The world is full of many types of people. There are those who sustain you through hard times and applaud you in good times. And then there are the noxious people, the ones who tear you down, who seem to poison even the best of circumstances.
Toxic people are corrosive. They rob you of happiness and contentment by manipulating you, constantly making you second guess yourself or question if you are good enough. Even minimal interaction with a negative person can undermine your performance, achievement and level of satisfaction.
Don’t allow negative people to demoralize, devalue or corrupt you. You must find a way to banish or bypass these eight toxic personalities to free yourself to succeed.
1. The manipulator.
These are the people always using others as a means to accomplish their goals. They are well-versed social puppeteers who know how to take advantage of people emotionally, physically, psychologically and even financially.
Manipulators are dangerously focused on exploiting those around them. They may pretend to care about you to gain your trust. They may even offer to help you out -- when it also benefits them. But they aren’t there out of a sense of benevolence or compassion. They know what they want, and while it’s possible they care about you in their own twisted way, they are happy to exploit you to get what they desire.
2. The constant critic.
These chronic complainers all have the same bad habit: they are never satisfied and thrive on telling others how bad they have it. Not only is the glass half empty, but there is a smudge on the rim.
They have a permanently pessimistic mindset, and will try to cut down everyone around them. Give them a silver lining, and they will expertly pick it apart until they find the negative. Even your best intentions will never satisfy them more than momentarily.
Think of critics as leeches: if you spend too much time with them, they will suck the joy out of you. Don’t try to convince them things aren’t so bad, and never offer them advice. Just nod and smile, stay out of their way and move on as quickly as possible.
3. The hater.
Do you have that one friend who always appears just when things start sliding downhill and begrudges acknowledging your achievements when you turn things? It’s almost as if they thrive on your misfortune. These are the jealous, green-eyed haters who are uncomfortable when you are praised. They’re angry if they aren’t consulted but habitually discredit your ideas and interests when they are.
They may say they support you, but really they are consumed by envy and feel frustrated that people don’t recognize how deserving they are. They believe that they were a hair’s breadth from success when it was snatched away.
Don’t let haters minimize your accomplishments. Remember, true friends are happy for your good fortune.
Related: 10 Ways Smart People Stay Calm
4. The martyr.
These perpetual victims attribute their failings and misfortunes to everyone around them. They are never to blame and never take responsibility for their actions.
Having a victim mindset means they habitually see themselves as powerless against circumstances and worry the world may be conspiring against them. They truly believe that they are always getting the raw end of the deal.
They seem resigned to their fate and powerless to change it, but they are never answerable for their own life choices. This personality type burrows into their comfort zone while seeking attention and sympathy from those around them. They often feel sorry for themselves and hold grudges. It will take a great deal of personal growth before they recognize that they are accountable for their own actions.
5. The judge and jury.
We all have biases and inclinations, but the person who acts as judge and jury to those around them sees everything in black and white. You are either in the right or in the wrong, and there is no room for alternating viewpoints or opinions.
This personality type has a righteous mindset. They impose a moral rating system skewed in their favor onto everyone around them. If you aren’t like them, or aren’t with them, then you are against them and in the wrong.
They make snap judgments about other people’s morality and integrity, often believing the worst rather than the best. But above all, the judgmental person enjoys making harsh judgments against those who disagree with them or fall short of the moral high ground they are sure they hold.
6. The emotional rollercoaster.
This person is constantly on full-throttle emotion, with their anger meter is usually in or nearing the red. They seem incapable of controlling their emotions and often lash out at the people around them. They are impatient and have low tolerance for any obstacle that comes into their path or any person they perceive as imposing on them. They will heap anger on undeserving people who just happen to be around them.
This type of person may work in a high-stress job, which only inflames their anger. It often seems that their emotions are conspiring against them. Their frustration and animosity accumulate until they explode in a burst of acrimony that damages the emotional well-being of those around them. Even if they are truly apologetic afterward, they are likely to repeat the process barring successful anger-management courses.
7. The egomaniac.
This personality type is a self-focused narcissist who cares about him or herself and little else. They exude an air of arrogance and are overly self-confident. While they are using you to get ahead, they truly believe that they know more than anyone else and are more proficient and adept than those around them.
If they are in a position of power, they will dismiss or undermine anyone who stands in their way. Deep down, their pompous attitude and narcissistic mindset is hiding their insecurities, but they will never let anyone become close enough to them to see that. They will hold everyone at arm's length, while simultaneously demanding their fidelity. Egomaniacs are nuclear meltdowns of toxicity, and nothing good will come from a relationship with them.
8. The scandalmonger.
The gossip is one of the most common personality types found in office environments worldwide. They love to spread rumors and then sit back and watch the fireworks as their handiwork creates interoffice strife and irritation.
The office gossip is always in the know. They have a way of picking up on the juiciest scandals through chitchat, and have an ear for what is buzzing around the office (or the post-work hangout). They feed off the drama they create; being in the know gives them a feeling of self-importance. Slinging scuttlebutt puts a swagger in their step and gets them the attention they crave.
Talking about other people deflects attention from their own shortcomings. They may also have the misguided belief that blathering about other people’s business will help them connect to others and feel more plugged in to the group. Instead, they often become the office pariah because nobody wants to get near them. Take a hint and stay clear.