There are all kinds of people in the world, and for the most part, diversity is a good thing. After all, how boring would the world be if everyone were the same? We all have our differences, and we all need to be tolerant of others’ unique personalities. Until and unless, those other personalities infringe on us, or our state of being. I’m talking about those people who—intentionally or not—cause us to feel a certain negative way, or act in ways that are not in accordance with our own value system. These are personality types that have the potential to sabotage our growth and our self-esteem. They should be avoided at all cost.
The Victim is the person to whom everything bad always happens. It’s never their fault, though. In their eyes, everyone else is always picking on them, and they are never, ever to blame. The Victim walks around with a self-righteous chip on their shoulder, feeling somehow secure in the knowledge that no one can blame them for feeling glum.
Beware the Victim personality. When something goes wrong in the room—and it will—it won’t be the Victim’s fault. That leaves just one person to blame—you. You’ll be blamed from everything from the bad weather to the Internet outage, mark my words. Somehow, someway, The Victim finds a way not only to blame others, but also to make it look like they were personally attacked.
The Antisocial Loner
The Antisocial Loner is the person who doesn’t seem to need any outside human interaction at all. They will come up with an assortment of excuses for not wanting to socialize: crowds are too dangerous, people are just sheep, there’s no intelligent person left on Earth, they’re too busy doing their own thing, they don’t need the “trappings” of civilization, they enjoy being home, etc. The list goes on and on. There’s no problem with a person choosing to be an antisocial loner, until they force you to be one, too. When you’re with an Antisocial Loner for any length of time, you’ll notice your friends dropping off, one by one. Pretty soon, your own mother will start leaving frantic messages on your cell phone asking why you haven’t called her in six months and should she call the police.
You may not recognize the Antisocial Loner at first. If you just met someone and you’ve decided to hole up in his apartment for a marathon bed session, it will seem perfectly normal that the two of you haven’t set foot outdoors in four days. But eventually you’ll need to show up to work, and get back to a normal routine. When you notice that the Antisocial Loner doesn’t have a normal routine—that’s when it’s time to walk away for good.
The Underhander always has something nice to say—along with an underhanded insult. The Underhander is very exceptionally clever, because they always disguise their insults and zingers with a wrapping of sugary-sweet niceties. They may say, “Oh, you look so beautiful today! I almost didn’t recognize you!” Zing! Or how about this one: “Gosh, your daughter must be a really good eater!” Zing! That’s a great dress you’re wearing! I almost bought one just like it a few years ago.” Zing!
It’s impossible to get ahead with the Underhander tossing underhanded insults at you like this. You’d look like a crazy person if you take offense at someone telling you how beautiful you look, or how much they like your dress, right? And yet, the zingers will haunt you in bed at night while you’re trying to get some sleep.
Like I mentioned, there are lots of different personality types in the world. Most of them are quite lovely and interesting. Life is too short to spend with toxic personality types. Disassociate yourselves from those who drain you or make you feel bad. Surround yourself with people who don’t feel the need to keep you down.
This post was inspired by the book, “Emotional Vampires,” by Albert Bernstein.