Toxic people are everywhere. Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize or acknowledge them, especially when we discover them among people we’ve known for years. Whether we’re talking about a longtime friend or a coworker, toxic people usually have the tendency to drag us down with them to their miserable universe, turning ours into something just as gloomy.
They either talk about them all the time, don’t respect you enough to stick to the plans you’ve made together or simply don’t care what happens in your life to make a simple phone call. They make you feel unappreciated, frustrated and can even affect your health with their negative behavior. If you also feel like there’s someone in your life who is robbing you of your energy, productivity and happiness, here are 7 types of toxic people you need to get rid of right now.
The unreliable one
Canceling on people, always arriving late, and being irresponsible are not the best personality traits out there. Someone you cannot rely on could care less for your time and effort to meet them, which only shows they don’t respect you enough to care about what you think. Unreliable people have no problem canceling at the very last minute for something or someone they consider more interesting. This type of conduct will eat away at your self-esteem, making you feel like you’re not worth the trouble.
But you are definitely not the one to blame in this equation. If someone keeps ditching you for other people or activities, just tell them you’re bothered by their unreliable behavior. If they try to correct their errors, you’ll know you are valued; if not, you’re better off without them.
To make sure you’re not one of them, check out 16 Signs People Think You’re Annoying and You Don’t Know It.
The miserable one
Do you know someone who makes you feel sad, gloomy and utterly exhausted every time you meet? If your answer is yes, then you might be dealing with an energy vampire. “An energy vampire is somebody who literally zaps your energy dry,” Judith Orloff, MD, a psychiatrist at the University of California-Los Angeles Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. Either by constantly talking about their problems or focusing solely on the negative aspects in any situation, for these people the conversation is only about them and their misfortunes in life.
Sometimes, miserable people are not even aware that they are so cynical and pessimistic until someone else points it out to them. Therefore, if you have a Debbie-Downer in your midst, an honest talk could help them understand every cloud has a silver lining.
The drama queen
Most groups of friends have a drama queen. The one that elicits endless attention and turns even the smallest of problems into a downright life crisis. I’m sure you know the type. Drama queens like to amplify every story they tell you, start rumors and post dramatic things on social media so that others could ask them what happened, and they could start with their theatrics. They most often act immaturely and end up embarrassing themselves. Seeing a drama queen in action can be entertaining at times, but in larger doses, keeping up with them can become extremely exhausting.
The irresponsible one
Certain people make a habit of getting involved in reckless and sometimes dangerous situations. The worst part is that they always want to drag other people, mostly their friends, on their wild adventures. You might know someone who doesn’t care if they don’t obey speed limits and traffic lights, who drink before driving, have sexual intercourse without protection, do drugs and so on.
They might find it thrilling and exciting but for their friends on the sidelines, they are simply heading for disaster at full speed, taking others along with their irresponsible behavior. Sure, there’s no reason to not have fun in life, but mature, responsible people know when to act less like a rebellious teenager and more like an adult. If you have rebels without a cause in your life, either help them act their age or leave them to their antics.
The one who doesn’t care
It’s not worth being friends with someone who never calls to see what you’ve been up to, is interested in your life, says “Happy birthday” without you reminding them it’s your birthday and so on. These might seem minor things, but they also matter in a true friendship.
Of course, no one is perfect, but it should not always be up to you to keep the friendship going. A real friend will make time and do everything in their power to meet up. If you stop calling someone and they don’t seem to be bothered by it, you could say you were in a one-sided relationship.
The “forever-in-a-competition” one
Some people tend to be more competitive than others. While there is nothing wrong with a little competition in your life, some see a competition in everything and take things a little bit too far. They want the best job, the best car, the biggest house, the most beautiful or successful partner or the smartest children.
Whenever you want to say something about yourself, they interrupt you in the middle of the sentence to brag about themselves and their latest accomplishments. They see all people as possible rivals and go by the motto that second place is first loser.
The “green-eyed” one
Apart from the beyond-competitive bunch, there are also people who are always envious and never miss a chance to minimize someone’s skills and accomplishments. If you know someone who stands out by criticizing other people, who is incapable of appreciating “your hard work and can’t rejoice in your accomplishments,” walk away as fast as possible, says operations coordinator Anshul Sharma. They are experts in finding or fabricating flaws and thrive on making other people look bad.
“People who become envious at your success, good fortune, or positive attributes…. True friends are genuinely happy for your good fortune. They don’t try to diminish it with negative reactions or make you feel guilty for sharing your happiness,” says attorney Athena Ponce.
Do yourself a favor and get rid of bad company
Saying goodbye to a friend, especially someone you’ve known for years, is hard, no doubt about it. But if your friendship is a cause of distress, pessimism and exhaustion, it might be in your best interest to move away from it all. You don’t have all the time and energy in the world to deal with these people. You need to focus on what you want to do with your life, your plans and goals. Don’t waste your time and energy on toxic people who can have a negative impact on your performance and happiness. On that note, see also 10 Types of People You’ll Come Across At Least Once in Your Life.