5 Types of Toxic People Who Will Poison your Path if you Let Them

Finding a life path that is true to you can be sweeter than the smell of a flower garden in springtime. And having a stellar support system around can make it that much easier to find and foster that path. But be careful, there are certain types of toxic people lurking out there that could be wreaking havoc on your mission to build a world that is right for you.

5 Types of Toxic People

Social circles are usually built up of different types of people from different areas of our past. A good variety of characters and interests is nice to have around to reach out for on different occasions. But one poisonous pain in the ass can have the same effect as one tiny mold bacteria on bread. It spreads quickly and contaminates the whole loaf.

5 Types of Toxic People To Avoid
I prefer my bread mold-free, like these tasty looking buns.

If the moldy loaf issue isn’t enough to convince you to get rid of these negative time/energy suckers, consider the following. They say that the characteristics of the top 5 people you spend your time with are a good representation of the type of person you are¹.

So not only could these poisonous personality types be toxically bringing you down, but they are also painting a false picture of who you are and what is important to you to others in the world.

Ideally, you take the time and energy to consciously choose the people who you spend your time with. People shouldn’t just end up in the top tiers of your social circle by accident.

Having people who inspire you to be great and push you to be the best version of yourself is incredibly valuable in helping you create a life that is true to you. People who get your wacky ways and unique life plans should be cherished and especially cared for, as they will be key allies in helping you find your trail amongst the weeds.

How to Avoid Poisonous Personality Types
Without helping comrades, finding this trail would have been impossible.


Here they are, the 5  most annoyingly toxic types of people who will endlessly add unpleasant hurdles to your journey. Do yourself a favor, learn to recognize them, and boot them out of your life adventure.


1 Debby Downers

These people have perfected the art of sucking out any positivity you’ve accumulated and spitting it out at the world in the form of doom, gloom, and complaints.

They love to vocalize their cynical views about the world being a shit horrible place, filled with bad people doing bad things. If you let them, these killjoys will convince you that it’s true.

Don’t let them get close enough to suck you into their downer, pessimistic ways. Proactively build a fence to keep these types of toxic people at bay.

Types of Toxic People
Maybe kings of the past built these giant stone fortresses to keep out Debby Downers. I know my kingdom (i.e. tiny home) can’t flourish with constant complaints and pessimism.


Warning, Debbie Downers have a particular appetite for people who are upbeat and optimistic. If you work hard to keep a positive and cheerful mindset, these people might be especially interested in lurking around near you. Like vampires, they suck out your good vibe and leave you feeling deflated and out of feel-good-nutrients. Stay away!


2 One-uppers

These pests listen to you excitedly tell them about your latest achievement only to squash it down by telling you how they not only accomplished the same victory, but did it better.

I recently met a meditation one-upper, who after listening to me excitedly tell him that I had finally managed to incorporate meditation into my daily routine ask me, so how many hours per day do you sit?, knowing full well that hours weren’t what I had achieved. I wanted to slap him in his pretentious zenned-out face.

via GIPHY 

Instead of helping me celebrate the victory that I obviously was so proud of, he just pushed me down to try to make me feel like my 20 minutes per day weren’t worth being excited about.

This is the one-upper’s secret weapon; waiting until people have a special reason to feel particularly proud of themselves, then kicking them down to eat dirt.

The only way to not let these poisonous personality types get to you is to not let them in close enough to smack you off your celebration tower.

Types of Toxic People Kick you While you Celebrate
This guy didn’t have any one-uppers lingering around him trying to convince him that he couldn’t achieve great pedestal worthy skiing victories. You shouldn’t either.


Warning, although these folks seem strong, confident and able to do everything better than you, it’s all a hoax. But there’s no need to sink to their lows and take away their confidence. Be the bigger person. Nod to the mention of their 2-hour daily meditation session, walk away and keep these folks at arm’s length. A quality friend is excited to celebrate your victories with you. Save your excitement for them.


3 Status quo enforcers

These characters can often be found insisting that we must do things a certain way because that’s how they’ve always been done. Even if you have developed an ingenious new process to make all tasks run smoother at work, these status quo lovers won’t budge on implementing anything new. They stand firm on the idea that things must stay as is. Why change it if it ain’t broke is their motto.

If you try to reason with them or better understand their logic, they usually won’t be able to come up with anything exceptional worth debating. They live and breathe unvarying currents and stagnate ideas.

These people are the worst to have around if you are trying to authentically choose a life a path that is right for you. They will deny the possibility of living outside the box and convince you that there is just no other way to do things. Don’t let them convince of their shenanigans. The box is old news, get out of their and soar!

Warning, although these people may not have bad intentions, they have the power to halt your growth. Don’t give them that power.  But be prepared to insist in the beauty of change and growth, because this group of people has strength in numbers, status quo enforcers are EVERWHERE.


4 Drama Generators

I have no doubt you know people who fall into this poisonous personality type. Shit is always hitting the fan around them. The world is going to be hit by an asteroid any minute and they just cannot find a coffee brand that is worth a cent. They complain, overdramatize, gossip and find any reason at all to drag you along on the rollercoaster that is their day.

If a normal voice tone is between 3 and a 7, they usually linger around an 8.5. Things around them are tense, as they fight through sorting out one crisis after another.

Types of Toxic People Rage

Warning, don’t do it. Don’t let them drag you along for the ride. Know how to recognize these types of toxic people, so that you know to keep your distance.


5 El cuñado

In Spanish, they refer to someone as a cuñado, or brother-in-law, when the person is a giant know-it-all.

If you´re talking about planting cucumber in your garden they surprisingly know all about the very best way to do it. At first, you think, “Oh that’s cool, he was so helpful, he told me in such detail how best to plant my cucumber seeds”. Then, you realize he just happens to know a great deal about the best music, the worst place to visit in March, the distance to the Moon, which nail polish color to wear on holidays and anything else you happen to bring up.

In the end, they know nothing.  I can be a bit gullible at times, so knowing to recognize these brother-in-laws is key to not being taken for a fool with all there shit talking.



Although this isn’t the worst trait someone can have, as I’m especially gullible, I have a particular beef with this way of being.

The idea of this article isn’t for you to just to accept my list of the most toxic personality types out there. Make your own list! Now that you’ve had a chance to start thinking of types of behaviors that can be toxic, take a moment to recognize the types of poisonous personality types that could most have the ability to veer you off course from your true path.  Everyone’s got their own weak spots or sensitivities. Know how to recognize yours to make sure you no one pushes you off course.


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Toxic Personality Types

1 More info about how the five people with who you spend the most time define you. 

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. ratnamurti

    uummmm…. I do know a few people who are each more than 1 of these types. I found it very hard to get away from some people who were in the same field as myself, so I did it bit by bit, until we hardly ever communicated again. So much easier for me.

    1. Jo

      Ya, that’s a good strategy. Slowly take distance little by little. It’s rarely so easy that you can just cut people out from one day to the next, no matter how toxic they are.

  2. These are great categories! It is really good to see that I am not the only person who deals with these kinds of people. If I am able to understand them better, I think I will be able to work with them better.

    1. Jo

      Thats what I think too. Know how to recognize them, to be better equipped to deal with them when they’re around.


    I can completely relate to number 3 and 5 it applies so well on one person in my life and that’s none other than my mother-in-law!!!

    1. Jo

      It’s tough when it’s family because we can’t just delete them from our lives, especially mother in laws. Your best bet here is learning how to build a protective forcefield so that all the negativity and drama doesn’t become part of you.

  4. Cristina Alciati

    Love this! I went through the process of eliminating all the toxic people in my life a few years ago and decided to only surround myself with cheerleaders and people who add to my experience of life instead of providing a running commentary/critique of everything I do.

    As a result I now live 1000 miles away from my family 🙂

    Distancing yourself from bloodsuckers is something that I always recommend to my clients as it’s easy to be sucked into negativity when they start a fitness journey. There is always a friend who is adamant that “it’s not going to work” placing my clients at risk of fulfilling that prophecy.

  5. Wow. Yup. I agree with all of these. I reallllly struggle with the one-uppers. I can brush off pretty much anyone else! When I find myself bothered by a toxic attitude, I try to give them a bit of grace and think about why they are this way. Sometimes it helps 🙂

    1. Jo

      I totally agree. I do the same thing. Empathizing with them makes me get over my annoyance quicker and easier.

  6. Stream-lining my circles…..this is something that I have adopted, to be done, on a daily basis, effective 1st January 2018! The results so far, are excellent, I must report. Less chaos and more love and hi-fiving!

    Isn’t that lovely, Josee?

    Much love from me.

    1. Jo

      And what is streamlining your circles? I haven’t heard of this.

  7. Doc

    Not bad at all fellas and gaslla. Thanks.

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  9. Mary Cuadrado

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired! Extremely useful info specially the ultimate section 🙂 I take care of such information much. I used to be looking for this certain information for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  10. Rosie Bell

    I’ve decided I simply don’t have time to waste with people who don’t have my best interests at heart. Wise words here, thank you!

    1. Jo

      I hear ya, don’t waste time with those folks!

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