Without our friends and family, who do we have? At the end when everything else is lost, you will only have your friends and family behind you. But how many will actually be WITH you?
The definition of “Friend” is largely abused. If not why do you have relationships with toxic people whom you should keep out of your life? Case in point is Facebook.
During the early days of social media, almost everyone I knew was in “Friendster.” Then Facebook descended upon the Internet like a tsunami. My friends would often chide me as the “Last person on Earth who is not on Facebook”.
I would rebut them by asking, “How many friends do you really need?” I mean, some had thousands of friends! I would ask them, “Does that mean you’ll get thousands of gifts for your birthday?”
Eventually, I learned that social media is not a bad thing; it is a powerful tool especially when I started running my online business. Harnessed the power of social media correctly and it can transform businesses and the lives of others in a very positive way.
However, Ben Parker once said to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Social media has given people the power to connect with others; a platform to be seen and heard on the Internet. Some people abuse this power by taking advantage of others.
If in the real world, you find yourself connected to the toxic types of people you should keep out of your life, the chances become exponentially higher in the virtual world. It is because the Internet gives you a false sense of entitlement.
The Internet creates a filter which exposes people for who they are. Then you discover who your real friends are. And the fact is, there aren’t many!
Here are the ten toxic people you should keep out of your life
1. The Negative
Do you have someone in your life who shuts down every idea, suggestion or comment you make? This person is called the Negative.
He sees the glass half empty. A typical conversation would be like this:
You: “I’m planning to start an online business. I met the manufacturer of a high-end athletic apparel, and he would put me directly in touch with his primary distributor. The wholesale price is marked 60% lower so I can get excellent margins.”
The Negative: “Haven’t you noticed how many fat people are walking around? No one wants to work out so who’s going to buy your athletic apparel? And how do you know it’s original? Maybe these are just cheap knock-offs from China. Or maybe those are last year’s inventory which no one wants to buy. Forget it. You’ll just lose money like you did in your other ventures.”
The Negative is a person who puts people down to bring himself up. He feeds off the misfortunes of others or relishes the idea of that person failing. Why? To create a defense mechanism and make up for his inadequacies.
The Negative has not accomplished much in life if any at all. He is miserable by nature and views life with a pessimistic filter.
Steer clear of these types of people or remove them from your life. They will only serve to drain you of energy and leave you frustrated.
Related: 7 Business Failure Stories that Turned into Success Stories
2. The Judgmental
Do you have someone in your life who makes conclusions without knowing the facts? This person is called the Judgmental. He likes to stereotype people and believes only his perception is correct. He or She is the last person you would like to ask a piece of advice. A typical conversation would be like this:
You: “I’m having a difficult time making payments to the bank. I might end up losing my house. I’m already thinking of temporarily suspending my son’s schooling until I can recover. What should I do?”
The Judgmental: “You’re losing money because you started a business when instead you should have stuck with your office job. So you didn’t get the raise or the promotion. So what? At least you had money. Now you’re about to lose everything because you’re too proud to work a regular desk job like most of us. You have a family; what the heck were you thinking?”
The Judgmental will not give you solutions. All he will do is magnify the problems and make you feel that you made the wrong decisions. Why? The Judgmental is the type who sits on the sidelines. He does not take chances because he is afraid of failure or perhaps he was scarred by a past event.
He lives to criticize because he believes it places him on a higher pedestal. Avoid this person if you want to get productive advice.
3. The Know-It-All
Do you have someone in your life who makes it seem he knows anything and everything? This person is the Know-It-All. He wants everyone to know that he is smart and has the answers to all questions. But all he does is give clichés or opinions.
You: “This traffic is horrible. I end up rushing through work and being late for my appointments even if I leave my house 2 hours earlier.”
The Know-It-All: “What the government should have done was to fix the MRT trains last year. Then they should work on a scheme to limit the number of cars on the main thoroughfare. If I were the head of the traffic agency, I would have limited the number of colorum buses. And you should know better than to set appointments during these hours. It’s common sense.”
The Know-It-All believes Stephen Curry can shoot the three ball better if he just angled his elbow a few degrees higher. He believes Manny Pacquiao could have won the fight versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he just learned how to “cut angles and set up the left straight with a lead right hook.”
If you don’t want a migraine, you wouldn’t want a Know-It-All in your life.
4. The Show Off
Do you have someone in your life who likes to brag and blatantly display his acquisitions and accomplishments? This person is the Show Off. He wants to parade material possessions publicly or stand on a soap box and let everyone know what he is up to.
You don’t need to start a conversation with the Show Off because chances are he or she would start it on their own. Here are a few real “interactions” I’ve had with Show Offs:
Male Show Off (At a reunion): “I’m presently the Financial Adviser of my father’s company. I manage his money by investing it in a mix of high-risk, high-yield instruments and conservative placements in the money market. It’s such a stressful job; I have to meet up with all of these high finance people and spend hours discussing strategy to optimize returns given stagnant inflation.”
Female Show Off (At a coffee shop): “Did you notice my new Kate Spade designer bag? I was fortunate to buy it at a sale. Imagine a Kate Spade for ONLY 350,000 Pesos! Hahahahaha! I was thinking of a Louis Vuitton or a Balenciaga. But they seem so for Matrona only. Maybe this Christmas nalang, after I get my 13th-month pay.”
With the Show Off, conversations are inundated with “I, Me and Myself”. And it does not end there. Their Facebook pages are flooded with photos of their latest travels, close-ups of designer watches and the newest car in the collection.
The Show Off is a clueless person. To be fair, I believe some don’t know how annoying or untimely their comments can be. For example, in social media, you have to be mindful of what you post because you don’t know how your other friends are doing in their lives.
What if you post a picture of the 20,000 Pesos leash you bought your pet Pug but across the city, a friend who lost his job six months ago doesn’t have money to buy his mother much-needed medicine?
5. The Complainer
Do you have someone in your life who complains about anything and everything under the sun? This person is the Complainer. He talks just like-nothing-good-ever-happens in his life. Here’s a peek into his world:
On his health: “I feel sick all the time. I have no time for exercise because of work. Wife doesn’t know how to cook. Restaurant food is horrible.”
On work: “My boss is a dirtbag dictator; keeps assigning me all these projects. Why can’t he give them to someone else? Am I all that he sees?”
On living in the Philippines: “We’re a hopeless country. Everyone here is a crook: the politicians, the police, there’s no one you can trust. People here are lazy and corrupt. There’s nothing to look forward to here.”
The Complainer is the eternal pessimist. He does not see the blessings he has in his life: a job that pays, a wife that cooks for him, the means to pay for restaurant food, a boss that believes in him and a beautiful country with wonderful people.
You know who they are in your social media community. They rant about every little thing every 5 minutes or so. They’ll go out of their way to photograph an extreme event; such as waiting in line at a supermarket, and write about it as if it was the worst place on earth.
Meanwhile right outside the same supermarket, homeless children are waiting for some compassionate soul to give them food and drink; necessities that Mr. Complainer regularly takes for granted.
If a Complainer saw you give money to the homeless child, he would say, “What is wrong with you? Don’t give them money! They are part of a syndicate!”
Just like the Negative, the Complainer will drain you of valuable energy. If you want your days to remain sunny, get this person out of your life.
6. The Arrogant
Do you have anyone in your life who feels the world should bow before him? This person is the Arrogant. He somehow feels entitled. Instead of paying forward the blessings and good fortune he has received, he would rather abuse it to spite other people.
A friend shared this disheartening conversation he had with a relative who was an Arrogant:
“So one day, I was sitting inside my car… you know, the white Mercedes? I had just come from lunch at (name of expensive fine dining restaurant) and was so full. My chauffeur found us stuck in traffic. This beggar comes to my side of the car and asks for money. So I bring out my leftover food… and ate it in front of him! Hahaha! You should have seen his face! It was funny.”
The first thought in my head was, “People like this actually exist?”
The Arrogant should be called another name: “The Insecure” because that is who or what he/she is. They need validation to feel special. They feed on the admiration of others. Their circle is filled with enablers. They have no true friends. To them, true power can impose their will on others.
The Arrogant is one toxic person you should keep out of your life.
7. The Fair-Weathered Friend
Did you have someone from your past just show up or connects from out of nowhere and acts as if seeing you again is like coming across the water in a desert?
It must have been 10-20 years since you last saw each other. He or she never returned your calls or messages. Then all of a sudden he or she wants to re-connect and re-live old times.
It feels good, right? Until a few days later you get this message:
“Hi! I hope you’re doing great! I know it’s been awhile since we last had coffee (insert smiley face). I don’t want to come across too strong, but I have no one to turn to. Can you lend me 50,000 Pesos? I just need to fund a check I issued two days ago. I’m a supplier for several large retailers, but they haven’t paid me on time. But my credit is good (insert smiley face). I’ll pay you once I’m able to collect. Thanks again and let’s have that coffee soon!”
You do know you’ll probably end up paying for that cup of coffee too.
The Fair Weathered Friend is someone who likes to manipulate people. They present a sunny disposition and acts as if you’re his brother or sister. They will pull other tricks such as alluding to some event in the past where he came to your aid when you needed it. It may have been nothing but his gift of gab will make it seem as if he saved your life.
The Fair Weathered Friend will use and abuse you. He or she has no place in your life.
8. The Gossip Mongers
This is going to be easy. All of us have that person in our life who enjoys nothing but spread “hearsay”, “rumors” and “untruths”. This person is the Gossip Monger.
For Gossip Mongers, gossip is a drug. It gives them an absolute high.
When the Gossip Monger hears an unconfirmed story, his mind starts to rationalize it as a possible truth because he cannot resist telling others about it. Why? Because spreading rumors and gossip makes him the center of attention. It makes people gravitate toward him.
The Gossip Monger is a person who craves attention because he or she is good at nothing else in life. He or she offers no value; no skill or competence that makes him stand out from the rest.
So, to raise himself up, he destroys others.
Look at the showbiz industry. Gossip mongers run it. The Gossip Mongers try to destroy celebrities by spreading malicious rumors, so they can sell more advertising slots, more magazine publications and gain more influence.
But the celebrities allow themselves to be subject to public humiliation because it raises their stature; even at the expense of their family name. In showbiz, any press is good press. I like to define the showbiz industry as having a parasitic relationship.
If you’re not in showbiz, dump the Gossip Monger. This person is particularly destructive in a company.
9. The Liar
Outside of newly born babies, everyone is a liar. Every person on this earth at one point in his or her life has told a lie. There are no “white lies”; a lie is a lie.
Thus, all of us have liars in our circle of family and friends. But what makes a person “The Liar”? They are the types of people who will lie at every opportunity to put themselves ahead of others. They will make up the most outrageous stories and make it sound like it happened yesterday.
He will not allow anyone to upstage him. The Liar chooses his victims like a predator stalks his prey. He will find someone gullible. Usually, a new acquaintance who knows nothing about him. He does this to impress people because like most of the toxic people in this list, he hasn’t accomplished anything in his life that is worth mentioning.
He lies at work to get ahead of others much like the Gossip Monger. He is the person who will take credit for what you have done.
The Liar is someone who wants to get everything he wants in life, even at the expense of his relationships. To them, a relationship is nothing but a bridge to get something they want.
This toxic type of person is very dangerous and should be kept out of your life.
10. The Chameleon
Do you have someone in your life who greets you with the warmest smile and tightest hug only to find out he tore you to shreds to other people? This is the Chameleon.
It is similar to the Liar, but they only present the side that they want people to see. Their game is more cunning because their intent is more deliberate.
If the Liar scopes out his prey, the Chameleon is more methodical and strategic. The Chameleons will research and try to find out everything they can about you so they can gain your trust.
By the time you meet him, he has metamorphosed into the friend you’d like to have in your life.
The Chameleon is a scammer. He will work hard to gain your respect. Once he has this, there is nothing he won’t say that you wouldn’t do.
Why do you think so many people have fallen prey to unethical pyramiding and multi-level marketing schemes?
When I read stories of people selling their land, mortgaging their homes or using their children’s tuition money to invest millions of pesos to a person they just met I just have to scratch my head and ask out loud:
The Chameleon also thrives on the Internet. They lurk in social media waiting for an opening to connect with you. And when they do, they’ll slowly work their way to winning your trust. I’m sure you’ve heard of people being victimized by someone they met online.
The Chameleon finds your weakness and uses it against you for their personal gain. The Chameleon is a toxic person you should keep out of your life if you don’t want to experience big problems in the future.
Related: What You Should Know About Multilevel Marketing and Networking, and How to Avoid Ponzi Schemes
Don’t let toxic people infect you
The truth is all of us share these very same characteristics. Perhaps not all of these features, but surely we’ve been negative, showed off, complained, become arrogant, manipulated others, spread gossip and lied. We’re all human after all, and this is part of human nature.
We are flawed, imperfect creatures capable of making mistakes. But our very frailty makes us beautiful because it allows us to become better and wiser.
The problem with toxic people is that they let their frailties define who they are. They have embraced it to the point that it has consumed them. A toxin is a free-radical that changes the component of your DNA. They have, in effect, become the toxin.
If you let these people in your life, they will consume you. They will infect you until you are one of them. If you want to succeed and find peace, love and harmony, get these ten toxic types of people out of your life.