Getting Rid of Toxic People

Toxic people! They’re the people who are ungrateful, who are notorious gossips, complainers, and whiners- the Negative Nancies and Debbie Downers of the world. Toxic people undermine your accomplishments and successes and stun you with backhanded compliments. In a nutshell, they suck the oxygen out of the room with their negativity and make you want to run for the nearest exit when you see them coming.

I can’t stress enough the importance of giving these happiness thieves the old heave-ho and the things it can do for your self-esteem.

As tweens, teens, even in our twenties, it is only natural that we all want to be liked, be cool, and be accepted by our peers. However, when you are a target of bullying, those wants can be hard to attain due to lies and rumors that bullies may spread to keep their victims isolated and alone.

You see? The last thing a bully wants is for anyone, and I mean ANYONE, to like you or want to be friends with you.

Often, bully targets will become desperate for friends- for any human connection with anyone their age. As a result, they may get involved with the wrong people-people who only tolerate them.

But because these new people in the target’s life are not directly abusing them (hitting, shouting, name-calling), the victim may mistake this as a friendship and latch on. Or they may feel that it’s the best they can do and there’s nothing better out there for them. But targets can do better. They just don’t know it.

And while the targets’ back is turned, his “new buddies” at school or at work are rolling their eyes and talking through their teeth. These people are no better than the bullies. They only feel sorry for the target.

These people are toxic. I understand that being alone is tough. I’ve been there. But wouldn’t you rather be alone than to crawl up behind people who only tolerate you? I know I would.

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Be selective of who you call “friend” because a smiling face does not a friend make. And anyone who makes you feel bad does not deserve the privilege of knowing you. So, get rid of them and fast!

You may be friendless for a time, but I promise you will meet new people and make friends. You are worth it! For now, just spend time with family and do the things you enjoy. Better people will be placed in your life when you least expect it.

It pays to be your own best friend.

Protecting Yourself from Bullying: Types of People You Should Avoid

One of the first steps in protecting yourself from bullying is to know what types of people you should avoid. And understand that trusting your feelings is also important as some people are experts at hiding their true intentions and some things just aren’t so obvious.

It’s a good thing that we all have a sixth sense and are able to sense the vibes and energy others put out. That can also work in our favor.

Here are the types of bad eggs to be aware of and avoid at all costs:

1. The gossip – this person is a walking tabloid. You’ll see and hear her talking trash about different people and you’ll notice she does it all the time. Many gossips will even talk about people they don’t know but have only heard about. They always seem to know everything about everyone- everything, short of their bathroom habits.

Know this! If they talk about others, they will talk about you too.

A closeup of a young beagle pup who is being nosey and doing some investigating. Shallow depth of field.

2. The bignose – this person is virulently nosy and should be considered a twin sister to the gossip because most gossips tend to be nosy. They consistently have their face in everyone’s business. You will often find them asking others personal questions, eavesdropping on conversations, eyeing people intensely, butting in, and inserting their cheap two-cents worth where it doesn’t belong.

 3. The two-face – An even closer sister of the gossip. These people pretend to be your friend but stab you in the back. The sad thing is that you’re usually the last to know. Again, if they’ll talk about somebody else…

Be careful what you share, not only with these people, but with anyone. Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want anyone to know.

Two words of advice. Steer clear!

4. The drama queen/king – This bad egg is a chronic complainer who always seems to have a problem for every solution. They are never happy and impossible to please. Moreover, this person also seems to have unending misfortune- bad break after bad break, back-to-back. Sure, we all have times when we must vent, and we all have bad luck at times. Perfectly normal. But when it’s constant, you have to wonder if the person is unknowingly bringing much of it on themselves somehow.

These people complain about everything and everybody. And they will complain about you too eventually. Bad moods have a way of spreading fast. So, if the person consistently dogs your mood, it’s best not to have anything to do with them. No one wants to be around a sad-sack nosebleed who whines constantly because, being around them can quickly become a drag.

Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.

More importantly, drama queens and kings also tend to be suspicious of people. They’re the type who think everyone is out to get them or everyone has ulterior motives. And if they think everyone is out to get them, they’ll think you’re out to get them too and they will get you before you get them.

Again, steer clear!

5. The passive-aggressive person – this person is sneaky and should be avoided as well because if they even think you’ve slighted them somehow, they’ll unless a rash of covert attacks- attacks you won’t even see coming until it’s too late. Also, if they have an agenda and you just happen to be standing in their way, look out! They will make your life a living hell. This person is to be avoided at all costs!

6. Anyone who puts out bad vibes. When we’re around some people we can sense that something is off about them, or we pick up on the vibes and energies they put out that doesn’t feel good or doesn’t feel quite right. Always listen to your gut feeling because vibrations don’t lie.

When it comes to bullying, many people, including me, have found out the hard way that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Save yourself years of trial and error and the heartache that goes with it. Avoid these people at all costs!

Observing the People Around You is So Important

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In life, we must always observe the goings-on around us. That means watching people and, most of all, being good at people-watching.

You cannot afford to walk around blindly. It would be best if you watched people for a while before you connect with them. This isn’t cowardly. It’s smarts.

‘Not saying you should stare a hole through anyone. Little micro-glances and using your peripheral vision is enough and will tell you a lot about the kinds of personalities that surround you.

Also, listen carefully to everything and every word spoken around you. Most of all, listen to your gut instinct. Pay attention to the vibes people put out because energy never lies, and neither does your body. You always feel bad vibes in your body.

Just pay attention period. You’ll be surprised at how quickly and easily you pick out the bullies in an environment.

Watch how people carry themselves. Notice their facial expressions, their dispositions, the way they dress, their eyes, everything. Listen to the tone of their voices and how they talk. Pay attention to their posture.

Do this for about a month before attempting to get friendly, and you’ll know who to avoid. As a reminder, here are some red flags to watch out for.

1. Are they gossips? You’ll know a gossiper within five minutes when you observe one and overhear them talk. If you hear them talk about someone else, you can be sure they will talk about you too, just give them time. It’s best to avoid people such as these.

2. Are they nosey? These types of people will ask you a ton of questions, and they’re not ashamed to ask those that are personal. Understand that they’re not interested in you or your life. They’re only trying to get juicy information to spread about you later. Again, get away from these types. And don’t walk, run!

3. Are they aggressive? Don’t have anything to do with these types, especially! Because you’re likely to get hurt if you fall on their bad side. Why even take the chance? It isn’t worth it.

4. Are they clingy and desperate for human connection? Trust me. You want nothing to do with these types, either because they can be so annoying. Ewww! I realize that it’s what some people do when they’ve endured bullying and abuse, and my heart goes out to them. However, you must look out for yourself and put yourself first. It’s not that you don’t want to be friends with this person, and it’s not that you mean to hurt their feelings. But there’s a problem when a person wants to be right up under you all the time and doesn’t give you a little space to breathe.

Being observant of others around you can help you avoid many dangerous people and uncomfortable situations. Some might notice your distancing and say that you’re too quiet or anti-social, but in saying so before they get to know you, they only reveal themselves as possible gossips and troublemakers. So, all the better for you.

The more you know…

Gossips, Buttinskies, and Busybodies

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Whether it’s the nosy classmate who’s never short of personal and intimate questions about your private life, the workplace gossip who never shuts up and always seems to know your business before you do, or the spying neighbor across the street who forever peers through her window to spy on the neighbors outside, these kinds of people can be a real hemorrhoid to those of us who only want to be left alone and allowed to live our lives in peace.

I even had one woman ask me how much I got paid and how much I paid in rent or mortgage? I know. The nerve! Right?

After the shock wore off, I politely told her that she was getting too personal and that I didn’t share such private information with anyone, not even my family members. Oooeee! She didn’t like it.

These types often leave you shaking and scratching your head because you just can’t believe anyone would have the chutzpah. Especially if you were raised to mind your own business like I was.

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Understand that these people can be bullies too and their gossip, butting-in and having a constant nose stuck in your life can be a form of attempted control. Bullies will often ask you these kinds of questions to embarrass or humiliate you.
And anybody who openly asks you such questions has no respect for your privacy, and you should deal with them accordingly.

But! Because they can’t seem to control their own lives, they wish to control yours, even if it’s nothing more than to cause an annoyance or embarrassment.

Though the years, there was always that one neighbor who would sit on their porch all day and watch not only my house but the other houses in the neighborhood as well. So, on a good note, I can’t say that I was left out but was in good company with most of the other neighbors in my community.

Many of the others in the community weren’t short of complaints about the lady and we had a nickname for her- “Mrs. I-Spy.”

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Nevertheless, although I’d get annoyed by her a few times, I couldn’t get angry with her like many of the others. Mrs. I-Spy was disabled and could barely get around. All I could feel was bad for her because I knew she wasn’t a happy person. Who would be if their health were deteriorating to the point of barely able to perform activities of daily living? And home health was scarce back then.

And on the days when she couldn’t get outside, she’d have her grandchildren watch the neighbors then go back inside and give her a report of the goings-on in the others’ yards and the traffic in and out of their houses. It’s hilarious when I look back now.

I can honestly say that if there were a burglary or trouble nearby, she’d have been the first to see it and call the cops. So, there’s a silver lining to all this. Thank God for nosy neighbors because they do serve a great purpose!

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My classmates in high school, not so much. I had very little respect for them because most of them were nosy as hell! They would watch me closely and eavesdrop on any of my conversations. They always had an ear cocked. At Oakley High School, the walls had ears!

Always in my business, questioning me on things that were so trivial yet to them was a huge deal. They would even ask me the most personal and embarrassing questions.

“Have you started your period yet?”
“Are you a virgin?”
“How is your boyfriend in bed?”

These kinds of questions made me cringe! Naturally, it upset me back then and I’d only storm off. But if one of them had the audacity to do that today, I’d only laugh, make fun of and humiliate them. And I’d enjoy humiliating them.

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Hell! Today, I wish they would and give me the chance to show them I’m not as slow as I used to be and almost nothing shocks me anymore. Understand that when you’ve been bullied, you learn quick wit very quickly because it’s essential for survival.
I’ve known other adult survivors of school bullying and we’re the most quick-witted people in the bunch! We had to be!

With that said, you must realize that even in the adult world, you’re going to have people who have more nerve than a bad tooth- those who will pry into your business and openly ask you personal, even embarrassing questions. You might as well prepare for it now because they’re everywhere!

Nosey Beagle

A closeup of a young beagle pup who is being nosey and doing some investigating. Shallow depth of field.

Many of these people had parents who were the same way- mothers and grandmothers who would tell them to watch others and report back to them. I know this because of watching Mrs. I-Spy do the same many years ago. So, it’s safe to say that nosiness is a generational thing with many. About ninety percent of my classmates also came from nosy and overbearing families as did many coworkers I’ve worked with down through the years.

And it’s these kinds of people you should blow off and wave away like that pesky little fly that keeps buzzing around your face.

Don’t get angry with them. Just shake your head and pity them. Because it’s those types who really need to get a life and often don’t have one. Or, if you’re a smartass like I am, take the opportunity to have a little fun with the person- catch it, throw it back at them and shame them with it.

And why not? They asked for it.

Bullies Are Notorious for Making Snap Judgements

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If you’re a target of bullying, you often wonder why bullies and their followers make snap judgments about you before getting to know you or before seeing any evidence and getting the facts. You may also wonder why your classmates automatically believe rumors and lies about you, especially rumors and lies that sound completely ridiculous.

I know how you feel. Some of the accusations my classmates accused me of were so absurd and ludicrous, that any sane person would’ve dismissed them outright. If you find yourself asking why your bullies and classmates fall for such foolishness, here’s your answer.

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Bullies don’t care what the facts are. Never are they concerned with the truth. Understand that these quick judgments are judgments that fit their agendas. The only agendas they have are to hurt you! Nothing else! And they will look for any justification and opportunity to do so.

People, especially bullies, don’t believe facts. They only think whatever feels good to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fact, opinion, or a complete falsehood.

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Here’s an example: A wife has a husband she loves dearly. The wife’s best friend sees the husband out with another woman and kissing her one Saturday night. So, the best friend informs the wife that her husband is cheating, only for the wife to get angry at the best friend and throw her out.

Even though the husband is, in fact, guilty of cheating and the BFF did witness him kissing the mistress, the wife doesn’t believe it because she doesn’t want to believe it. Therefore, it feels much better to assume that the BFF is jealous of her happy marriage and is trying to break them apart.

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Here’s another example: Pam hates Veronica. Pam is best friends with Cindy. Cindy befriends Veronica and finds out what a sweet and genuine person Veronica is. Later, she tells Pam that Veronica is not such a bad person, that she’s, in fact, a lovely and caring lady. Pam refuses to believe Cindy and only wants to believe the worst about Veronica.

Pam gets angry at Cindy for having anything to do with Veronica and accuses Cindy of betraying her (Pam). Pam now refuses to talk to Cindy.

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But understand that Pam only stops talking to Cindy to manipulate her into cutting ties with Veronica. Because of Pam’s blind hatred for Veronica, she refuses to believe that Veronica may, in fact, be a great friend if Pam ever got to know her.
Pam has VDS- Veronica Derangement Syndrome.

Again, bullies don’t care about facts or evidence. They want to believe the lies, and even worse, they want the lies to be true! Self-deception and willful blindness always feel better to bullies.

Ignorance is bliss, and unfortunately, bullies are some of the most blissful people on earth.

Let Them Talk

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Gossips are everywhere! Too many people worry needlessly about what people are saying about them. But here’s the thing, people talk. They’re going to have something to say about you until the day you die. Get used to it. Better, yet embrace it! Love it!

Here’s Why:

1. When people talk about you, they make you relevant! Good or bad, it means you’re an exciting topic- you’re not dull. Remember that it’s much better to be good or bad then to be boring.

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2. When people engage in petty gossip about you, it means that they can’t get you off their minds. Somehow, someway, positive or negative, you’ve made an impact on them. You’ve stirred emotions up in them.

3. When people talk about you, it means they don’t have lives of their own and are obsessed with yours, which means your life must be more exciting than theirs.

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4. When people talk behind your back, they reveal much more about themselves than they do you. Remember the old proverb, “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and Small minds discuss people.”

5. When people can’t shut up about you, you’re the one who’s in control of them. Because you occupy a large amount of space in their minds, you’ve affected them profoundly and with little or no effort.

Business man not listening to nonsense

Businessman not listening to nonsense

Businessman not listening to nonsense

6. The people who blab about you expend a lot of their energy on you while you get to save yours. They’re thinking of you without getting so much as a thought from you.

7. When you’re the topic of others’ discussions, it means that they’re your fans, only they don’t know it.

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8. In a nutshell, when people can’t stop running their mouths about you, it only means that you have a tremendous amount of power over them and you didn’t have to make an effort to get that power! Yay, you!

So don’t give their talk any validation by reacting. Just sit back and be amused by the talkers, provided it’s just petty gossip and not defamation. I’ll distinguish between the two in a future post.