of you if you let them. They complain about everything and appreciate nothing. So don’t stand under their storm cloud. Make room for people who bring in good vibes, positivity, and make you feel good about yourself.
4. The one who is only around when they need something.
“Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.” – Irma Kurtz
Everybody knows a moocher.
Their loyalty is directly linked to opportunity. This is the friend who is constantly freeloading. They live off of your generosity. They’re only around when there’s food cooked on the table. They ask you for rides because they know you’ll give them and they won’t offer gas money or put gas in their own vehicles to go even when they’re able. They don’t bring their own beer to cookouts because they know you’ll have some. They only come over to use your Wi-Fi and watch your cable TV. They always need $5, $10, $20 here and there. They cross the line between a friend in need and a “friend” who takes advantage of you. Moochers have the means to get it on their own, but they’ll always use someone else’s first. The more you do for them, the less they’ll do for themselves. They’re lazy and entitled. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting a person like this off, you’ve GOT to learn how to say no. That will be the true test of friendship. Their true colors will show when you’re no longer benefiting them. If they don’t stick around when you’ve got nothing to offer them, they are not your true friend and you’re better off without them.
5. The one who lies.
“Stop expecting loyalty from those who can’t even give you honesty.”
If I had to list things that I hate, liars would be at the top of the list. Do you know anyone who speaks and all you can think while they’re talking is, “Wow.. What a load of BS”?
Get rid of them. The ones who talk in whispers and go out of their way to be secretive about things and twist truths. If they’ll lie to you about small things, they’ll lie about big things. If they’ll lie to you, they’ll lie about you. And lies hurt. It’s never fun to be lied to. When Sean and I got married, we threw a big wedding reception. A group of our friends who we truly believed we were close to told us they were on their way. The night passed, we had an amazing time, but they never showed. Then later on, we see pictures of them hanging out together that night. That was a pretty good wake-up call for us. It’s a really hurtful thing to go through. The worst part about being lied to is knowing that you weren’t worth the truth. We never held a grudge, but we learned to know our worth. Lying and being deceitful will never get you anywhere and neither will hanging out with people who will lie straight to your face. Secrets and lies are bad for the soul. They’ll eat you alive. If you find yourself doubting everything that comes out of someone’s mouth, it might be time to burn that bridge. Make room for people who are loyal to you and trustworthy. Life is too short to keep people around who have no issues being dishonest.