The people you spend your time with can influence your mood, how you spend your time, and your perspective on the world. They can even change your view of yourself. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the company you keep.
The friends and colleagues who want you to do great things are the ones who empower you and push you to be better. They inspire you to raise your standards and to believe in yourself. When you spend time with them, you leave better than you were before.
But there may be another type of person in your life: always complaining and making excuses, looking at everything through a negative lens. Even if you don’t participate in their poor choices, they can create problems for you. In short, they’re bad company.
Here are 12 types of bad company to avoid:
1. The parasite.
This seemingly admiring person stays close beside you at every opportunity, weaving their way into your network, trying to take over your course instead of charting their own. They’ll leave you feeling drained and depleted, and they can cause significant harm along the way.
2. The selfish one.
This person makes time for you only when it’s convenient for them, wants to talk only when they need someone to listen, and reaches out only when they want something. A relationship should never be one-sided, and you shouldn’t waste your time with opportunists.
3. The one who holds grudges.
This person is all but unable to forget and forgive. They hold on to their resentments and grievances, seemingly unable to focus on the positive and move ahead. Unless you never make mistakes, you can’t afford a grudge-holder in your life.
4. The promise breaker.
This person is constantly making promises–and then constantly breaking them. They try to appease you by telling you what you want to hear and then they do what they want anyway. It’s impossible to build a healthy relationship with someone you can’t trust.
5. The judge.
A judgmental person has an opinion about everyone and everything. They consider themselves to be excellent at reading the character of others, but their opinions usually tell more about them than about the person they’re demeaning. In time, they’ll turn on you and begin telling others about all the fault they see in you.
6. The liar.
Someone who repeatedly lies to you violates your trust and disrespects your relationship. Whether they lie out of self-preservation or just habit, you can’t count on their integrity or even their ability to recount something close to the truth.
7. The negative one.
We all have the occasional complaint, but when someone is constantly complaining, criticizing, and blaming, it’s easy for their negativity to rub off on you. Nothing good ever came from nonstop negativity.
8. The jealous one.
This person is constantly envious of what you have, what you do, and who you are. There is a big difference between admiration and envy. They can make you feel guilty instead of happy about your own positive experiences. Jealousy is one of the worst forms of toxic behavior.
9. The manipulator.
Some people are shrewd in their ability to get others to do what they want. They may be kind to you only when they need something–and if you ever fail to come through, they make you feel so guilty that they end up getting their way. If you’re consistently doing things you don’t want to do for someone, you’re likely being manipulated.
10. The one who holds your past against you.
The people in your life should be willing to give you a break and be understanding when you take a wrong step, not remind you again and again of every mistake you’ve ever made. No one needs to hear a constant loop reminding them of their failures.
11. The bad influence.
This person pushes you to make choices you may feel uneasy about or draws you into unhealthy situations. Don’t confuse them with the person who tries new things and helps you grow. The difference lies in whether or not you feel embarrassed, anxious, restless, or edgy.
12. The unsupportive one.
The people in your life should support you just as you are. They should care about your goals and be happy for you when you succeed. Unsupportive people don’t seem to care about your achievements or support you when you need them most. Stick with those who encourage you to keep doing great things.
Remember, you’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who are weighing you down.