What is this inner circle of which I speak?
Well, it’s the people around you that you spend a lot of time with: the people you live with, the people you work with, the people you play with (think hobbies here!).
To some extent, we can’t banish our immediate family and our co-workers from our inner circle, but this week I’m talking more about members of your inner circle that are 100% your choice. That inner circle shouldn’t be huge, so it must be chosen carefully, and filled with people who spark you... not drain you.
While it’s important to include strong personality types within your inner circle, do it only if those strengths are positive ones. Negativity will ruin your inner circle and render it useless to support you and your growth, just like I talked about in last week’s post about critical people.
Here are a few of the negative personality traits you should avoid having close to you in any way.
The Ego: The Ego loves to spout their own knowledge and point of view, but it’s not usually with the goal of helping others. They really just love to hear themselves talk, and they love to talk about themselves. They rarely have unique ideas but have lots of unfounded, yet loud, opinions that they can’t support, even when asked.
My goodness, we have had a year of this! To mask or not to mask, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, a presidential election – it seems everyone has an opinion about everything and most of it is just noise!
I recommend that if you find yourself tuning out someone because you feel they are talking to hear their own voice, don’t invite them into your circle.
The Fangirl/Fanboy: To this person, you can do no wrong. You’re perfect. You never make mistakes. Except that no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes! The Fangirl/boy has ulterior motives, but it’s possible they aren’t even aware of it. You know what they say – if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. This goes for people, too.
While it can feel good to have this kind of person around you, they rarely help you grow and change; after all, you’re perfect in their eyes! I also want to give a special exception to all the mothers out there who feel their children are perfect. Everyone needs someone in their life to boost their self-esteem and moms are the perfect person to do that (dads, too, by the way…).
Just don’t surround yourself with people like that.
The Gossip: That one person who always seems to have the dirt on everyone else, and loves to chat about it? Guess what – they’re chatting about you, too, behind your back. Don’t make the mistake of indulging the Gossip in their favorite past time, or you’ll find yourself the topic of conversations, too.
The trouble here, is that The Gossip tends to tell their version of the truth and with their interpretation of the drama of it all. If you take any action based on their information, you could be setting yourself up to be flat-out wrong.
And do you really want the inevitable ups and downs of your life going through that same drama filter for the masses? I know I don’t! I have better things to spend brain cells on than wondering who’s going to hear about my woes and how that story is going to be told.
The Narcissist: The narcissist only cares about how others can benefit them, so if this person is part of your inner circle, run! They’ll manipulate you to get what they want, and will blame you when they don’t. They’ll create only feelings of inadequacy and guilt within you, so get rid of this one fast.
I knew someone like this. He felt that because his life was “hard” that everyone else should somehow make his life better. And he’d be angry if they didn’t. This person has never been in my inner circle and will never be in my inner circle!
The Moaner: This negative type will always see the ways an idea won’t work, but will rarely see the ways that it will. They’ll consistently point out barriers to your success. They’ll make up problems that could occur, but are highly unlikely; they'll build up walls where there are none.
These are definitely the hyper-critical people, even if they think they are doing you a favor by saving you from yourself.
The Vampire: The Vampire is excellent at sucking the very life out of each and every positive idea you have. They’ll also suck your own positive energy dry, and you won’t know what hit you. Look out for emotional exhaustion after visiting with this person – it’s a sure sign that they’re an emotional vampire.
While I do see this is the workplace, I definitely see this more in the family realm. You know you are dealing with a familial vampire if you dread seeing them and you truly feel drained after you do.
Again, you may not be able to avoid them entirely, but you definitely don’t want to give them access to your inner circle either.
The Needy: They need constant attention from you, and if they don’t get it, they become sullen and whiny. Their need for approval from you will become exhausting.
Every parent goes through this stage with their young children and most are VERY relieved when their kids outgrow it, too. Why would we let other adults do this to us? Their life is not your problem to handle, don’t get sucked in to fixing it.
Did you notice the common thread here? It’s about energy. We only have so much of it to distribute amongst all the different areas of our life. People who, for whatever reason, take your energy consistently without giving you any energy in return have long term negative effects on you and need to be stricken from your inner circle.
That group should only help you change and grow and mature into the amazing person you were meant to be!
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: A good inside thought when you meet The Ego: If I wanted to kill myself, I would climb your ego and jump to your IQ!