Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well adjusted, happy, healthy minded folks, we sometimes realize that it just isn’t the case. Personally, I have had moments where I’ll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and WHAM BAM, I’ll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails. Sometimes it is easy to write it off (not react to) but other times, not so much.
Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain type of individual, you might feel a little negative. Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional. (I know choice comes in here, but I am getting somewhere with this… just bear with me a bit). Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member; you regress into a state of childhood dependence.
Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives. And, although we are all human and have our “issues”, some “issues” are quite frankly, toxic. They are toxic to our happiness, our mental outlook, our self-esteem and to our lives. They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan. (Again, I know we don’t need to react, etc. But I do feel compelled to write about these toxic personalities.)
Here are some of the worst of the toxic personalities out there and how to spot them. I have spent hours researching this out and have compiled the following list:
- Manipulative Martha: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactic. Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late. These individuals figure out what your “buttons” are, and push them to get what they want.
Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem. They find ways to make you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation. The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.
- Narcissistic Nellie: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them. They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marthas of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met. You often want to say to them, “It isn’t always about you.”
Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust. You are left disappointed and unfulfilled. Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them that you have nothing left for yourself.
- Dorothy Downer: These people can’t appreciate the positive in life. If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast. If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they’ll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.
Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything. Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity. Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.
- Judgmental Jeff: When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive. If you find people’s unique perspectives refreshing, they find them “wrong”. If you like someone’s eclectic taste, they find it “disturbing” or “bad”.
Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Dorothy Downers. In a world where freedom rings, judgment is so over. If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring. Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.
- Dream Killing Kevins: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can’t do it. As you achieve, they try to pull you down. As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.
Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in “what is” instead of “what could be”. Further, these individuals eat away at your self esteem and your belief in yourself. Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.
- Insincere Iris: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere. You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh. You feel depressed and sad and they give you a “there, there” type of response. You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.
Why they are toxic: People who aren’t sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria. This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships. When you are really in need of a friend, they won’t be there. When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are. When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.
- Disrespectful Davids: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways. In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies. Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you. Maybe it is a family member who puts their busybody nose into your affairs when it is none of their business. Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.
Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don’t respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy. These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.
- Never Enough Nate: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you. They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.
Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them that you will end up losing yourself in the process. They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your won need sacrificed.
All of these personalities have several things in common: The more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue.; most of these people don’t see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one; and most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.
Life is too short to spend your time dealing with toxicity. So it is up to you decide how much the toxic individuals will bother you. Sometimes folks closest to us might be described as having toxic personalities… how we choose to react or not react to these personality traits is up to each of us. I believe just knowing what I am dealing with is about 90% of my battle… the “do” part (for me) is much simpler. I mainly choose to “not react”. So far, so good.
Have I left out any toxic personalities you have encountered?
I leave today… sincerely hoping I am not one of the toxic personalities listed… now, I go on my hunt for some caffeine… thanks for spending a moment or two with me…