5 Signs It’s Time to Drop that Negative Person From Your Life

By Emily Holland

August 5, 2014   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


It’s a hard pill to swallow when we discover that we can’t get along with everyone.

We all like to think that we are highly likeable and that anyone would be lucky to have us in his or her life, whether it’s as a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, acquaintance, etc.

But sometimes people’s actions towards us tell us something to the contrary. Instead of valuing and appreciating our characteristics, talents, and skills, they criticize, take advantage of or just outright don’t care about them.

It seems obvious to rid these types of people from our lives but logic doesn’t always win out in this decision. If we are emotionally attached in some way to these negative people, we will look past the lack of respect and kindness they demonstrate towards us. We would rather continue to try and win them over than to walk away with the knowledge that we deserve better.

Our ego is fighting us to keep at it because it doesn’t want to feel that it’s not good enough or deserving of this person’s approval.

Perhaps the most challenging part is not kicking these difficult people out of our lives but rather knowing whether or not we should. Emotion often clouds our judgment, leaving us confused whether a particular person’s actions and behavior is deemed unacceptable and worthy of us walking away from the relationship altogether.

But sometimes, making this decision is the best thing we can do for our happiness and general wellbeing.

So how do we know when it’s time to pull the trigger and wave goodbye? Here are five signs to look out for:

1.) They are concerned solely with what you can do for them.
These people are often willing to put forth very little effort into the relationship unless they will benefit directly. Selfishly, they feel the relationship is built off of the fact that you have something to provide them with. If you withdraw whatever that certain something may be and you’re suddenly hearing from them less often, well, that may be a sign.

2.) You walk away from time spent with them feeling depleted and unhappy.
You know that feeling after spending quality time with a person you genuinely connect with? It’s like a drug. When you truly connect to another human on a deeper level, you’re left feeling energized and exuberant. The exact opposite is true when you spend time with a negative person. Whether they talk about themselves the entire time or speak negatively of you, you’ll be left feeling exhausted and depressed afterward.

3.) They rarely, if ever, ask questions about YOU and what is going on in YOUR world.
This is the most telling sign, in my opinion, that it’s time to give someone the boot. Some of us are better trained than others at inquiring about the life of another person. Upbringing and personality alone can dictate our ability to focus more on the other person and less on ourselves. But regardless of how good we are at it, we are all capable of showing interest in another. If someone is continually talking about what is going on in their world while making very little effort to show any interest in yours, it may time to evaluate whether this person is worth keeping around. (Note: Sometimes these people are unaware of just how self-centered they are coming across. You may want to first bring this to their attention and then if they still aren’t willing to change, walk away. You’ll learn a lot about the other person just by their response to your concern).

4.) You don’t like the person you are when you’re around them.
This one is pretty black and white. People either better or worsen us. The hard part is acknowledging that a friend or boyfriend is bringing out a side of us that we really dislike. It’s not easy, especially when you truly care for the person. But the relationship we have with ourselves should come first and if we are associating with a person who is damaging it, that should be reason enough to put an end to it.

5.) Your life without this person would be easier if they weren’t in it.
There are certain people we have in our lives that we know we simply could not live without. These people bring something into our world that just makes it better. If they unexpectedly walked out of our life, it would undoubtedly be a huge loss. On the other hand, if the thought of life without a particular person makes it appear happier, easier, and more joyful, there’s your answer. We’re smarter than we act sometimes but we know deep down when people are keeping us from living our best life possible.

Emily Holland

Emily,M.A. is a freelance writer and Certified Health Coach. Her obsessions include coffee, writing, personal growth, and her dog, Sammy. Visit her blog at http://befreehealthcoaching.wordpress.com/.

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