So many people come in and out of our lives. Quite a few stay for a very long time while others stay for a shorter duration. Out of those who stay, again there will be ones who weather good times with you and don’t do a disappearing act with the bad. (These are keepers). On the flip side, there are those who only share good times. My Mom calls the latter “fair weather friends” and if you think about it, you know who they are (Consider tossing these). And then, there are some that only stay for a moment disappearing just as fast as they appeared.
Now take an assessment of the people in your life and tell me if you can’t relate. No matter how long someone is in your life, ask yourself if they should be in your life. The good thing is that probably most people do belong. However; not everyone you know needs to be in your life. There are people who cause more harm than good. How do you know who they are?
Here is my list of characteristics of people you might want to considering tossing or at least minimizing from your life. They may sound familiar as you do your own inventory. These are in no particular order…
1. Priority – nothing you have going on will ever, ever, ever, ever (did I say ever) be as important as what they have going on. (Even having a death in your family isn’t as important as what they have going on. Yep, I’ve experienced that one). Shoot, cancer patients say get cancer and you’ll really see if you matter to them. Overall, I call these people “one uppers” and do you really want someone like this in your life?
2. Don’t Go Public – they strategically have excuses as to why you can’t meet their family (kids, parents…) or friends; can’t be tagged in photos on Facebook or other sites; won’t acknowledge a relationship status… you know if it was just wanting privacy, I get that. I just happen to experience all of these by one person (my so called boyfriend) and collectively this is a huge red flag! For a while, I even bought his, my son isn’t ready excuse. How long is to long to accept their excuses? My limit was two years and in my opinion that pretty frickin long! Now I say this about his excuse…”Who is the freaking parent???”
3. Time – They can’t put the phone down when they are with you either ALWAYS texting or talking to some one else; they always, always, always have to take the other call; maybe they even cut your call short if you have an opportunity to even talk on the phone; they never answer the phone when you call or never call you back or email; they can’t account for absences; always late and can’t give the courtesy of a phone call; make promises to be there and either don’t show or barely stay. Obviously, you aren’t a priority to them! See number 1. However, know this with today’s technology, you don’t have to keep calling. They know you called!.
4. Criticize – they never have anything positive to say about/to you or they trash talk others you know consistently behind their backs; belittle people; eye roller… You have to wonder what they say about you behind your back.
5. Anger Easily: they have a super short fuse; blow issues out of proportion; freak out and scream; they won’t let something go and move on
6. Storytelling: things they say just don’t add up; big time gossiper; lie. Or they tell this outrageous story. Now if you pay attention, you’ll catch on and your intuition will be screaming at you. Again, red flag! What’s the big secret?
7. Nosy: They know things they shouldn’t know; they can’t keep things private
8. Sabotage: they do things on purpose to make it harder on people to be successful; shady; attack a person’s self esteem; tattle tell, threaten other’s…
9. Disappearing Act: they are there for only one thing and once they get it or don’t get it, they disappear (often have nasty character changes if they don’t get their way) – “what’s in it for me.” If there is money involved, watch out! My family discovered some long lost extended family members’ true nature when my grandpa died. Gone for a big part of his life and then once he died they had their hands out (long distance of course).
10. Loud and Obnoxious: everyone must pay attention to them or else; diva; think they are way to good to perform certain tasks; interrupts conversations, they dominate the conversation
11. Moocher: they always borrow and never return; never pay you back and find every excuse to avoid talking about it
12. Finger Pointer: it is never ever their fault
13. Credit Collector: they take credit for other people’s work or ideas
14. Poor Listener: they never remember anything you tell them
15. Behavior Mismatch: their behavior does NOT match up with their talk; ever heard “do as I say and not as I do”
16. I Don’t Deserve This, Why Does Everybody Hate on Me: Ever hear this one over and over again from them? Quite the theme? Well, if you think about it, what is the common denominator? Umm…them.
17. Broken Promises/Agreements/Wind Bags: They decide to go the other direction on major decisions. It doesn’t matter what it is either…going on vacation, moving in together… Problem is that they never tell you and string you along. They don’t have the decency to tell you they aren’t doing the “thing” that together you guys agreed upon but they listen to you make plans or watch you pursue activities that eventually lead to the so called “end goal.” My favorite is them telling you all about what you’re going to do to add to your excitement. Cruel! All they are at this point is a BAG OF WIND!
18. Game Playing: Things like not returning a call or answering the phone but instead they blow up your phone with text messages. Or “accidently defriending or blocking you on Facebook” because they are mad at you. Ask them about it and they can’t recall why they were mad. Then later they send you a “friend request” like nothing ever happened. FYI…There is no accidental blocking or defriending, don’t buy that! And if they are texting you, they are ignoring your call. This is childish and stupid!
19. Competition: if you have to compete with others to be in a person’s life. Usually, the person who is your so called friend puts certain people on a pedestal and you aren’t one of them even though they say you are. OK, within reason, various people should be put on a pedestal. However, there is a point where it is unnatural. Keep this in mind, it isn’t a sport. Its life. How many times are you going to be pushed to the side?
20. Selfish, Smothering, Leeching, Toxic Friend: I’ve seen this happen to quite a few people in that they have this one always there, intrusive friend who is in their life. Problem is that this ‘friend’ doesn’t like to share you (if they’ve latched onto you) with others (that person’s family). A lot of times it could be let’s say a girlfriend who doesn’t have a close relationship with her own husband so she is always there or dragging off your person (wife maybe) to the expense of their other relationships. Problem is that your person doesn’t see what the problem (they are blind) is so they allow it to happen. Maybe they like all the attention they are receiving.
21. Excessive Bragger/Look At Me/Little Man Syndrome: This is a person who constantly likes to bring it up how awesome they are to the extent it feels like they are rubbing it in your face or belittling you. For example, I knew a guy who like to remind me how much money he had. I can quote this “I’m a multimillionaire. I can say that because I’m a two-millionaire.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard this from him. It got old very quickly. (That’s great, you have money…I get it!) So regardless of what they are bragging about, it’s the excessiveness and consistency about it that becomes obnoxious!
22. The Bait and Release:
This person has a hidden agenda. You just don’t know it and that’s great for them, but definitely not you. They are sneaky in their approach too. For instance, they might ask you a question or for your opinion on a controversial topic. Unbeknownst to you, you truthfully provide your answer or opinion, but as soon as your back is turned, they twist what you said to another person who then reacts negatively. Insert drama here! The reason why this person does this is to ensure they are the center of attention or in the position of power. If you’re familiar with this scenario, you’ll realize that the “Baiter” tends to be the liaison and the drama swings back and forth with them being the go to guy. All of a sudden Mr. Popular. Don’t be the fish!!!!
So there you have it, a list of 22 ridiculous traits of toxic people. I’m sure I could go on and on. If you are wondering, no this isn’t the same person. It is a trait collection of toxic people that I’ve experienced throughout my life. Some were so called friends, some were actually family, and yes even significant others like a boyfriend.
Regardless of who they are, there are some people have racked quite a few items on this list! The problem is that we tend to keep these people in our lives for way to long and often enable them by making excuses for their behaviors. Yep, I’m guilty too! Maybe we are in denial, blind, or think we can change them. I know, I know…you want to be part of something, you want to belong, you want to be loved, you don’t want to be the bad guy… We all feel this way. It is human nature! I can relate.
Guess what? It is NOT OK!
People who have collected quite of few of the above listed items (how you might describe them) are definitely NOT good for your health! They cause a lot of problems like headaches, anxiety, hurt feelings, resentment, hatred, anger, frustration, loss of appetite or over eating, sleeplessness, irrational thoughts, distraction and inabilities to focus on tasks… which all equate to STRESS!
Stress is BAD! If it continues, it contributes to bigger problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia, accidents, and obesity…and that is just to name a few. And it’s happening to you.
Yoga teaches us a lot of things and one of the things it teaches is a set of guidelines or principles for living. Of the many guidelines, there are Five Restraints known as Yamas and there are Five Observances known as Niyamas.
Out of the Yamas, there is one principle called “ahimsa” or non-harming.
The actual objective of this post is ahimsa. Often when people think of “ahimsa,” they tend to focus on external issues such as not littering, trying not to be harmful to animals, not being mean to others/bully in actions or words, not lying, not cheating, and not stealing. The overall goal is trying not to do those things because they are bad and harmful. However, what people often don’t do is focus on ahimsa as it applies internally to ourselves; our wellbeing. We often put ourselves last.
Eliminating or at least limiting your access/availability to toxic people who have no true vested interest in your wellbeing as well as compromising who you are is an extremely important practice of ahimsa!
Believe it! You definitely have control over who is in your life and who is in your mind. If you limit toxic people, you will be happier and you won’t constantly get emotionally hijacked. Because let’s face it, toxic people are great at stealing peace, love, happiness, joy…
So dump them and move forward! Keep the “right” people in your life.
Don’t dwell on the past, you’ll be happier. Think about it, you can’t change it.
Don’t dwell on the future, you’ll be happier. It isn’t even here yet.
Instead focus on the here and now (THE PRESENT MOMENT) and the present task, you’ll be happier.
Know this, the grass is never greener on the so called other side.
Overall, apply ahimsa to yourself! Call it whatever you’d like but if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?