It’s not just your unused possessions that are cluttering up your life. People can be clutter too. The people you mix with fall into two distinct categories: those who make you feel good, and those who make you feel bad. 

How Do They Make You Feel?

If you examine your feelings after you’ve spent time with a particular person, then you’ll have a clue as to which category that person falls into. If you feel angry, negative, uncomfortable, or depressed, then the person you’ve just seen could be bad for you. On the other hand if you feel happy, amused, intrigued, or relaxed after spending time with someone, then that person is clearly a good influence in your life.

Your emotions before you spend time with a person are very significant too. Are you looking forward to seeing them, or are you dreading the encounter? Do you feel uneasy at the thought of spending a whole evening with a particular person, or delighted?

Junk people fall into several distinct categories:

Time Stealers

People who take up all of your time can be a negative influence in your life. Those who keep asking you to help them with some activity, who spend all your time talking about the difficulties in their life, who keep giving you jobs to do, but who never seem to do anything for you in return. When these people ring up your first thought is ‘I wonder what they want me to do now?’

Happiness Vampires

Some people suck all the joy out of you. After just a few minutes spent in their company, you feel a physical and mental slump. They spend so much time talking about how terrible everything is, they view the world in such a negative light, that they can make you feel completely hopeless. Susan Jeffers in ‘Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway’ [UK Affiliate Link] [US Affiliate Link} refers to these people as the ‘Moan and Groan Society’.

Guilt Trippers

There are some people who make you feel guilty every time you see them, because they always seem to have a problem. Everything is so awful for them, life goes so badly for them, people are so mean to them, they have such bad luck… you know the kind of person I’m referring to. If you aren’t constantly helping them, then you feel mean. If things are going well for you, then you feel guilty.

Super-Competitive People

There are those who view everything in life as a competition. Every activity and even every conversation has a winner and a loser in their eyes. They talk and behave aggressively, they have to do everything better than everyone else, and they make sure the whole world knows about it. Even a simple conversation becomes a competition for them, so that they have to top every story and have the last word too.

Malicious People

Some people seem to take delight in making others feel uncomfortable. They like to say provocative or critical things, and enjoy the reaction they cause. They like to put others down, to highlight others weak points, to accuse them of things, and to make them feel inadequate. Nothing is ever their fault as the other person is always to blame for everything. They tend to be moody because this is the best way to keep others off balance. These people are probably the most corrosive out of all the junk people.

Avoid At All Costs

You will probably find that every person you know can occasionally fall into one of these behaviour types, after all, no-one is perfect. But if someone you know consistently makes you feel bad then this person is a junk person. Junk people don’t benefit you in any way at all and should be avoided at all costs. If you have friends who are junk people then see less of them, or ideally find new friends. If family members fall into this category then spend less time with them. Work colleagues can be hard to avoid, but if you work for a malicious person then I would look for another job.

Life is short and precious so don’t waste it on people who don’t deserve you. Anyone can go through a bad patch, but a person who consistently makes you feel bad is a toxic influence in your life.

Nurture Your Own Success

Avoiding the junk people, and spending your precious time and emotional energy with people who make you feel good, will revolutionise how you feel. Mix with positive people who will encourage your ambitions, care about your feelings, and give you reasons to feel confident about yourself. This will create a nurturing environment around you which will incubate your success.