3 Simple Warning Signs About the Company You Keep (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 236)
“Don’t waste another minute dealing with a toxic, negative, energy-draining person. Some people are wired for negativity. They love being argumentative, combative and abusive. Run for your life as quickly as possible.”
— Les Brown
The old adage, “It is better to be alone than in bad company” remains true today. It doesn’t mean you have to be a loner. But it does mean your life will be much better if you surround yourself with good people who have good character, positive words, competent work ethics, and beautiful spirits. As a person, you will be largely defined by the company you choose to keep. A productive future isn’t in the cards for you if you waste your time around people who do not edify you, encourage you, and empower you to improve. Sometimes we meet people by chance or coincidence. Other times, we encounter people by divine appointment. Luck sometimes pulls out a magic wand, sprinkles a little stardust and some charmer walks into our lives, for good or ill. But ultimately who you decide to let stay in your life and who you allow to leave is totally up to you.
Here are three signs the people around you are bad apples and you’re better off showing them the nearest exit:
1. They belittle your dreams and minimize your goals.
Each of us is largely defined, not by the work we do, but by the purpose we fulfill in life. If you allow other people to dictate what your dreams should be or to hinder you from reaching your goals and using your abilities to its maximum potential, you are enabling them to hold you back from living the life that only you can live. What you are able to achieve in life is not a reflection of other people. It depends on what you choose to spend your time and energy doing.
People are going to throw all kinds of expectations your way in an attempt to get you off track and make you believe things aren’t possible when they really are. Be reminded that most people who try to belittle your dreams and minimize the goals you have set for yourself are people who are going nowhere in life themselves. And because they are going nowhere, it is their greatest delight to help you get nowhere too. What you achieve will come from what you expect and work to achieve. Don’t worry about what other people think of your dreams. It’s your dream, your goal, your ability, not their’s.
2. They are uncontrollably jealous of who you are and what you have.
Let’s be honest: there are two types of jealousy in the world. There’s a good jealousy that motives other people to do better and to go farther in life. And there’s an evil jealousy that is vicious, destructive, and for some people, uncontrollable. If the people around you are motivated by your work ethic or your accomplishments and truly happy for your success, then great. But if someone around you is so jealous that what they really want more than having what you have is to take what you have from you, watch out.
Uncontrollable jealousy can tell a lot about how much a person dislikes you and wants to see you fail. In few cases, coming alongside them to lift their spirits can work wonders, but be careful that they do not drain you in the process. Many times, for people who have uncontrollable jealous spirits and attitudes, no amount of encouragement or help from you is going to make them feel better about who they are and what they can achieve. Jealous people find it hard to celebrate the success of other people. And strangely, if they were to achieve the same or similar level of success as the person they are jealous of, they wouldn’t be happy or fulfilled. So don’t let people’s jealousy make you feel bad about your accomplishments.
3. They spend most of their time projecting negativity.
Chronically negative people are negative about everything, to everyone, everyday of the year. So don’t take what they say so personally. Their negativity stems from their own inner issues and more often than not has nothing at all to do with you or about a present situation. You’ll find that such a person always sees what is bad even in a good situation. They always look for a way to spoil the fun at the party. They don’t make for very good business partners, for reliable group members, for loving friends, or for good marriage material. It takes a lot to be negative but people who are always in that negativity trap tend to stay there.
Although you don’t have control over the words or actions of other people, you do have control over whether you allow what they say and do to enter your heart and mind and take up residence there. If you feel like people are so negative that your existence around them is suffocating, you’re in a danger zone and need to make a quick exit to give yourself room to breathe. Negativity can be like a blood-sucking vampire. It will suck all the life out of you and one day you’ll wonder what happen to your old positive self. When you distance yourself from negative people, you will find yourself doing more positive things, thinking positively, and positively expanding your outlook on life.
“Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.”
— Robert Tew