Sometimes, we have to take stock of the people in our lives to see if we need to sign the zero tolerance contract with them.
And every once in a while, we must ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions if we want to be happy.
- What are we willing to tolerate when it comes to our relationships, our career and life in general?
- How much are we willing to take?
- Are we okay with putting up with people who sabotage our happiness?
As we skip and stumble through the journey of life, we have no choice but to learn along the way. These lessons include what we should never tolerate from ourselves as well as others.
No need to settle for relationships that make us unhappy.
No need to settle for a career that makes us unhappy.
No need to settle for a life that makes us unhappy.
In fact, no need to settle.
Think about your life as an event where only you get to choose the list of invitees. There will always be people who will drag you down. It is up to you to actively decide whom you want to keep and whom you want to let go of. And you certainly want to think twice before you surround yourself with people who are all too happy to control your life.
You can choose to be around positive people who challenge you to grow and reach your highest potential, or you can choose to be smothered by negative people who will do everything in their power to drain your energy.
We all have those exhausting people in our lives who make us feel trapped, not to mention stupid. Instead of being supportive, they will make us miserable and infect us with self-doubt.
Sign the Zero Tolerance Contract with all those people who do so little for you and control so much of your life.
Here are ten people with whom you should sign the Zero Tolerance Contract.
1. The Negative Nancies
You know you’ve got them. They’re constantly telling you what can go wrong if you want to attempt something new. If you’re excited about trying something, they’ll be ready with a long list of reasons why you shouldn’t. If you show them something you’ve made—say for example a chapter from the book you’re writing, they’ll point out everything that’s wrong with it. They’ll never come up with solutions and they’ll never say anything that might actually help you. They just shove failure in your face.
Stop listening to these people. They’re usually afraid you’ll succeed.
2. The Control Freaks
They are always happy to organize a guilt trip for you. They’re literally bullies who want to control you and your actions. Of course, they are not interested in you—only what they can get out of you. When you first met them, you probably respected them for their confidence. This can be your old boss, a college mentor or even an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. However, you’ve probably outgrown them and moved on. Yet, you feel as if you owe them. A feeling of misplaced loyalty. And yes, they know it and use it to control you.
Wake up. Disconnect from them. Ignore them. They cannot and should not make you feel miserable.
3. The Eternal Disapprovers
These are the people whose approval we seek, in good faith. But there are some people who’ll never let you have it, no matter how hard you try. I used to have a boss who’d never praise us even when we did something amazing. He’d say, “Nothing less was expected from you” and that would be so annoying. It’s like they hang over your head, always disapproving until a point comes when you realize you don’t really need their approval.
If someone is too snooty to approve of you, forget them. They are just not worth looking up to. Sure, they are initially motivating, but don’t go overboard trying to please them.
4. The Drama Llamas
You know you have them. They constantly complain and are always seeking attention. They nitpick at everything. Nothing is ever good enough for them. They’re never happy unless they are unhappy. They are always whining about what they don’t have. And we end up engaging with them. What a waste of time!
Recognize these people and cut them out of your life. You don’t need the drama. You have better things to do.
5. The Energy Vampires
Vampires suck your blood. The energy vampires are no different. They’ll start driving you nuts as soon as they arrive. They can’t help themselves. Your day will be going well but the moment these people turn up, it will all go downhill after that. The annoying thing is you’ll feel sorry for them and want to help them. Unfortunately, these vampires don’t want your help. They enjoy being the way they are regardless of the havoc they’re wreaking on others. They love it when they suck your energy.
Run for the hills the moment you spot them. Keep them out of your life, because you need your precious energy for more productive things.
6. The Martyrs
Martyrs suffocate you and make you feel cornered. You just can’t escape them. When I worked in corporate sales, we had a colleague who would catch us the moment we walked in and a cup of tea in one hand and a cigarette in the other, start talking about his morning in detail. His acidity, what his wife said, his commute to the office. Every single day. Initially, we would listen, even though he was cutting into our schedule. But day after day—it was too much useless information. These people love to use emotional blackmail. Pretty much like control freaks, only whinier.
Cut them out of your life as quickly as you can.
7. The Frogs in the Pond
There are some people who will act like your friend, call you for their get-togethers or parties and appear as if they’re all set in life. They are overfriendly people who actually never really move on with their lives. Think of that arrogant college mate who never really did anything with their lives. When you meet them, they will drag you down low.
You don’t need them in your life. Stay away from them.
8. The Holier-Than-Thous
These people will freak out over every tiny thing in their lives. Condescending and always in high-drama mode, they have a superiority complex. At the same time, they believe everyone is out to get them. They secretly also believe that everyone else is inferior. They are always playing the blame game. It is always someone else’s fault. They are super-boring and petty.
Make a clean break with people like these. Walk away.
9. The Empty Vessels
Noisy people with nothing to show for it. They will talk big and expect you to rush forward to support them. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t convenient for you. They’ll suck your time. And they pretend to be philanthropists. But they are not. They will expect you to be generous with your time, your money, your skills. But they never ever do anything. They’ll keep telling you to trust them. They guilt trip you into giving them what they want. They’ll act like you’re a monster if you are happy. They are basically con men.
Distance yourself from these people.
10. The Smooth Operators
These people will talk you into doing anything and give you that false sense of importance. You’ll actually begin to believe that they’re your encouragers. But they are clever. Truth is, they only pretend to support you when they want something from you. Soon you will realize that they keep you from doing things that are good for you. They truly manipulate you, making you trust them before they start their dirty work. It is not easy to throw them out of your life.
But throw them out you must before you are totally distracted. Because if you don’t, they’ll just hold you back, all the time laughing at you behind your back.
Sit down, take stock of all the people in your life. Who are the negative people dragging you down? Sign the Zero Tolerance Contract with them. Move away from them. Unchain the elephant. Create space for positive people who encourage you and stand by you, no matter what.