July 30, 2015 | 3 minutes

How Successful People Handle Toxic People

By Nathan Strum

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones that are bringing us down, but because of the emotional ties, we are hesitant to do anything about it. It is commonly said that you can tell a lot about a person by the five people closest to them. Your inner circle matters. Who you listen to and who you take advice from on your success journey will make a difference. You may be reading this and thinking about your five best friends who you spend the most time with, what are they like? Uplifting? Condescending? Sometimes supportive, sometimes harsh critics? When you feel so strongly about your dream, you may come to terms with moving on without them depending on their attitude and their contribution to your life.

It starts with you

It all starts with you, with your posture and how you handle different situations. Surround yourself with those with vision, those who aspire to accomplish big things and the ones who are more successful than you are. I think having this mindset is really important. Honestly, I would prefer to be the worst player on the best team than the best player on the worst team, because when my association is inclusive of leaders who have accomplished what I want to accomplish, I can be guided to constantly grow. It’s motivating to be around people who are better than you and it’s stimulating to work harder. You will then see life through their eyes, through their success and hopefully it will motivate you to grow and develop. That is why when you choose to spend more of your time with leaders rather than Negative Nancys; you will see a transformation in yourself and your success.  Guard your association.

Don’t become everyone’s problem solver

I have met a lot of people who commonly bring up how people come to them for advice. It sometimes feels good knowing that people want your advice or expertise, but try to limit it. It’s neither productive nor uplifting to be everyone’s life coach.  Yes, I know you are kind-hearted, but constantly solving everyone’s problems will not advance you towards your set goals. If you choose to listen to someone’s problems, the first thing I would ask them is how they plan to resolve it. That lets them know that you aren’t going to engage in their everyday pity party. Remember, your time and energy is important, do not invest too much time on those who aren’t willing to help themselves.

Don’t allow their spirit to bring you down

When you know who you are and what you stand for, it creates a fence like barrier to where negative people cannot trespass.  When toxic people tear down your dreams, give you negative opinions about what you are doing or just consistently talk and act negatively, I challenge you to ask yourself why you choose to be around them. What I think is crucial, is just being confident enough in your success that their words slide right off.

For me, I find it best to just cut out those associations that are weighing me down. It can be really hard to do, but it is well worth it. If completely unfriending someone is a bit too extreme, I would try limiting the amount of time you choose to spend with them.

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