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Know your unfriendly friends

We often think that everyone around us with a smiling face has a balanced and well settled life; that they are well-adjusted, happy and healthy…

We often think that everyone around us with a smiling face has a balanced and well settled life; that they are well-adjusted, happy and healthy minded individuals only to find out later that it is not exactly as we thought.

If you have an easy way to get this person entirely out of your life, you’ll be better off instantly. Mind you, it is not by extermination, please. Of course, often it is not so easy, when the toxic person is a co-worker or family member or even a long-time friend.

In their article, Toxic people: What They Are and Why to Avoid The Kimberly Read & Marcia Purse said, “With family members and friends, it may be more difficult. A seriously toxic friend may require that you gradually decrease the time you spend with this person over a period of months so it isn’t particularly noticeable. When the toxic person is a family member, it may be possible to get the person into therapy, which is often needed to solve the underlying issue behind the negativity. If not, you need to train yourself to “tune out” when the complaining, fault-finding and energy-draining behavior starts.”

According to Brett Blumenthal, founder of Sheer Balance, a media company dedicated to health and well being, “Personally, I’ve had moments where I’ll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and bang, 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 and other times, not so much.”

You may be a positive person but if you surround yourself with individuals who impact you negatively, you are likely to start feeling that way. You may also take pride in being absolutely independent and in charge of your affairs, but when you are around a certain person, you are likely to regress into a state of immaturity and unreliability.

Kill joys are all over the place. 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.

Lie telling is an art for many people and you don’t want such around you. 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 response.  You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.

You need to watch out for manipulative people who are experts at manipulation tactics.  It’s 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.

Also there are those who have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them.  They are often not as sly as the manipulative ones, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met.  You are sometimes tempted to ask, ‘why is it always about you?’

Some can’t do without passing negative judgments.  When you see things as cute and perfect as can be, they see them 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.

There are others who 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.

You need people around you who can respect your views and ideas. 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 busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business.  Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.

No matter how much you give or what you do, there are individuals who believe you never do enough.  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.

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