Leadership Blog

Avoid Those Who Hold You Back!

6 Toxic People You Should Avoid

June 04, 20244 min read

You have probably read that “you are greatly shaped by the 5 closest people to you.” Some people even state it more directly: “you are a combination of the 5 closest people to you.” If this statement is true, then choosing your companions is something you should do wisely.

What kind of influencers should you allow in your life? What kind of people should you avoid? It is easy not to give much thought to either of these questions. Both are important. Today, I want to focus on people whom you should avoid or with whom you should limit your time.

This doesn’t mean you don’t try to help people. You just recognize that some people “have issues” that require you to keep them at “arm’s distance.” Learn how to limit how much you allow these 6 kinds of people to impact your life!

Decorative LineLimit your time with wounded people

Wounded people are hurt. They are usually angry and caustic. Their trust level is low, and they are very critical of others. They are “fault-finders.” They create a negative atmosphere that weighs you down.

This doesn’t mean you don’t try to help wounded people. You just limit their influence in your life. Direct them to a counselor or advisor who can assist them in working through their issues, but don’t allow them to directly impact your life.

If you allow them to get too close, you will find yourself thinking like they think, reacting like they react, and regularly being offended towards others. They are emotionally unhealthy, and they will create emotional instability and hostility in your life.

Limit your time with negative people

Negative people look for problems everywhere. They are “cup-half-empty” thinkers. Rather than embracing assets, they see liabilities. They are “stuck” in their lives and unable to move forward. They also prevent others from moving forward.

Almost everyone knows negative people. They are constantly complaining about people or circumstances but do nothing to improve their situation. They are “fault-finders.”

Spending time with a negative person weighs you down and limits your ability to overcome obstacles or challenges in life. Don't adopt their “victim-mentality.”

Limit your time with strongly-opinionated people

Strongly-opinionated people seek to control their world and your world. They have opinions about everything. They are poor listeners and expressive talkers. They discourage others. They do not allow others to have an opinion, unless it agrees with their ideas.

Spending time with strongly opinionated people will create an “inner voice” that shapes how you think and approach life. You “hear their opinions” in your head so loudly that they drown out other voices who could help you.

Some people grow up with a dominant parent or friend. That person greatly shapes their lives.  To overcome the dominance of that person requires you to retrain your brain to think differently. Doing so is not easy.

Limit your time with unimaginative people

Unimaginative people do not think beyond their present circumstances. It’s not that they do not have the ability to do so. They just limit the way they look at life. They have allowed their imagination to grow dull or dim.

Sharing your ideas or aspirations with an unimaginative person will bring out the “rain clouds.” He or she will “rain on your party.”  Everyone has dreams or desires. It’s important to share them with people who can help you make things happen, rather than tell you why they will never happen.

This doesn’t mean that you do not allow people to evaluate your thoughts or desires. However, being around unimaginative people limits your ability to move forward. They cannot see beyond where you are. Neither will they allow you to do so. They are limiting people who will limit your life.

Limit your time with lazy people

Lazy people fail to take action. Their inaction doesn’t have to do with ability, it exposes their lack of character. They look for “the easy way out.” They do not desire to put forth the necessary labor or work to overcome their situation.

Avoid or limit your time with people who lack healthy ambition. Certainly, there are people who are overly-ambitious. We tend to see them as people who are selfish or proud. However, people who are lazy are also selfish. Their selfishness is at the opposite end of the spectrum. They too are self-focused.

People who spend energy and effort to get out of work will impact your thinking, effort, and accomplishments in life. Make sure to limit your time with them.

Limit your time with draining people

Draining people pull you down. They have demands that are difficult to satisfy. Because they are needy, their focus is on themselves.  They have limited ability to support, encourage, or help others.

There is enough drama in life without choosing to be around people who create it. Draining people create drama, even when it is not present. 

Draining people take but rarely give. They can’t. They have created an illusionary world that sucks everyone and everything into it. They will deplete your energy and resources.

Have you given much thought to the people you are allowing in your life? Do they help or hurt you? You may want to help or encourage them, but limit your time with them. Being too close or spending too much time greatly impacts your life in a negative way. So, choose your companions wisely!

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