How to Identify and Reorganize the Toxic People in Your Life.

Jul 22, 2020

We all have them in our lives – toxic people. People that don’t drive us forward, don’t support our triumphs, aren’t there to pick us up when we fall. Toxic people can come in the form of a good friend, a family member, and even a spouse (or in some cases an ex-spouse). But when it’s not obvious, how do you figure out where people fit into your life?

I am a firm believer that everyone’s life is a series of chapters – some more obvious than others. And in every chapter, you have people that influence you. Sometimes it’s a good influence and you thrive and grow in their presence, become a better person. But what if a person lifts you up in one chapter of your life but suppresses you in another. How do you know when that’s happening and what do you do about it?

Vanessa Van Edwards from the Science of People website identifies 7 Types of Toxic People:

The Conversational Narcissist – the people that love to talk more about themselves then lets you talk

The Strait Jacket – the one who wants to control your life for you

The Emotional Moocher – Or as I would like to call the “Negative Nancy’s” that suck the positivity right out of you with their constant complaining

The Drama Magnet – This person lights one problem from the other and creates “chain-problems”

The JJ – The jealous-judgemental person that have so much self-hate that it's so hard for them to be happy for others

The Fibber – Dishonesty is draining

The Tank – Like the Conversational Narcissist, the Tank love to hear themselves talk, but the difference with them is that they will listen to you but then top your opinion with theirs – which is always right

I would like to add an 8th toxic person to this list and that is the Quiet Deflector.

The Quiet Deflector – This is the person that you pour your heart out to, you tell them everything, but what you get back is only crickets. You get absolutely nothing from them. This personality drains you in a one-sided relationship that it feels just like talking to yourself (although in some ways talking to yourself might be better as you can talk back!).

You deserve to have wonderful, supportive, and loving people in your life – ones that help you to lead your best life.

So what if one of these toxic people is an important part of your life like an old friend, a spouse, or a family member? What if you aren’t ready to fire them or let them go?

Then it’s time to reorganize them.

Start with creating Your Support Network. Download this Free worksheet that will help you with the process.

Identify and write down the people in your life and what their purpose or influence is. By becoming more aware as to their role in your life you are able to align them with their purpose or in some cases fire them right out of your life.

You might have a friend who is the one person that you know will ensure you have a fabulous, unforgettable night out, but who is a real JJ. Limit your interactions with that person to situations that bring you joy. For example, this person would make sure you danced and laughed all night long, but they would not be a person I would turn to for advice on growing or starting a business because they would secretly not want to see you succeed.

You might have a friend who is kind and generous, thoughtful, and caring but is a Quiet Deflector. Not a person that you would turn to if you were needing someone to talk to and to work through your feelings with (a mirror might be just as good).

Your job is not to change these people in your life (that in itself can place you in a frustrating, negative and sometimes dark place). Your job is to change how you react to them and the role you give them in your life. And sometimes, when they are particularly toxic, you need to remove them – immediately!

You deserve to live your best life!


Next Steps:

After you have completed the Your Support Network Worksheet, I highly recommend you read The Work of Byron Katie and familiarize yourself with the Practice. This free downloadable worksheet will help guide you to change the way that you react to people in your life.

“Every time you do The Work you are becoming enlightened to who and what you are, the true nature of being. To question what you believe is an amazing gift to give yourself, and you can have it all the days of your life. The answers are always inside you, just waiting to be heard.”

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