Have you been feeling worn out from basic social interactions lately?
As humans we naturally crave relationships which help us connect with those around us to build support, inspiration, care and companionship. This is true whether in business, at work or in your personal circles.
However as we journey through life and accumulate more and more of these relationships, we are bound to come across ones that are simply not healthy for us. We are all different after all, and cannot expect to be compatible with every person we meet. It’s perfectly normal to want to be liked by everyone, but when you’re juggling too many relationships and all the responsibilities that come with them, you will not only be overwhelmed but also risk losing yourself altogether.
If you’ve been consistently feeling uncomfortable around certain people, or completely worn out by certain relationships, it is probably time for a People Detox.
7 Types of People Who Drain Your Life Away
1. “Sorry I know it’s late notice but I can’t make it anymore” Type
This one is pretty straight forward, and probably most common. It’s that flakey person who:
- is always late; or
- always ‘plays it by ear’, refuses to plan ahead and confirms with you extremely last minute; or
- cancels on you last minute, even if the plan was made on the same day, the same hour even; or
- just doesn’t turn up, doesn’t pick up the phone, then when you finally get through the answer is ‘oh sorry I forgot!’; or
- all of the above
Hey assholes guess what, sorry does not get me back the time you wasted. What about all those other plans I turned down because you held up my schedule?
No, I’m not saying shut people down after they flake on you once, but if it’s a regular occurrence, then it is really time to rethink how much this person respects your time and how much you really should be giving. Nobody else’s time should be regarded as more important than yours.
2. “Can I get a discount?” Type
You know, it’s that person you met through some connection’s relative’s Christmas party five years ago. You managed to stay Facebook friends all these years, can’t say you’ve ever really talked or even liked each other’s posts.
“Hey you, how has it been! It’s been suuuuch a long time since we caught up! Hey I was just wondering… I know you’re working at x, can you get me mate’s rates? Oh and we should definitely catch up some time soon!”
No, shit head, mate’s rates are for mates, and why on earth would I catch up with you what would we even catch up ON?
If you notice people only contacting you when they want some financial, physical, emotional or even sexual benefit from you, it is absolutely okay to say no! Don’t ever feel obliged to give things away in fear of being talked badly about or losing a ‘friend’ – you don’t owe anyone anything and a true friend would stick around regardless!
3. “Let’s talk about me now” Type
This one is a tough one.
It’s usually someone close to you, or someone that confides in you, and as a good friend or partner or whatever the relationship may be, you always lend your ear to listen and your shoulder for them to cry on.
Then one day when the roles are reversed, you go to these people with your issues too. You start telling them, and just as you’re expecting some words of comfort or wisdom, suddenly the conversation has turned to be all about them again and it’s as if your own problems never even existed.
Some are able to skilfully transition the conversation with “Yes I totally get it, that’s like the time this happened to me…”, while some just completely ignore the conversation you started and start a new one altogether.
You should never be anyone’s punching bag. People who truly care about each other would be there for each other. I hear you saying “oh but we should always give without expecting anything in return” – yes, true! However if someone really cares about you they would naturally know when to be there for you, without you expecting.
Of course when one has their own issues to deal with it can be easy for them to miss what other people are going through. Perhaps try some not-so-subtle prompts, like “Hey I’m really not OK today, is it okay if we chat about it?”. If prompts like these don’t change anything and they’re persistently all about me-me-me, please GTFO before they suck all your positive energy (and time!) away.
4. “I’m All Good Now Kthxbye” Type
These people are generally the same people as Type 3.
They hang onto you for dear life when they are going through troubled times, spend pretty much every waking moment communicating with you in some shape or form, and you give your everything to be there for them and help them up.
One day, they suddenly disappear. Weeks later you see that they are now in a new relationship, or had a new job, or everything is fine and sunny and they no longer need you as their umbrella (ella ella ey ey). You never hear from them again… until their next low point.
It’s a vicious cycle, and from personal experience: it never ends until you walk out.
Just as you are not anyone’s punching bag, you are also not anyone’s floatation devices. If these people are taking up all your time when they need you to help them back up, and fucking off every time they are fine – they don’t genuinely care about you or your existence in their life. They were probably just lonely. Again, GTFO.
5. Drop Off The Grid Type
No, I’m not saying that everyone needs to be talking to you 24/7 – ain’t nobody got time for that! And there are always friends who you don’t talk to for a long time but when you do it’s like nothing ever kept you apart. That’s all cool.
But hey if you’re mid conversation with someone and they suddenly stop responding, something’s not right.
Fair enough if they are genuinely busy, but if this is happening regularly and you can see that they are active and socialising everywhere else except in your unfinished conversation, it’s gotta ring some alarm bells. After all, you wouldn’t walk out on a person mid-convo in real life, why would it be okay to do that online or on messages?
BONUS: this person reappears days later, and sends you random pics or comments about irrelevant shit and completely ignores the unfinished conversation which both of you can clearly see within the chat box. Yeah, GTFO, they’re probably just bored with no one else ‘better’ to talk to.
6. “But I’m Always Right” Type
Yes it’s within us all to want to be right, but there’s never just one right way to do anything!
If this person around you is constantly giving you instructions (not to be confused with constructive feedback), overriding your decisions, and telling you that your approach is wrong even when you’re clearly not asking for their opinion, it’s time to either drop the conversation or the person altogether.
We’re all different, that’s life. You can’t have someone hanging around you that’s constantly condescending and making you feel bad or guilty about the choices you make. If they have difficulty realising that people can do things differently, sadly they will most likely struggle to maintain many real relationships.
7. “Mine Is Better Than Yours” Type
Do you have that person in your life who has to make everything about winning or losing, is always telling you that what you have isn’t as good as the version s/he has, or just downright gets jealous when you experience something great and completely talks it down to make you feel shit about it too?
A little friendly banter is great for bonding, but not everything has to be a competition! And just because one person is winning in something doesn’t mean the other person is losing. If someone you associate yourself with cannot be happy for your successes and try to make you feel shit every time, they don’t really care about you. Need I say more? GTFO.
If any of your relationships, professional or personal, are showing signs of the above, it is not necessarily the end. Have a clear think about the people you surround yourself with and also analyse your own needs as a relationship-craving human being.
If it’s a connection that’s meaningful and worth working on, then definitely reach out to the person to address the issue head on! However, sometimes we just have to admit that certain people are toxic to our lives, and bite the bullet to say “Sorry it’s not me, it’s you”.
Life’s too short to waste time on relationships that are detrimental to your health!
Once that’s done, don’t forget to self reflect too. How have you been treating the people around you lately? Remember – all relationships should go both ways!
The above are all from my personal experiences and as a classic people pleaser type, I had always put other people first and never thought for myself until very recently. I hope my findings are useful to you in some way.
Are there other types of people you need a detox from? Leave a comment below!