Since Spring has finally sprung, it’s time to do a little spring cleaning. And what better place to start than with the people in your life?
This has been something I try to do each year. While it’s not always easy, it’s necessary for me to become more successful at the many tasks I have to complete in my life.
Whether it’s a family member, friend, or colleague, there are certain people in your life that you need to avoid, or at least limit your time with. I’m not saying you have to become a loner. But you should reevaluate your relationships if you want to become successful. Remember, emotions — both good and bad — are contagious. You are a mix of your five closest friends.
Keep in mind, this isn’t meant to be heartless (though it may feel that way at times), but to build you up in the long term.
What kinds of people should you avoid? Here are nine of the most toxic personalities.
1. The perpetual victim.
This is the person why blames others for their failures or shortcomings and believes they weren’t afforded the same opportunities. Even worse? They never hold themselves accountable for their lack of success and always have excuses.
Being around this type of negative energy will only drag you down.
2. The downer.
You know who this individual is. It’s a beautiful sunny day, they just got paid, and they still have something to complain about — they’re getting sunburn or they pay too much in taxes. These types of people are emotionally draining. And, like perpetual victims, their negative energy will only stress you out.
3. The time sucker.
Have you been stuck in a conversation with someone who keeps talking and talking? At first, this may not seem like a bad deal, but these people are known as time suckers.
The problem with these people, even if they’re positive and upbeat, is that they’re taking up too much of your time. Instead of letting you get back to work, they keep you trapped in conversation. While I don’t cut these people out of my life, I tend to try and spend much less time with them.
4. The entitled.
These people don’t believe in hard work and sacrifice because they think their success should be given to them. This can be detrimental to your own motivation because: why should you hustle when they don’t? Additionally, entitled individuals have a knack for talking you out of your dreams and ambitions. I personally can’t stand these people and tend to run in the opposite direction whenever I spot one.
5. The control freak.
While there are times when you need to take the reigns of a project or situation, successful people realize they need the assistance of others to achieve their goals. But a control freak is set in his ways and unwilling to bend — even if that means making you miss a deadline or stay several hours after work to meet his demands. He’s bossy, manipulative, a perfectionist, obsessed with details, and he targets those who won’t stand up for themselves.
6. The critic.
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of criticism. But only if it’s constructive. After all, when done correctly, this type of feedback can help you correct a weakness. Constant criticism, on the other hand, is not healthy or helpful. As Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends/True Friends, explains, “Toxic friends stress you out, use you, are unreliable, are overly demanding, and don’t give anything back.”
7. The chronic liar.
“Lying is part and parcel of everyday life,” says Robert Feldman, PhD., professor of psychological and brain sciences and deputy chancellor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. But,when the lying gets out of control, it can become a problem.
Successful people surround themselves with people who are honest and provide truthful feedback. Even if it’s something you don’t want to hear, that honest feedback is more valuable than the lie, since it can help you correct a problem or negative habits that you’ve never noticed before.
8. The party animal.
Sure, spending a Saturday night with a party animal can be fun — occasionally. But party animals want to go out every night of the week, which means you wake up in the morning exhausted and hung over. How long do you think you can maintain that lifestyle?
If you want to remain productive and save a ton of money, limit your exposure to party animals. It’s cool to blow off some steam or celebrate once in awhile, but not every night.
9. The loser.
Brian Tracy one said, “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?'”
As a rule, successful people don’t associate themselves with losers. The reason? They can hold you back from reaching your full potential, damage your reputation, and bring out the worst in you. Instead, they surround themselves with people who are positive, hard-working, and push you to be your best.
At the same time, don’t confuse failing and being a failure. Those who fail move forward after learning from their mistakes, while being a failure means that you’re permanently in the same position.