The 7 Toxic People Who Are Fatal To Your Success (Part 2):

If you missed the first half of this article, I strongly recommend you go back and take a look at the types of toxic individuals we’ve already covered: The 7 Toxic People Who Are Fatal To Your Success (Part 1):

Otherwise, let’s move right on to number 5 in this list:

#5. Drama Kings/ Queens


“It’s complicated”

This may very well be their relationship status and it probably applies to the rest of their life, too. With these people, there’s rarely not something going on, is there? Sure they might be fun to be around- but the nightmare lies in just how much of your time they demand. There’s always a fire they need to be put out for them, always a problem they need you to fix.

Now there’s nothing wrong with calling on a friend, family member or mentor when trouble comes or you want advice. That’s what friends are for, after all. But the thing with the drama kings and the drama queens is that their life is just this black hole of ongoing relationship dramas, family dramas, money dramas, career dramas, health dramas, life dramas etc.

Being the best you can be means respecting your time and your energy and realising that no matter who you are, you only possess limited amounts of both. So it follows that you can only devote so much time to making your own life better OR to helping that person deal with their latest drama- but not both.

So what’s it going to be?

Fact is, unless these people are paying you, you’re not obligated in any way, shape or form to help them. In fact, by helping them you could be unwittingly stopping them from sorting their life out. Without a comfortable crutch, without that person (you) who’s always there to lend an ear or give up your time for them the moment they throw shit at the fan- they might actually realise they need to take some responsibility?

Like I said, sometimes we all legitimately need somebody to listen to us, somebody who can give us advice. So how do you figure out the difference between people with problems and people who ARE problems?

Weigh up how much of the time spent interacting with these people is actually productive or enjoyable (coming up with great ideas, talking about life in general, having good times) and how much is just you playing the part of amateur psychologist or fixing their problems yet again?

If both are 50/50, then it’s a relationship you want to reconsider. Do the pro’s outweigh the cons? If it’s anything more than 40/60 in favour of drama- then it’s a relationship you can do without.

Casting these people off it easier said than done, as they can often be quite needy. They probably won’t just fade into the background. So you’ll have to tell it to them straight: point out that you have enough problems to deal with of your own without worrying about theirs. Tell them that unless it’s a serious issue, they should fix it themselves or get somebody else to help them.

Remember: It’s not written anywhere that you need to be on hand to deal with these peoples’ dramas. You have no obligation to do so. It’s ok to walk away and you shouldn’t feel the least bit guilty for it.

#6. Blabbermouths/ Trash Talkers


These people love to talk- and usually about other people. You might enjoy listening to their stories about what this person said or what that person did. A lot of what they say about another person may be accurate and funny as well.

But here’s the thing-

What makes you think you’re different from all the other people they bad-mouth?

Chances are that once your back is turned, you’re no longer that person they’re confiding in but just another name they talk about in their gossip. If people act like everything is ok to your face but then have no problem talking about you in scathing tones when you’re out of earshot, what does that say about them?

People like this are dead-weight because either:

a) They don’t have the courage or honesty to give you constructive critiscism, or

b) They don’t give you the respect you deserve. To them, you’re just more fuel to their conversational fire, another person to talk about in place of anything of real substance

You can do without such people.

The same goes for blabbermouths. These are the people who say the wrong thing out loud, time and time again. They’re the people you can’t trust to keep things on the down-low. They speak without thinking. As the saying goes “Loose lips sink ships”.

The problem with these people is the clean-up after they shoot their mouth off again- the bruised egos, the things people can’t un-hear. On a more serious note, the careless words spat out by these people could sabotage your success on a professional or personal level. Or worse still, they could get you directly into trouble because of their careless talk.

What makes these people especially toxic is if their habit for blabbing or trash talking is mixed with Insecurity or the Victimhood Complex (which we both covered in Part 1). Mixed with either of these, a blab or trash talker displays the following traits:

  • Verbally abusive
  • Openly critical of everything
  • Throws you under the bus the moment you challenge or even disagree with them
  • Demonises you to other people in an attempt to gain sympathy
  • Turns people against you thanks to Chinese Whispers they started

It’s one thing to call these people foolish, but it’s another thing to stay around them and let their words continue undermining you and making your life more difficult. If (when) you draw a line and distance yourself from these people, you can bet they’re going to bad mouth you. If these people also have that Victimhood Complex going on (see Part 1) then they’ll ad you to the long index of people who’ve done them wrong and made their life the tragedy it is.

So what?

Let them talk. Soon enough they’ll find somebody else to talk about, and new bridges to burn with their words. That’s their problem.

#7. Critical People


For people like this, hardly anything or anybody is ever good enough. They might actually be quite productive people- competent, efficient- but it’s their negative and critical attitude that sucks the fun out of everything and makes the world seem like a much smaller, bleaker place than it really is.

These people are damaging to you on a psychological level, and if you’re a person big on the abundance mentality then these people are fatal to your creative thinking. These are the classic “glass half full” types. But rather than going and putting 50% water capacity into a glass and asking them to evaluate it, you can identify them by the following traits:

  • Frequent use of negative words like “never” “can’t” “horrible” “wrong” “rubbish”
  • Frequently put down other people- regardless of whether they actually know them or not
  • Believes at least 80% of the world’s population is beneath them somehow
  • If they’re female: “You can’t trust men, they’re only good for one thing, aside from that they’re all the same”.
  • If they’re male: “Women aren’t loyal, they’re only good for one thing, aside from that they’re nothing but trouble”.
  • Regularly complains about society, the government, big business etc.
  • Exhibits Tall Poppy Syndrome

These people may (emphasis on the word may) be useful professional contacts to some degree. But anything more than that? Forget it. Life’s too short to be dragged down by their negative, black-pill thinking. If you want to live a life open to amazing new opportunity and be standing in line for abundance, these are people who can definitely take a back-seat.


Skydiving quote

I’ve had periods in my life where I didn’t have many true friends, with a quiet social calendar. But there’s also been periods where near every weekend (and weeknight) I had places to go, things to do and people to hang out with. So over the years I’ve met tonnes of people- and got to know plenty of different types, each with their differing worldviews and attitudes.

But then like most of us, I reached a point in life where I began to fully appreciate and recognise people for what/ who they really were. This coincided with developing a greater respect for my limited time and energy- and realising that if I really wanted certain aspects of my life to improve, then I’d have to be more accountable for how I invested both of these precious, valuable resources!

Like I said at the very beginning, it’s one thing to focus on ourselves and how we can do better as individuals, how we can reach goals and find true fulfilment. But we can’t do this on our own. We weren’t meant to. We were made for community and in a time of increasing individualism, it’s never been more important for us to recognise that.

So if you’re committed to fulfilment, to success (no matter your endeavour) and to enjoying abundance- if you believe the sky is, in fact, the limit- then you’ve got to have the right crew surrounding you. But you have to identify the excess baggage before you can chuck it.

In planting new orchards and sowing the seeds of success, first of all you’ve got to know what the rotten fruit looks like so you can throw it out before you become infected.

I know that taking action from here might involve some conflict. It might mean you’re left with no option but to have some uncomfortable conversations, or even break off existing relationships. Without some people, your life may become quieter for a period, and you may feel a profound sense of being ‘alone’, of being separated from the world, that you haven’t experienced before.  But if you’re committed, and you believe in abundance?

What you lose now in the short-term will well and truly be repaid to you, with interest.

The less time and energy you invest in the toxic people we’ve looked at here, the more time and energy you have for new people. Abundant people. Prolific people. Positively influential people. Great people. I wish you all the best!

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The 7 Toxic People Who Are Fatal To Your Success (Part 1):

“You can’t soar like an eagle when you surround yourself with turkeys”Anonymous

Success is never a one-person game. More than just our individual accomplishments and forays, we also need the assistance of other people along the way in order to succeed. Socially or professionally, being connected with the right people brings us far more than we can achieve on our own. Think about it- how many truly memorable nights out have you enjoyed solo?

But at the same time, being connected with the wrong people can be a massive drain. A drain on your time, a drain on your emotions, a drain on your success, a drain on your life. If you leave a rotting piece of fruit in a bowl with fresh fruit, the toxins from the rotting piece of fruit will cause the other, fresh pieces to rot by association. Think about that…

So, if you’re committed to a brighter and better future- and being more content with yourself- then these are the 7 people you need to get rid of:

#1. Insecure People

Kobe Bryant

“If you don’t believe in yourself, no-one else is going to do it for you”- Kobe Bryant

It doesn’t matter how talented you are, how popular you are, how much potential you have- if you’re insecure, it’s going to rob your life. It’s going to eat away at you, and your life is going to sink far below what it could’ve been. So if you don’t want this to happen to you, why surround yourself with people who let it to happen to them?

Of the 7 toxic people you can encounter, this type of person is the hardest to spot. You can’t really identify an insecure person until you get to know them, because on the surface they might have all the appearance of someone who’s successful and well-adjusted. They could be friendly and funny. It’s only later that the rot sets in…

All is good with an insecure person until they feel threatened by you in some way or another- it might be new acquaintances who risk highlighting their shortcomings, a new relationship, some form of personal success. The last thing they want is somebody they felt comfortable with doing better than them. This is when their insecurity reveals itself, manifesting in the following ways:

  • Being critical of new people you’ve met
  • Talking negatively about you under the guise of it being “constructive critiscism”
  • Suggesting that your success is undeserved or came easily to you somehow
  • Often telling you that people talk negatively about you out of earshot
  • Trying to cut you down whenever there’s other people around, hoping they can influence these people to share their view of you
  • Trying to convince you that people only show interest in you because they have an ulterior motive
  • Trying to convince you not to take other people’s compliments seriously because the other person has lousy judgement or an ulterior motive

What makes insecure people so toxic is that rather than deal with their own dysfunctional self-image, they instead project it onto the people around them. They’d rather tear other people down than face the uncomfortable truths that come with trying to build themeslves up. That’s what makes them so cancerous.

Be especially wary if you’re seeing somebody who exhibits these traits:

  • Frequently talks about all the other people who want them and suggests their admirers are more attractive/ popular/ interesting/ succesful than you. Just remember: a real success doesn’t need to brag about their success.
  • Keeps trying to make you jealous of them
  • Tells stories about all the people who apparently hit on them whenever you’re not around
  • Suggests that their friends and family all say they could do better than you
  • Accuses you of thinking the sun shines out of your arse and that you’re the best deal they can get (this, my friends, is Projection 101)

In its’ darkest form, these people begin monitoring your phone/ internet activity, snooping through your stuff, spying on you, picking fights with anybody they perceive as a threat or straight-up accuse you of being unfaithful. They don’t believe they’re good enough for you- so there MUST be somebody else in the picture!

I feel sorry for insecure people but the truth is- nobody can fix their negative thinking but themselves. It’s not up to you. These people will only be happy with you as long as you’re falling short or insecure too, helping them feel comfortable with their insecurity.

Cut them adrift and let them sort their own life out. Don’t let their rot infect the harvest that lays before you.

Speaking of the harvest…

#2. People With The Poverty Spirit


“You don’t make money with a closed fist”- Anonymous

To best understand what the poverty spirit looks like, first I should describe people who are the very opposite: You know those people who (generally) have a wider circle of friends, who’ve had their share of admirers and are fun to be around? Like you spend time with these people and it feels like the day/ night could go anywhere from here- and often does? They may seem a little crazy or irrational at times- but it’s a hell of a ride all the same! I had an old friend like this- after leaving highschool he’d worked a bunch of different jobs, moved up and down the east coast and we came back into contact 5 or 6 years later. We were out one night with another mutual friend at this bar, and my friend  is a lover of fine wine. Scanning the venue’s wine list, he asked the sommelier to bring out this 5 year old bottle to taste. Sampling some, he looked at the price- it was $90. My friend goes “Oh man- I won’t be able to pay rent next week but stuff it. Bring us three glasses!” My mate was determined to enjoy a good red with his friends out on the town that night- and so it happened. And if I recall, he didn’t get kicked out onto the street the following week either…

The poverty spirit is the opposite of this. It’s people who complain about never having enough, people who give you this feeling when you’re around them- like a constricted or ‘stuffy’ feeling. This is because they are takers and not givers. Their world doesn’t grow. How do you identify somebody like this?

  • Rarely (if ever) shout their friends or offer anything that might cost them money
  • Usually turn up to parties empty-handed
  • Stay hung-up on a romantic interest like they’re the only girl/ guy in the world, even though it’s clear the other person doesn’t return their affections
  • Stays in a dysfunctional relationship, unable to comprehend they could do better
  • Frequently complain about people who’ve done the wrong thing by them or the misfortunes they’ve suffered, as if this only happens to them.
  • Rarely (if ever) keen to venture beyond their little world and try new things

What makes these people toxic is that their world doesn’t expand- and if you’re spending time with these people, it’s time wasted because nothing interesting or exciting is going to happen with these people in your company. Abundance is fresh, creative and leads to meeting new people and great memories. The poverty spirit is stale, a vibe killer and a drain on your valuable time and energy.

People with the poverty spirit are leeches. You give a lot and get very little in return. It’s time to move on and spend your valuable time with people who are making things happen- because, by proxy, those things are going to happen to you, too.

#3. Professional Victims

Malcolm Fraser

“Life wasn’t meant to be easy”- Malcolm Fraser

Unfortunately, we live in an age where victimhood is the new black. This headlong pursuit of “equality” (code for equality of outcome and not equality of opportunity) has created a race to the bottom in its’ wake. People with little to show in terms of personal achievement or self-awareness instead scramble to find ways (exaggerated or entirely imagined) that the world is unfair to them and apparently owes them something. It’s an easy way to get attention and to feel that they’re somebody important- but the problem with these people is that nothing is ever enough to change their mindset. If your entire identity is invested upon seeing yourself as the victim, that doesn’t suddenly change with your circumstances. You can’t outgrow your self-image. Seeing such people complain about the “privilege” of others on the internet (via their smartphones or laptops) is the definition of irony.

What makes these people fatal to success (theirs and yours) is that they don’t understand personal responsibility or accountability. Anything bad that happens is the fault of somebody else- and they’ll throw anybody under the bus to keep this narrative alive. Both of these are non-negotiable in the pursuit of success and personal fulfilment.

The victimhood mentality is a cousin of the poverty spirit- both are rooted in a mindset that the world has done these people wrong and they have played no part in their circumstances. It’s reactive instead of proactive.

Here’s how you identify professional victims:

  • Rarely (if ever) admit poor judgement or mistakes- even past ones
  • Frequently complain about other people “making” them feel bad
  • Blame their life’s shortcomings on society or how certain ideologies are holding them back
  • Blame everybody else but themselves for the difference between how their life is and how they want life to be
  • Often post motivational quotes on social media blaming other people who “don’t understand” or “can’t handle” them
  • Abnormally consumed with identity politics and habitually categorises themselves (and others) through the frame of victim/ oppressor

Like those with the poverty spirit, these people are leeches- sucking time and energy out of the universe, expecting everything and giving little in return. All over the world, people have started out with a deficit- financial poverty, abusive relationships, broken homes etc- yet through agency, self-determination and a refusal to see themselves as victims, they have overcome and succeeded. Those are the people to take inspiration from. Those are the people who prove that with persistence, responsiblity and agency- anything is possible.

If you value your time, your well-being and respect, make time for those people and cut the professional victims adrift. They’ll probably ad you to the list of people who’ve done them wrong and reasons they fail but you shouldn’t lose a wink of sleep over that. Call up your abundant, responsible friends and go share a good bottle of wine instead!

#4 Defeatists

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pockets”- Arnold Schwarzenegger

For defeatists, nothing good is possible. “Can’t” is a word they use a lot. These people take what they can get, with the belief that anything beyond that requires stuff they (you) will never have. Stuff like:

  • “There’s no point starting a business- you need to have millionaire backers or kiss (insert group’s) arse for it to be a success”.
  • “Why would you diet/ go to the gym- it’s a waste of time and money, only roid-heads or people with perfect genes can have a great body.”
  • “You’re too picky when it comes to girls/ guys- just go for that one who’s interested, take what you can get. The kind of people you’re attracted to only go for” (glamour models/ millionaires/ sporty types/ rock stars/ insert type of person that you aren’t)

The problem with defeatists is that (as the name suggests) anything that seems too hard or challenging, they give up on. Bold ideas are impossible, so don’t bother. The danger is they wrap their defeatist attitude in logical sounding arguments, claiming they are just being “realistic”. They generally don’t beat you over the head with their “can’t do” attutide. They instill just a little bit of doubt. “Are you sure?” or “You really reckon you can do it?” they ask with a look and tone of doubt. You want to ride the rollercoaster but they insist it’s too dangerous and are happy on the merry-go-round.

They sound like the voice of reason, but the cold fact is their voice is the one of defeat. Their “logical” criticism is weed killer on the seeds of future success. They are the voice of death.

Defeatists are the first to tell you to quit. They dampen your desire. They exterminate enthusiasm. They pull you down, drain your energy and quite frankly? They are people you can do without. So get rid of them, leave their “can’t do” attitude in the rear-vision mirror. Because like insecure people, their worst fear is that you’ll succeed and prove them wrong. Their key motivator is self-preservation, cowardice. You don’t want cowards in your midst.

I’ll leave you with these 4 for now- there’s a lot to take in and maybe some real soul-searching to do and some uncomfortable conversations that need to be had. But the short-term discomfort and pain from cutting certain people adrift (or letting them fade into the distance) is far outweighed by what you gain as a result- believe me!

When you’re ready, here’s the second part