Friday, March 22, 2013

The Big Girl's Guide to Identifying Toxic Personalities

The Big Girl Chronicles:  The Big Girl’s Guide to Identifying Toxic Personalities
True friendships are a true blessing.  It’s been said that if you have one true friend, you have one more than most.  And although I do believe that each person is capable of being a true friend, sometimes the quest to find personalities that mesh well to create the magic of true friendship manages instead to lead us into an ambush of personality disordered codependents or caught up in some paradox mistaken for a friendship.   Learning to identify what I’ve defined as toxic personalities early could save you some stress and help to attract, maintain and nurture friendships with people whom you are socially compatible.  Below are just a few that I’ve encountered and consider red flags.

The Boss

Unless you are extremely passive, you and this personality won’t have a fulfilling friendship.  This person thrives on dominating.  (S)he is only interested in control.  You just happen to be the person that (s)he feels  comfortable enough to dictate” who what when where and how” in your life.  (S)he will make it his or her business to convince you of who you are (somehow(s)he seems to know that better than you) and why you should probably do things as (s)he has suggested.

The “If You Ask Me”

We all know someone like this.  This person will more than likely volunteer his or her opinion because –  guess what?- nobody asked.  This opinionated person will rain on any plans, goals or accomplishments you make.   No matter what you do, it will never be good enough.  Minimizing your strengths and accomplishments while spotlighting mistakes and failures will have become an art.  Be cautious of spending time with this person because the energy (s)he creates could suppress your own.  If you ask me, you continue to listen to this person and you will more than likely begin to believe him or her.

The Leach

Is there nothing of yours that isn’t subject to borrowing or imitating or shadowing?  Not with a person like this in your life.  You’ll discover that this person isn’t an original human being, but more of a composite of others personalities or characteristics.  (S)he likely lacks direction and goals needed to manage his or her own life and therefore simply follows in another’s footsteps.  (S)he may not be a problem at all if you don’t mind looking up one day to find that you have a twin because (s)he has gone out and bought an exact replica of the brand new outfit you purchased.  Or you decide to tackle a new genre and coincidentally find him or her seated next to you in a seminar or class. 

The Trash Talker

Everyone entertains gossip on occasion.  And we all know one of those “go to” people to get updates on the latest in social happenings.  But if there’s this one person that always has something to say about someone else – and hardly anything good – you probably should tread lightly on your dealings with him or her.  The same way (s)he volunteers all the juicy details of another’s folly, you can be certain (s)he will make you that same ill-fated subject of conversation amongst others.

Many times I’ve found that the associations I’ve formed are a direct result of my attitude and stage of growth at the time we became friends.  It’s sad to say that as we mature, we sometimes outgrow who we’re friends with.  And although we don’t have to say goodbye, distancing ourselves from people that  always take but never give emotional and social support frees us up to find those qualities in another.  Take what you’ve learned about yourself from your experience with those friendships you’ve outgrown and apply that to forming new friendships that make you a better “you.”    

*always keep in mind that any person that limits your potential doesn't have your best interest at heart.

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