Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” If that’s true, you’d better believe that you’re going to catch any noxious qualities your top 5 are suffering from. Keep in mind: these kinds of infections aren’t only spread through physical contact. You can catch them through social media or even television. In other words, the 5 people you spend the most time with could be people you haven’t met, people whose Instagram profiles you constantly peruse or even fictional characters on a television show you watch daily.
At any rate, if any of your top 5 people are on this list, quarantine yourself from them post-haste before you catch their bad qualities.
You find the day looks a little grayer after hanging out with this fellow. He has a habit of seeing the mud instead of the sun, and he tends to leave glasses half empty all over your house. His negativity is catching, so make sure to expel this friend from your life.
Symptoms of spending time with the pessimist are: loss of sunny attitude, prevalent dissatisfaction with daily activities, whiny voice and chronic complaining.
She can’t help but want what you have. This is the gal who starts telling you how great single life is as soon as you have a boyfriend or plays down the fact that you rocked it at work. Good friends are happy about your successes, but the envier is not a good friend.
Symptoms of having this character in your life: unusual dissatisfaction with and unwarranted guilt for things you were previously grateful for.
I’m not going to say there’s no satisfaction from gossiping, but at the end of the day, do you want to be a person who talks about others behind their backs? This friend makes all that dishing so easy—it’s practically inescapable. He thinks he’s making others look bad, but when all is said and done, the gossiper is the one who’s looking pretty awful.
Symptoms of chilling with your gossiper homie: increased unfair judgment, damaged friendships and loss of trust.
“Woe is me!” is the mantra of this friend. She doesn’t appreciate your advice because there’s obviously nothing she can do to fix the situation. I mean, it’s not like any of her life’s tragedies are her fault.
Symptoms of having a victim in your life: recurring pointed finger, loss of problem-solving skills and reduced motivation.
Let’s be real—Caesar didn’t seem too surprised when Brutus approached him with a knife. You know which friends you can trust and which you can’t. Don’t give someone trust they don’t deserve. The backstabber wants the upper hand, and staying friends with this character is just giving him the opportunity to take it.
Symptoms of developing a relationship with a backstabber: damaged reputation, diminished self-esteem and increased desire to grab knives.
Even though these people are infecting you, take care when removing them from your life. After all, your goodness may have a healing effect on them. This doesn’t mean you should be in the business of fixing anyone. It just means you should do your best to avoid causing further damage when you might have the power to soothe their ails.
On the other hand, you can always avoid making these toxic people the top 5 who occupy your life. Limit their presence on your news feed. Dilute their influence by hanging out with them in groups. And if this toxic person is someone you don’t even know, remove him or her completely.