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During the course of our lives, we come across multiple types of people; some good, some bad, and some that fit somewhere in between. Invariably, we tend to learn an important life lesson from most, if not all of them, it’s just that in certain cases the lesson can be sweet, and in others, a bit less so.
Well, my journey hasn’t been any different. Recently, I tracked down some of the people I have met over the years – the ones that came in briefly, the ones that stayed long and the those that are presently in my life.
It is quite interesting to learn how people can have such a significant influence on other people’s lives.
In the scope of this article, we’re going to assign a category to each and every one of these type of people, all while adding a brief description of what each personality type is like. For easier navigation, these will be split into 2 main categories: the positive-influence-type-people and the toxic-type-people.
Stick around until the end for a bonus category!
So without any further ado, let’s begin with number 1:
The positive-influence-type people:
#1: The Benefactor
The benefactors will encourage you and influence you positively in all aspects of your life, without attaching any strings to their generosity. Have you ever come across these type of people – the one who like to check how you’re doing every so often, without demanding anything from you in return or asking any favors?
Clearly, they care about our well being. They come into our lives to support us in achieving success in our endeavors ( career, studies, health etc).
You would never find them speaking ill against you, publicly or privately. These type of people respect your values and dignity.
In their presence, you feel acceptance, respect, and warmth. Such a person can be counted upon at all times, good as well as bad, and will never turn their back on you. They are the ideal friends so many of us desire, but little of us actually get a chance to meet or appreciate.
#2: The hang-around-with buddy
This is the type of person you hang around every so often, yet don’t share a deeper connection with. But that’s fine! After all, you get along just fine as is, and sometimes, getting to know someone on a deeper level reveals an image you may not be too pleased with.
An example of this would be the colleague you fetch a drink with after work, or maybe the next-door neighbor you say hi to over the fence, your teammate or someone you get together sometimes to chat with. Your interaction with them is dependent upon the values you both share.
Some might argue these type of people belong in the ‘neutral’ zone, but all things considered, a positive classification is quite well deserved. When all is said and done, they often end up drawing a smile on your face and make you feel better, do they not?
#3: The long-term acquaintance
Do you know someone who you’ve hung around with since kindergarten or high school? You’ve probably gotten so used to each other by now that you’re prepared to tolerate each other’s shortcomings and quirks without getting upset or holding a grudge. Even though you get upset or hold grudges with each other, it doesn’t take long before you both let go.
You’ve probably managed to realize that neither of you is perfect, but as long as you strive to be fair, all is forgotten. There are times when they advise and lend a helping hand. And if they haven’t heard from you for a while, they call, text or message to say “hi”.
In these type of relationships, a fight can break out every now and then, but it’s important to view it as a test of your friendship and the bond that holds it together.
#4: The trustworthy business partner
Although you might not have a personal connection or share leisure time with them, these type of people prove to be an irreplaceable ally you can count upon in a business environment. They’re distinguished by delivering quality work, being flexible, and never missing a deadline.
Having completely different cultural, academic, ethical, or religious backgrounds is not too unheard of. But this only serves to demonstrate the fact that there are other ties that bind.
#5: The gossiper
When you’re together, everything seems fine, but then you notice a destructive pattern: as soon as you turn your eyes and ears away, the gossip starts. You might notice them driving a wedge between you and your other friends, who end up turning hostile on you all of a sudden, seemingly without a solid reason.
Worse yet, you can’t seem to be able to find a reason for them causing you harm, not even after closely examining your actions and everything you might have possibly said to them, which creates even more hurt.
They just don’t like you
Discussing the issue with them doesn’t help resolve a thing, and you’ve noticed yourself growing increasingly more frustrated day in and day out.
These type of people won’t harm you initially, but will certainly wear you out over time. How do you deal with these type of people? Don’t let them get the better of you because if you do, it will weigh you down and you will be helping them achieve their goal. Learn more on how to deal with people who bring you down.
#6: The jealous one
Jealousy is something we are all guilty of sometimes. However, this negative emotion has to be controlled, so that it doesn’t destroy us.
For whatever reason, one of your friends has become jealous of what you have, and that something seems to be unattainable to them. As a defense mechanism, that person will start putting you down, either overtly or covertly. It could be something as innocent as a little nudge, but you start noticing you’re feeling unwell as a result of that.
Good friends sometimes pick on each other out of sheer love, fun, and companionship, especially the male friendships. But the key takeaway is they always have fun when teasing, including the recipient; if you’re feeling belittled and your friend has clearly crossed the line multiple times, then you’re clearly dealing with a jealous manipulator.
Their mindset is simple: by making you feel inferior and losing your sense of self-worth, they level out the playing field, thereby artificially inflating who they are in relation to you. To separate these sorts of jests from the harmless ones, you need to keep in touch with your inner self. Your intuition will never steer you wrong.
#7: The “pretend” friend
These type of people hang around because they either have an agenda to push (like making you support an act that is clearly disrespectful or immoral), or they may have an ulterior motive; for example, they may enjoy feeding on your misery, and get you addicted to the bad kinds of pleasure like drugs, alcohol or having questionable sex practices.
In the beginning, participating in these sorts of activities gives you a short-term release of pleasure chemicals in your brain, but your health or good conscience may suffer as a result of this later on.
Most importantly, they will try to seduce you and turn you onto the path of wrongdoing, causing you to rebel against the good principles and values instilled upon you by your parents during your upbringing. Be wary of these type of friends, especially because they likely won’t show their true colors from the get-go.
#8: The snake
You’ve caught their attention by having something of value. Whether it be material valuables, reputation, or power they covet. They will try as much as possible to take it from you.
They are the very definition of conditional love; as long as you are of use to them, they will stick around. But once this is gone, so are they.
Should an ill fate befall you, they probably wouldn’t even shed a tear or feel remorse. Worse yet, some of them actively wish for something terrible to happen to you, and could even take it as far as plotting the harm against you. Don’t be deceived, they hide under their smiles and kind gestures.
#9: The Boss
I bet we have all come across the “shot caller” at some point in our lives. They are the ones with Egos so big, you can’t miss their presence in the group. They like to be the one making the decisions at all times and want everyone else to follow. They love taking the credit for other people’s achievements.
They will make you feel inferior because of the way they carry themselves around. If you are the arrogant type, you definitely won’t get along with the “shot callers”.
If you find yourself arguing over and over again with a friend and all the time you feel low because you never win the argument with them. You might be dealing with a shot caller. Most of the shot callers were bullies in high school.
The neutrals and those who linger somewhere in between:
#10: The “go with the flow” person
One could say these type of people are trendy, but that wouldn’t be enough to tell the whole story. More accurately said, they don’t really have a mind of their own, and are easily influenced by the ongoing trends or what their friends are into right now.
That being said, they are not necessarily bad people. It’s just that they aren’t critical enough when it comes to deciding which values and principles are worth adopting and taking in as their own, and which ones are detrimental to their wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.
Since they’re easily influenced by other people, they also tend to mimic their actions, then spread their habits and beliefs onto others, even if their intentions are not foul. They simply want to get their hands on whatever’s cool at the moment and don’t think twice about jumping on the bandwagon of what others are into.
They will influence you in a subtle way, pushing you towards good or bad, whatever the circumstances might be.
#11: The multiple-offender
Sometimes, it’s next to impossible to fit a particular person into a single category. As it goes without saying, this would undermine the inherent complexity of life, society, and human nature. So yes, a single person could share two (or more) of the same characteristics we’ve discussed above!
For example, a long-time acquaintance of yours could easily be a benefactor at the same time (as they often become, if you manage to keep them by your side long enough).
A snake might also resort to gossip and other tactics of manipulation in order to take a swipe at your neck, and this is to be expected. After all, the toxic people often don’t see their ill deeds as bad, but merely as means to an end.
The world is a complex place, and in certain cases, it’s tough to reduce a given act to being either good or bad (nor you should, as most often it’s one of the shades of gray). You can, however, be thankful for having the kind of people around you who act as a positive force in your life, and call out the toxic people for the mischief they cause; the aim is to hold them accountable for it.
If this “11 most common types of people who enter your life” brings about an end to your friendship, so be it! At the end of the day, doing what’s right seldomly feels easy, and you’re probably better off alone than having to deal with toxic friends who have an unhealthy influence on you and your environment.
On the back of this, I like to pose this question: which category do you fall into?