Top 5 Toxic People to Avoid at all Costs!

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I've had more 'frenemies' in my life than friends. Didn't know they were betraying me until too late. Luckily, I wised up pretty good over time.

Here' a little fun I had thinking about those who brought the term 'toxic people' to life for me =)

Submitted: October 14, 2016

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Submitted: October 14, 2016

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Family or stranger. Colleague or neighbor. These five folks have a ‘funny-style’ about them that is no laughing matter. Take care to spend as little time as possible with these pissy people lest your sunshine be dimmed by several watts, or worse yet, their toxic ways rub off on you.

1. Negative Nelsons

These neg-heads can kill joy faster than a speeding bullet. Everything is swell when they’re at the helm of the conversation-ship. The problems begin once you open your mouth to, umm converse. Nothing you say is ever right with these full-on Negative Nelsons. On a clear, blue sunny day you comment, “The sky is clear and blue today.” Nelson points out some distant clouds he heard about somewhere and scolds, “Don’t you watch the news? Why don’t you stay informed?” Even the most innocent, harmless musings will beget their ire and negativity.

Once with one Negative Nelson in the grocery store, a rather rude man cut in front of us in line. Neither of us made a scene, but afterward in the parking lot I chuckle and remark, “Some people are just rude. Guess they can’t help it...” Here comes N.N., and I do mean with spirited anger and vitriol, “DON’T YOU MAKE EXCUSES FOR WHAT HAPPENED! HE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING AND JUST DIDN’T CARE! WAKE UP!” I almost cried. Then I disappeared. Nothing I could have said would have gotten any positivity out of my ex-friend. Why some folks are so mean-spirited, not sure. Makes them feel bigger, never had any good role models, a bad seed – take your pick. Whatever their malfunction is should concern you not. Life is too short to spend around someone too petty to show tenderness and kinship. Leave these meanie-weenies be!

Negative Nelsons say this a lot - (when your lips look like they're just about to shed syllables) “See, you don’t listen! Just listen to me for a second!”

2. Two-faced Tanyas

Just like those weird pictures of two-headed snakes slithering in the weeds of some tropical isle, Two-faced Tanyas ‘friend’ you up with compliments and concerned-like questions about your personal well-being, then show a different face when in another patch of weeds. In another element, while you are conveniently not there, Tanyas will run your name in the muddy ground revealing all those private answers to their concerned-like questions. These guys are high level toxic because their treachery can go unnoticed.

It may be a while before you figure out your so-called BFF has been telling your BF everything about your past experimentations with ‘free love’, secrets shared in confidence, and you only discover this when you see them together on Facebook, in a relationship, together.

Two-faced Tanyas can’t be trusted with friendship. They busy themselves with listening and 'digging in' to gain damaging information about you to be the happy bearer of bad news to all. They get a kick out of that! The really good ones cover their tracks and paint their smiles with honeyed lies. They’ll make you feel like they care and “got your back, so you can tell them anything guuurrrl...” But, their dirt comes out in the wash eventually because the one thing two-faced people always fail to realize is that humans talk. Humans talk a lot! Their double-dealing gets out and you’ll have only yourself to blame if you continue the friendship. The kings and queens of denial, Two-facers never take responsibility for the damage they do. Once outted, they are too dangerous to trust. Too fake to ever be a genunine friend. Beware these snakes in the grass.

Popular catch phrase – “Guess what, you didn’t hear it from me though...”

3. Braggadocious Ben

They are perfect. They are hyper successful. They have the Midas touch without all the pesky little drawbacks. They are the next big thing. Yet, they live next door to you in their mom’s basement. Jobless. And 40. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, live your life as you please, but these Braggadocious Bens talk like they are the model of perfection when you know better. Everything is rosier with them and yes, the grass is actually greener. You know this of them very well because their perfection is ALL they speak on. These braggarts dominate every conversation with all great things them. You’d think these folks never had a bad hair day, lost a contest, or took a day off work. Maybe they are just positive people? You might be tempted to believe that, but wait until you try to bring up some of the good stuff in your life. Crickets. None of that reciprocity of positivity. Not a compliment returned. A Braggadocious Ben will act like you tainted the air with your insignificance and breath. Sometimes, you’ll get the hurry-up/brush-off response, “Oh, that’s nice... Anyway, that time when I saved the village, though! Maaaan, you should have been there...” The worst Bens will play the one-up game, “Yeah Ben, I was employee of the month this time. I feel really proud.” “Employee of the month, you say? That’s nice. I was Employee of the Decade and my co-workers pooled their money together to spring for my early retirement.”

You can’t win with a Braggadocious Ben. As long as you let them have the spotlight and your adoration, their friendship is guaranteed. But, that’s no real friendship. Life is tough and no one has the right to hog up all the sunshine. Real friends share the shine and the glory. Don’t waste yours on Braggadocious Bens.

Popular catch phrase – “Did I ever tell you the one time I...” over and over and over again throughout the friendship

4. All About Me Annie

Similar to Braggadocious Bens in that these folks love hearing their own voice, what sets Annies apart is that they talk not only of their alleged accomplishments and greatness, but their woes, tragedies, and fiascos too. All About Me Annies suffer partly from motor-mouth disease. They go a mile a minute and then some telling you every detail about their day at work, then their quandary at the grocery store deciding which brand of rice to buy, and don’t forget that funny thing their kid told them in the car - because Annies’ kids are just a little more precocious than yours. That’s why when you try to get a word in edgewise about your day at work or your cool kid, Annies are suddenly preoccupied with some mishap that occurred as soon as you try to speak, “That’s funny Annie. My child told me once that... You okay Annie? You there?” “Oh, oh yeah. You ever cook Minute Rice? This pot is bubbling over! Girl, guess what else my fool-child said...”

All About Me Annies aren’t rude though. Dear no! They’re just so busy and pulled in so many directions that they can never truly focus on you and your life for more than a few nanoseconds. They don’t mean to cut you off, they’re just put upon in so many ways. Yeah, riiiight! Funny how your ears are always ready to listen and give undivided attention despite your busy life. Annies believe they are the centers of everyone else’s universe; their stories, experiences, and anecdotes are way more interesting than yours. Their woes, tragedies, and fiascos are bigger than yours too. Whether they’re simply fishing for compliments, sympathy, or attention, these Arrogant Annies demand the spotlight at all costs. Reciprocity in any relationship is a mark of maturity. Toddlers expect the spotlight all the time because they know no better. Our adult friends should.

She's an Annie if - your car was impounded & your boyfriend dumped you, and your 'friend' interrupts your woeful tale by telling you the killer brownie recipe she found on Pinterest. 

5. Bitter Billies

Life makes us sick in many ways sometimes. The best medicine for our sick days – laughter. Levity, giggles, and smiles unburden our spirits and keep us buoyant longer. Who would disagree with the power of laughter? Bitter Billies would, that’s who! When someone refuses to laugh or chuck a grin at your jokes and light-heartedness, put up your two index fingers in the form of a cross to ward off the bitter vibes posthaste! Something wrong with that! Like their heart has holes in it. Even a goofy, corny joke should warrant at least a smile if said with good humor and good vibrations. The modus operandi of all Bitter Billies is to either scoff at your good humor or return it with dead pan confusion. What they’re confused about? Why you’re laughing at something that’s not remotely funny. Run straight away from these bitter bombs because they’ll have you blowing up from second guessing yourself.

When cellular phones were growing more powerful and memes were becoming the go-to form of expressing our beliefs and sarcasm, I made the mistake of showing a colleague a questionable joke on a meme on my BlackBerry. I thought it was funny, and our meeting was putting us to sleep. Bitter Billy duly informed me to never again bother her with that filth and that I should be ashamed. It was just a limerick! Nantucket was nowhere to be found in it either! I felt bad for a while afterward and regretted my actions. Then I noticed how she treated the students she taught. How she gave this little girl a week’s detention for telling her she was cute. Nope, problem was with her!

These Billies bleed bitterness. It seeps out uncontrollably because of their own uptightness and hang-ups. Humor and good-nature, even if it’s not always on point, is always to be appreciated. Billies complain about a cold world and then bite your head off for trying to warm it up a bit. Sometimes it’s best to leave misery in its own company lest you catch the ‘misery’ too. Laughter is everything they say it is – the best medicine, an instant vacation, contagious. It’s one thing to deprive others of a little giddy joy and leave your friends’ plaintive jokes hanging out there with no return laughter, what’s more shameful is what bitter folks do to themselves. Why deny yourself the luxury of levity? Bitter Billies can bring the house down, don’t let them drag you down with them. Unfriend them and watch yourself lighten up!

How to test your friend for 'Bitter Billy Syndrome'? Ask him/her to watch 'Benny Hill', 'Napoleon Dynamite' or "Good Times' - if nary a chuckle but a lot of complaint, run for the hills! 

 

Thanx =)

Kimberly Nicole Manning is the author of Happy Teacher 180: 20 Practices to Keep that Smile Teacher-Strong 180 Days Long and Memoirs of a Fool in Love: The Misadventures of a Girl, her Heart, and her Pooncy. Available on Amazon



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