Negativity breeds more negativity. We can’t flourish in that type of environment. Successful people talk about ideas and growth, not about other people. If we are seeking to expand and fill our lives with growth and positivity, we must limit our time with the gossipers and judgmental people around us.


By Crystal Caracciolo

We have all heard the saying “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.”

This seems to warrant the idea that we are much like the company we keep, and for some this may be true. However, if we are spiritually and personally growing and expanding, it is presenting as the exact opposite.

When we start to improve our lives with personal development or are on the journey of our spiritual awakening slowly realizing our inner wisdom and potential, we begin to look more closely at whom we surround ourselves with. We become more aware of how our feelings, emotions and mindset are affected by the company we keep, and we realize some ties have to be cut, or at least minimized for us to continue to reach our full potential. We come to the realization that not everyone in our lives is serving us. On the contrary, they may actually be hindering our journey.

Here are the five types of people we must break free from in order to continue our journey to greatness, growth and improvement.

1. The Settlers

Not everyone moves at the same pace towards personal growth. We all are on our own personal journey and we all will progress at different speeds. However, if we are surrounded by those who refuse to improve, choose their comfort zone indefinitely, reject growth and change—those who have settled—we may begin to feel weighed down.

This in turn limits our own ability to develop. It takes away from the time we can spend with people whom we get feedback from, share ideas with and collaborate to learn and expand our knowledge. When we get together with people in our lives, we should feel inspired, motivated and exchange thoughts of the future and personal evolution. Not all social encounters have to be mastermind sessions, but for the majority of our conversations and gatherings, there should be talks of the journey onward to improvement and positive conversations encouraging progression.

Settlers are content with average and staying who they are. If we are on the path to personal greatness and cultivating a life that matters, settlers will only inhibit our journey.

2: Negative Nancy / Ned

We all go through tough times and need a chat with a close family member or friend to help guide us and lift us up.

We get into ruts and lose our jobs, go through break ups, have stress at work and so on, but those ruts are short-lived and then we move on to happier times. Negative Nancy/Ned moves on, but he or she moves on to another rut and it seems as though the ruts keep coming and he or she can’t wait to share it with us. Again, again and again, negative Nancy/Ned doesn’t seem to have much interest in solutions and problem solving. In fact, it seems they are more interested in problem creation. They have a problem for every solution and no matter how much we try to help, they stay where they are and defend why they are there consistently.

They are dark, heavy, unhappy and not willing to do anything about it. As we prosper and grow, we must limit our conversations and time with them as it will begin to drain us to the point of feeling down ourselves, even if we don’t have our own reason to be. We can be willing to give solutions and be there for them, but if they are digging deeper and deeper into their own demise despite our attempts to help them, we must break free or they surely will bring us down with them.

People change and make better choices and decisions when they learn and grow; however, Nancy and Ned subconsciously have accepted they are meant to struggle and so they create a life where that is all that they do. It is not our job nor is it our responsibility to bring them out of their darkness, especially if they don’t want out. We must move on and surround ourselves with positive uplifting people who look for the lessons and work to get out of their ruts.

3. The Needy

There are people in our lives who need favors from us once in a while, people who need us to help them get things done here and there, and then there are the people that that need everything done for them and we are their go to person for all of it.

We do it all because we feel guilty if we don’t and we think that if we didn’t help them they would surely perish and have an epic downfall, right? Wrong. When we give our all to people who have made us the “go-to” person for all of their issues and requests, we create a codependent relationship; every time we help when they could have done it for themselves, we enable that dependency. If we are to become greater and the best versions of ourselves on this journey, we can’t keep focusing on helping the needy person in our lives all of the time. As long as we are there consistently, they will ask for our help and never venture out to help themselves.

We don’t have to feel guilty about creating boundaries, because something wonderful happens when we do: we give them back their power to thrive without us. They may even be surprised by their ability to get things done without our help once in a while.

On this path to growth, we can’t be hindered by the needs of others who don’t take responsibility for themselves when they are capable. Give them the chance to see that they can, give them the chance to try on their own, and you might be surprised at how much they can do. Help them out, but create healthy boundaries. It is a must.

4. The Naysayers

Whenever we venture on to new horizons with the desire to step out of our comfort zones, we can be sure that the ones around us want to keep us safe, protected and away from harm or disappointment.

They will share all the stories of people that they know who failed at what we are trying to do; they know all of the negative downfalls we may encounter and they make sure we are aware of them as well. Maybe they are truly concerned about us and don’t want us to get hurt as we step away from the norm, or maybe they feel that by us flourishing it reminds them that they aren’t.

There is a difference between others not agreeing with our journey, because it goes against what they believe yet they still being able to root for us and those who flat out tell us we shouldn’t do it, because they are projecting their fears and failures onto us.

It is up to us to determine whether someone is genuinely looking out for us or subconsciously not wanting us to succeed. If we must share our dreams, desires and our journey to a better version of ourselves, it is important to share with people who support and uplift us on the way there.

5. The Gossipers/Judgemental People

We know who these people are and we can spot them instantly—they will show themselves to us in the form of putting down others.

The gossipers and judgmental people look for any chance to talk about other people’s business and they have an opinion about everyone. In their company, it feels heavy and somewhat uneasy as they bombard us with stories and the lives of others that they don’t have any business sharing with us. The gossipers have constant negative opinions of others and their choices; they tend to judge any moves others are making giving their two cents when it wasn’t asked. We can be sure if they talk to us about others, they talk to others about us.

Negativity breeds more negativity. We can’t flourish in that type of environment. Successful people talk about ideas and growth, not about other people. If we are seeking to expand and fill our lives with growth and positivity, we must limit our time with the gossipers and judgmental people around us.

As Jim Rohn, one of the greatest personal development leaders of our time, stated: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

We must choose wisely if we are ever to continue to on the voyage to our very best selves. Will cutting ties completely or limiting the amount of time that we spend with these types of people be difficult, especially if they are family? Absolutely. No one said that the path less chosen would be easy and wouldn’t require sacrifice and difficult decisions, but if we are to step into our greatness, the most important aspects of our lives are the relationships we cultivate and the ones we learn to distance ourselves from.

Once the weight is lifted and we make room for those taking the same path with us, we can fly higher than we ever could have imagined. We all deserve a tribe that lifts us up and keeps us reaching for limitless possibilities.


Crystal Caracciolo is a Holistic Life Coach and specializes in helping woman heal their mind, body and soul through behavior/mindset re-patterning, personal development, nutrition, and NLP (neurolinguistic programming) techniques. Crystal’s intention is to have women realize their worthiness and become the best version of themselves so they can live fulfilled, joyful, abundant and healthy lives. Connect with her on Facebook.



Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak


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