Success is in the eye of the beholder. Wherever you want to be, your path will differ from somebody else’s.
But every journey comes to its conclusion through the characters that accompany you. So, who are the people you don’t want by your side?
Here are the types of people who will drag you down at every turn.
1) The gossip shop
Tearing people down is a sport to some people. Although some gossip is harmless, much of it isn’t. According to one study, criticism has five times the power of compliments.
In other words, people who gossip about others will soon begin gossiping about you. The last thing anyone wants is for one of their inner circle to talk about them behind their backs.
2) The self-destructive
We all make terrible choices in life. What defines us is how we deal with those choices.
For example, during the era of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I, like many others, drank too much and binged on fast food. But I don’t blame COVID-19 for that. I blame myself because these were my choices.
You can work with that. But the hopelessly self-destructive who destroy themselves while blaming anything and everything will only drag you down.
After all, what’s the point in taking the time to support someone who refuses to do anything about the problem?
3) The conversation hog
One study revealed that 39% of Americans class themselves as introverts. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, it’s natural that not every interaction is finely poised.
However, if the only topic of conversation is themselves, that’s a massive red flag. If someone doesn’t ask about your life and shows little interest, this isn’t a friendship. This is called therapy, and unless you’re being paid by the hour, kick this conversational narcissist to the curb.
And here’s another character you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.
4) The emotional vampire
No, they’re not going to suck your blood like Dracula. At least Dracula seems like a pretty chill guy to hang out with. In contrast, the emotional vampire will suck every last drop of motivation and enthusiasm.
Whether it’s constant gossip, whining about problems they do nothing about, or talking trash about anything and everything, any interaction will leave you heading for a nap.
Need to avoid this problem? Ask yourself whether someone provides value to your relationship.
5) The walking selfie
There’s a big difference between Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor, and Leonardo DiCaprio, the man. In his case, there’s a reason for that. But that’s not normal for most people.
The walking selfie is the person who’s always shiny. Everything is perfect, filtered, and curated. The one thing that can ruin their day is transparency.
Walking selfies are incapable of opening up or showing any vulnerability. They’ll play personas in an elaborate game of keep-away to stop anyone from understanding who they really are.
And that’s a problem because you cannot fully trust these personalities.
6) The green monster
Humans come in various skin colors, but these characters only come in green. They want what you have because envy is their favorite of the Seven Deadly Sins.
They’re permanently jealous, whether it’s charm, wit, intelligence, job, partner, or even the latest gaming rig.
And it’s not because what they have is worse. They’re not aspiring to be you as a peasant looks at a billionaire. What makes them monstrous is that they only want the thing because you have the thing.
Read on for another character whose traits you might find in this one.
7) The human low-blow
Competition is a natural part of life. But if you’re in the office and you’re being undermined at every turn, do you want that person in your life?
Think of the movie The Dictator. Sasha Baren Cohen’s Aladeen begins a sprint race by shooting all his competitors at the starting line. That’s what interacting with these people is like because they won’t play fair.
8) The one-horse racer
I once knew a man who considered everybody to be the competition. Was he an NFL player? No. Was he an aspiring Olympian? No. Was he even a high school track star? No.
He was a man like any other, but he would create these odd games in his head where he competed with everybody in everything.
The only problem was that he was the only one playing.
And you don’t need to be a genius to work out that this person won’t take any of your successes well. It’s probably best to opt out of this game!
9) The leech
Leeches are much like emotional vampires in that they will suck you dry. But the leech doesn’t do it emotionally. Instead, they do it physically.
Every corporate office in the land is filled with these personality types. Whether it’s the ass kisser, the suck-up, or the one with scuffs on their knees, leeches are only there for what they can get out of it.
For example, if you’re personal friends with their boss, don’t be surprised if people want to be your friend so that they can win some clout with the Big Boss Man.
If this doesn’t sound like your thing, it’s time to pour salt on these characters.
10) The prophet of doom
In my opinion, one of the things that makes a good friend is that they’re your biggest cheerleader when you need it most.
Well, the prophet of doom is on the opposite side of the equation. These doomsayers will slam any idea or spark of inspiration you have.
Nothing kills motivation like a doomsayer.
11) The raging drunk
Falling down and getting smashed at parties is a consequence of a great night out. Still, it’s not the ambition or the goal.
But even post-30, you still have those who treat any dinner party like a meeting of their college fraternity. They’ll ruin everything, fall down, start fights, and, of course, get everyone else wasted.
Maybe they’re fun to be around, but they’re always trouble. Now, here’s a type of person you may have heard of.
12) The mansplainer
Mansplaining is something everyone has heard of. According to the New York Post, women are on the receiving end of mansplaining six times per week at work.
But it would be unfair to say this is an exclusively male problem. Really, the mansplainer personality type is nothing more than someone who speaks as an expert on every subject. And, no, you didn’t ask.
Perhaps a better term would be the Cult of Dunning-Kruger.
13) The calmer downer
Never in the history of human endeavor has anyone calmed down successfully when being told to “Calm down!” but that’s not what this person is.
The problem with the Calm Down Crew is that it always comes across as condescending. They’re making light of your problems at every opportunity, dismissing how you’re feeling.
Good friends will never deny or belittle your feelings. So if you’re constantly being told to “Calm down,” or “First world problems.” is a common phrase in your circle, it’s time to exit stage left.
Now, here’s another personality type you should always maintain twenty paces from.
14) The self-saboteur
Wait, haven’t we already talked about self-destructive habits? We have, but there are several types of self-destructive personalities to be aware of.
The hopeless self-destructor is unwilling to do anything about their problems when confronted.
The self-saboteur is someone who tries and consistently fails. Substance abuse issues often characterize them, and they may even have anger problems.
So, they want to improve their lives, but something always happens. That’s why you may want to take a second before dumping these people. Just handle them with care because it’s easy to become collateral.
Now, here’s an example of perhaps the worst person of all.
15) The backstabber
I mean, does this one really need any explanation?
If someone is actively trying to betray you – or already has – there’s zero reason to keep them in your life.
16) The dead weight
Doorstops and paperweights are examples of dead weight. Those types of dead weight are helpful, but the human equivalent is not.
Think back to group assignments in school. The deadweight is the one who didn’t do anything but still got full credit.
If someone never contributes but is highly accomplished, they’re weighing you down. It’s time to slash the rope and let them fall.
People make the path
Bad people turn an even path into a treacherous one. Good people are the ones who’re always on hand with snacks and supplies when the going gets tough.
As with your romantic entanglements, the people you choose can make life easier or harder. Reflect on your current circle of friends and acquaintances and consider whether they’re taking advantage of you.
Think about the value they bring to the relationship. If they’re harming more than they’re helping, it’s time to leave them behind.