Don’t ask why people keep hurting you. Ask yourself why are you allowing it to happen. Robert Tew
In last week’s show I looked at how taking breaks and holidays can improve your productivity your creativity and your health but this week I’m revisiting a topic that I first tackled in episode 24 and revisited again recently in episode 111. There’s a plethora toxic archetypes out there that I have not yet covered from CHRONIC LIARS who will lie to you about others, and lie to others about you, and lie to everyone about themselves – there are NAYSAYERs who are always negative and pessimistic – SLACKERS who avoid real work and will demotivate you no matter what you do. There are the ENVIOUS, who measure their success only against others and are never happy for their own accomplishments. The NEEDY who only come TO YOU when they want something FROM YOU. The BULLY who tries to intimidate you to do what they want or and the UNRELIABLE, the TEMPERAMENTAL, the COWARD, the TOUCHY, the NARCASSIST, the SOCIOPATH, the HATER and the CYNIC. The list goes on and on. Today I am tackling Drama Magnets, Critics and a more recent development the Social Media Pretender. This episode is issued in warning for when you have any of these types of people in your life they will impact heavily upon your productivity and your happiness.
Just because some people are fuelled by drama doesn't mean you have to attend the performance. Cheryl Richardson
So, let’s kick things off with the DRAMA MAGNET. With them, something is always wrong. Always. And, of course, once a problem is solved, another one appears on the horizon - THEY THRIVE IN A CRISIS BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM FEEL IMPORTANT.
Like the ENERGY VAMPIRE I discussed in episode 111 they want something of you – They feed on your empathy, sympathy and support– and if you offer help and solutions, they never seem to take it or they’ll draw it out of you at a price, a vampirical sucking of your energy and drive; your finances, your time and your focus. These Ambulance Chasing DRAMA MAGNETS will drag you into their problems, mess with your head and steal away your time and energy.
These aren’t to be confused with drama queens btw. Drama queens are similar and equally draining but they don’t just seek out drama, they create it! If you can think of a drama magnet in your life, it’s time to start taking steps to escape them.
Second on today’s list is THE CRITIC. Have you ever felt judged and criticized by someone and that no matter what you do, it will never be enough? Negative Criticism is different from advice, and that has to be recognized. These people might never overtly attack you but they will insult your beliefs, appearance, and thoughts, undermine your confidence and take away your drive, often because they have low self-esteem. They may even manifest as a control freak or another toxic archetype at the same time. It’s bad enough to deal with ones own inner critic, but when you have an actual critic in the room it makes being productive in your life and work, significantly more difficult!
Critics will often talk down to you, not from any real experience they have but from their own often skewed opinions of how things should be done. As creatives, the last thing we need is someone negatively criticizing our work, our ethics or our abilities, who hasn’t been asked for their opinion, and who can’t balance that criticism with good will and positivity.
The final archetype on today’s list is a substratum of the LIAR archetype known as the PRETENDER or the FAKE
It’s fair to say I think that what we show of ourselves on social media or in our promotional materials is the highlight reel of our life or our work. We post the images of ourselves where we look good and achieve positive things and we generally don’t share the pictures of ourselves that we dislike for whatever reason or our failures.
That’s natural and understandable and perfectly fine of course but there are people out there that will take fake it till you make it to such a level that it beggars belief. These fantasists begin to believe their own hype and they are fooling not only themselves but those they pull into their circle. If you fall for their false reality you could find yourself wasting time and energy on people who will build up their own reputations on your back and not only give you nothing in return but damage your own reputation at the same time. You see whilst many will fall for their ridiculous fantasies often because they have spent a lot of time and energy on building them others who perhaps know of their reputation may scratch and sniff at their stories and recognise just how big a liar they really are. Being associated with a liar or a faker - getting pulled in by them - will impact your own reputation very badly.
They will tell any lie they need to, fabricate any evidence that will support their claim (I commonly see fake IMDB entries for example, or posts about projects which were never shot or were created in the thinnest possible manner) or they will exaggerate any truth in order to get what they want. I know more than one person who claims to have worked stunts on productions on which I have been connected for example – I can tell you here and now though, that they were NOT. They often count on their lies being very difficult to verify because what they say they did was a long time ago or was something they did which is impossible to find.
Anyway, these people are looking to be believed for a couple of reasons:
To get an investment of money, time, energy, skills or equipment out of someone.
To get attention as they are feeling a bit down or neglected. The fantasies they weave, although they pull some people in, must be very lonely places to maintain.
As with any toxic personality the best way to deal with PRETENDERS is to cut them out of your life. Use high level thinking to spot them and never take what people say at face value. These fakers and liars, once they are in your life are VERY difficult to get rid of so dodge them before they get their claws into you.
The removal of a toxic personality from your life no matter what pot-shots they take at you as you go, will lift your spirits and grant you a freedom in your heart and soul that will be more valuable than whatever you have perceived to have lost. And as I say every time I talk about this topic I know that it is not always possible to walk away from family members but you can at least hold them at arm’s length and not breath in their toxicity and the damage that they do by limiting contact.
Toxic people are one of life’s greatest challenges. Interacting with them will leave you emotionally wiped out and feeling frustrated, unfulfilled and possibly angry. Don’t allow yourself to become worn down as a result of giving and giving and getting nothing in return.
So the DRAMA MAGNET the CRITIC and the PRETENDER or the FAKE are just 3 more toxic archetypes to look out for and if you like these sorts of shows please let me know and I’ll do some more. Thanks once again for giving me your valuable time and attention today. This has turned into a longer episode than I had anticipated but I think there’s some value to it.
Call to Action
Today’s call to action is to identify any of these toxic archetypes that may be in your life and get rid of them. It may take a few days or weeks but removing them from your life will always improve it.
I hope to see you there but in the mean time I’ll end with some words from Simon Blackburn.
The fantasist in whom the reality barrier has broken down is unreliable, believing things when he should not, and telling things as true when they are not.
This episode is sponsored by Matt Herbert
Season 9 Executive Producer:
Christopher McPhillips from Artos Digital
2-time winners of 'Social Media Agency of the Year' at the Prestige Awards; Artos Digital specialise in marketing communications, coaching and personal branding. Owner Christopher McPhillips launched the business from his home in Bathgate and now works alongside his wife, Electra, for specialized event-management and fundraising. Enjoying a broad portfolio of clients over the years, ranging from established enterprises to start-up's - a good fit for Artos Digital given their adaptable and agile approach. Christopher and Electra have combined their talents for three significant clients this past year: Reconnect, a SCIO who run the Regal Theatre in Bathgate; Pro2 Wrestling in Ayr; and Puppet Animation Scotland in Edinburgh.
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