Being divorced at 30, remarried a year later, and going from a mom of one to a mom of four (two of my own and two step-children) has taught me a lot about life and the types of people in life within a very short period of time. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how quickly people are to share their judgments and opinions about how you choose to live your life and how, just as quickly if you allow yourself to get sucked into their vortex, you can find yourself serving as someone else’s emotional punching bag. The worst scenario is when you are sucked in by a narcissist or troll and you find yourself feeding them the negative supply they are out to seek in the first place, simply by engaging with them at all in an effort to educate them and/or defend yourself.
Don’t do this! They’re sucking you in!
Trust me, I’ve been there and I’ve since learned to live without that drama. I think every person has gotten sucked in by the following types so I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone and that we can all learn from one another’s experiences. I certainly have learned from my own stumbles and mistakes over the years and I’m finding that the more readily I’m able to recognize a soul-sucker in the first place, the more I am able to avoid getting sucked-into their drama.
So, in order to rise above drama so that you can continue to strive to be the best person that you can be, do yourself a favor and learn to recognize the following types of soul-suckers:
1. The Ignorant Soul-Sucker
I am typically more willing to try something new than to stick to the well-beaten path and I am forever a student of life so I just don’t relate well to ignorance. What is it about those ignorant types of people — you know the opinionated ones that refuse to truly understand something they know nothing about — that frustrates us so much? Is it their arrogance? Whatever it is, in the past I would expend so much of my energy trying to “educate” people who had no interest in being educated. I’ve finally learned that it is just not worth feeling so drained. Ignorant soul-suckers will always think that they are right or they will not care to listen to you because they don’t want to be wrong … even if they know that you are right! You can share knowledge, your life, your ideas … but don’t barrel into the walls ignorant people have erected around themselves head-first repeatedly hoping to “break through”. It is not worth it and you’ll just get a head-ache.
2. The Hateful Soul-Sucker
Whenever hateful, angry little people have lashed out at me on my journey, I always would lament “Why are people so hateful for no reason?” but experience has taught me that people are never hateful for no reason. There is always a reason. Only hurt people hurt people and this is a fact. When someone projects hatred, I find the inner peace and personal strength I need to not take it personally by simply reminding myself that another person’s attacks are usually just their poorly articulated feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, or frustration. It is easier to be mean than it is to be nice, isn’t it? Understanding this alone about ourselves as people can make it that much easier to be the bigger person when a hater is trying to suck the happiness out of your day. Don’t let a hateful soul-sucker derail you on your path to greatness.
3. The Negative Soul-Sucker
Negative people are those sour individuals that seem to constantly discourage you from believing that you can be happy and successful by designing your own life according to your own rules. They are the doubtful, anxious, pessimistic ones that make you feel depressed within minutes of being around them. They’ll tear your self-esteem apart if you let them because they don’t have self-esteem of their own and they blame everyone and everything around them for their own unhappiness. Not surprisingly, negative soul-suckers don’t handle criticism very positively either so don’t waste your energy past flashing a smile in their general direction. Coat yourself in negative “Teflon” if you will and don’t let that sludge stick. Smile a lot, even when you don’t particularly feel like it, and continue taking responsibility for your own happiness despite any negativity that surrounds you.
“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience