Have you ever had one of those months when you wonder if you are the only sane person in the world? March has been like that for me, and today I just have to rant! I really enjoy getting out of my office to meet new people, see their different perspectives on life, and being able to realize that we all have highs and lows.
Lately, however, I’ve been encountering more people who simply don’t go with an ebb and flow of idea sharing. In fact, they are so taken with their own self-importance and self-centeredness that it doesn’t really matter if you are there or not. I realize that a few of my more optimistic and idealistic friends would say that I am “attracting these people to myself” along the lines of the Laws of Attraction (whatever you think about manifests itself into your life) – but I think that there are people who cross our paths simply to jolt us out of complacency, and to remind us that we have a choice about who we chooseto keep (or not keep) in our lives. In fact, swathing away and disassociating with toxic, self-centered people has been one of the best lessons I’ve learned since getting divorced 3 years ago!
Here’s my rant list of people I’ve met and steer clear from: (note that names have been changed)
1. “I live and die by the Secret” Goldie– this person read the “Secret” and now proselytizes to everyone around her that the mere mention of any event will cause more of it to happen. For example, I was in CA and casually remarked that my plane was late, and her immediate response was “Don’t tell me that! Even mentioning it will cause my flight to be delayed tomorrow!” What a misguided soul! While she may choose to live and die by the law of attraction, life continues to happen and sometimes crap happens. I wasn’t at all upset about my flight delay (it happens even if I will it not to!) and all I can say to Goldie is “lighten up!”
2. “Hello there. Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book” Bob.This person is so caught up in their own self-admiration society that they can’t see past their own nose. Buoyed by his own epiphany, Bob purports that everyone is as messed up as he once was, and will never achieve their dreams without his new found “wisdom”. I don’t know about you, but if I spent $20 on every self-published book claiming to light up the world, I’d definitely be confused as well as broke. This doesn’t stop Bob – in fact, he approaches valets to presidents pitching salvation in 100 pages. In some ways, Bob may be the ultimate marketer, but I can’t help but think of street corner evangelism…
3. “My time is more important than yours” Bradley.I’ve oft encountered these guys in traffic jams. You know them as the driver using the shoulder lane to advance past the parking lot of cars then cutting in at the front of the line. Lately though, I’ve noticed more Bradley’s in parking lots (when I’m signaling for a soon to be vacated parking space); in grocery lines (with 25 items in the “10 items or less” express line); and out and about (they push to be the front of a theatre line when they arrive late). While I can forgive Bradleys in a legitimate hurry (like their wife is in labor!) – the others just plain irk me.
4. “That’s nice” Joanne. This person asks you how you are and no matter what your answer may be (“My kids all came down with chickenpox”) they respond with a mindless, “that’s nice”; then launch into a monologue about their son/daughter/spouse/friend/blah blah blah is excelling at life. Again, their disregard for others can get nauseating, and at this point I am grateful for a wrong number on my cell phone so I can get away.
5. “You should really…”Betty. This is the final type of toxic person I’ve encountered lately – and they are insidious. They appear to be friendly until you open your mouth to say something about you. At that point a barrage of seemingly but negative advice is unleashed before you’ve even stopped talking. After your first sentence, (Betty has listened intently), she spurts “helpful” rhetoric without any regard to your astonished response. For example, if I say that contract work is slow and finances are tight, Betty will say – well you really should look at a low paying job for now (seemingly abandoning my years of specialization as an IT professional). If I say that my grown children have moved back home, she edicts that I really shouldn’t have allowed that because now they’ll never leave. Betty always knows what’s best for everyone except herself!
The good thing about all of these self-absorbed people is that I can now isolate them and “consider the source”. Having embraced principles from The Four Agreements, I realize that what they say tells much more about them than it does about me.
Life is good! And it’s getting better every day that I prevent toxic people from becoming a part of my life. I love that it is MY choice who I let in and don’t let in to my friendship circle!
What do you think???
Have a great week!