Wednesday, May 27, 2009

8 Toxic Personalities to Avoid by Brett Blumenthal

Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well-adjusted, happy, healthy minded individuals, we sometimes realize that it just isn't so. Personally, I've had moments where I'll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and BAM, I'll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails. Sometimes it is easy to write it off and other times, not so much.

Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain individual, you feel negative. Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional. Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member, you regress into a state of childhood.

Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives. And, although we are all human and have our 'issues,' some 'issues' are quite frankly, toxic. They are toxic to our happiness. They are toxic to our mental outlook. They are toxic to our self-esteem. And they are toxic to our lives. They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan.

Here are the worst of the toxic personalities out there and how to spot them:

1. Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics. Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late. These individuals figure out what your 'buttons' are, and push them to get what they want.

Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem. They find ways to make you do things that you don't necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation. The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.

2. Narcissistic Nancy: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them. They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marys of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met. You often want to say to them "It isn't always about you."

Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust. You are left disappointed and unfulfilled. Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them, that you have nothing left for yourself.

3. Debbie Downers: These people can't appreciate the positive in life. If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast. If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they'll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.

Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything. Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity. Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.

4. Judgmental Jims: When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive. If you find people's unique perspectives refreshing, they find them 'wrong'. If you like someone's eclectic taste, they find it 'disturbing' or 'bad'.

Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Debbie Downers. In a world where freedom rings, judgment is sooo over. If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring. Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.

5. Dream Killing Keiths: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can't do it. As you achieve, they try to pull you down. As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.

Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in what is instead of what could be. Further, these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself. Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.

6. Insincere Illissas: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere. You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh. You feel depressed and sad and they give you a 'there, there' type response. You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.

Why they are toxic: People who aren't sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria. This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships. When you are really in need of a friend, they won't be there. When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are. When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.

7. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways. In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies. Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you. Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business. Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.

Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don't respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy. These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.

8. Never Enough Nellies: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you. They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.

Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them, that you will end up losing yourself in the process. They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your own needs sacrificed.

All of these personalities have several things in common. 1) the more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue. 2) Unfortunately, most of these people don't see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one. 3) Most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.

Frankly, life is too short to spend your time dealing with toxicity. If you can, avoid spending mucho time with people who are indicative of these behaviors and you'll feel a lot happier. Have you encountered these personalities? What have you done? Any personalities you would add?

This article was written by Brett Blumenthal

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stress, Perception, and Locus of Control

Perception and locus of control are interrelated skills that determine how one handles stress and how resilient individuals are to crisis, chaos, and stressful events. People that believe they have less stress believe that they are in control of their own lives. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) believe “psychological stress is a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well-being” (as cited by McCauley, 2005). Clawson (2006) asks the question, how much do we live life inside-out versus outside-in? Are we living fully influenced by and reacting to our external environment (which creates a victim mindset) or do we feel that we have control or perceive that we have control over our external environment by exhibiting thoughtful responsive actions outward? Darwin (n.d.) states “it’s not the strongest of the species who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”. According to Senge (2003) when we live life with an external locus of control, “we are victims of a self-reinforcing crisis of perception – a crisis of our own making”.
McCauley, C. (2005). Stress and the eye of the beholder. Leadership in Action, 25(1), 3.
Senge, P.M. (2003). Creating desired futures in a global economy. Reflections; Vol.5, Iss. 1. EBSCOhost Database.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Perspective is EVERYTHING!

I hope you will watch this video and learn from a dying woman how we can better frame our own lives and be truly thankful and grateful for every breath we take! Turn up your volume and enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Emotional Hijacking

Whether frameworks are personal or professional, emotions can be helpful or hindering no matter the environment. Kouzes (2003) talks about contagion and leadership and that when in a group environment that an “emotional soup” is created with each adding their own flavor and how people take emotional cues from the top and the domino effect ripples downward creating the emotional climate. Kouzes (2003) also discusses emotional hijacking and how negative emotions hijack attention away from the task at hand, eroding mental abilities, and impairing social skill-sets. Negative emotions are just plain bad for business whereas positive emotions create a positive environment, contributing to job satisfaction and overall increased performance levels. One of the statements that really stuck from this writer’s perspective is that happy employees make happy customers and this ultimately increases revenue. There is a direct link between leadership to climate to business performance.

Kouzes, J.M. (2003). Business Leadership. A Jossey-Bass Reader

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reducing Stress through Positivity

I am a firm believer in positive perceptions, positive thinking, and that the battlefield of the mind is where we need to stand guard most vigilantly. We can lose the battle or accept defeat with “stinking thinking” before we ever make a physical move or a verbalization in any situation. Chiu et. al. (2005) believes that “locus of control can influence experienced stress by affecting one’s perceived ability to cope with and perhaps change a stressful environment” (p. 837). According to Sosik and Godshalk (2000) job stress is linked to health problems and illness, poor performance, waning effectiveness and waxing health care costs. Additionally, job related stress is reported as costing corporate America approximately $200 billion annually, or 10% of U.S. GNP (Sosik & Godshalk, 2000). Stress may be abated through communicating effectively, increasing efficacy expectations, clarifying performance expectations, participating in or developing support groups, strengthening relationships, and continuing to expand opportunities to learn and develop personally and professionally.

Chiu, C., Chien, C., Lin, C. & Hsiao, C.Y. (2005). Understanding hospital employee job stress and turnover intentions in a practical setting: the moderating role of locus of control. The Journal of Management Development; Bradford: 2005, Vol. 24, Iss. 10.
Sosik, J.J. & Godshalk, V.M. (2000). Leadership styles, mentoring functions, a job-related stress: a conceptual model and preliminary study. Journal of Organizational Behavior; June 2000, Vol. 21, Iss. 4.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Global Business Opportunities

I have recently become part of an international company that is literally changing peoples lives. The organization offers an unbelievable product in the health and wellness industry coupled with an unbelievable business opportunity. The company is based in the U.S. and active in more than 12 countries around the world and opening the European and Malaysian markets in the 4th quarter of this year. I am very excited about what this business has to offer! The top people in the company are making more than $7 million per year. The organization is just less than 4 years old and has already done more than $2 billion dollars! This is an opportunity to have your own business that will create multiple streams of income. They have taken this product to market through relationship marketing and it is growing like wildfire! Please check out the following link and watch the first and second video clips. This can truly change your life! I would love to have you on board! E-mail me for more information

Cheers to health, wealth, blessings and freedom!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Global Crisis

At the risk of being an arm-chair economist/politician I will offer my perspective. “[G]reat companies and great dynasties and great empires, most of those were not defeated externally….they were defeated from within” (CEO of JetBlue, cited by Fawcett et. al., 2008, p. 2). I realize that responsibility of destruction is a result of many years of corruption and poor decisions, simplistic but to the point. When the highest pursuit is to line one’s pockets, moral depravity has won. Democracy is dead and socialism is tantamount to communism. A ruling society seems to be taking shape, bankrupting more than the economy. Socialism according to Webster (2007): “any various economic and political theories or social systems based on collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done” (p. 932). Communism according to Webster (2007): “a social system in which property and goods are owned in common; also: a theory advocating such a system 2a: a doctrine based upon revolutionary Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R. b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single party controls state-owned means of production with the professed aim of establishing a stateless society: (p. 190). Taxing a recession equals depression. Bailing out the economy and every big business does not save the economy or the business it creates government ownership. The stimulus package exceeds our GDP and I certainly don’t see how this is numerically, economically, or financially possible to stimulate anything hold bankruptcy. There is a loss of the individual to the collective and we are all being assimilated, so resistance is futile it seems.

I think there are going to be more and more people getting back to basics. Extended families may need to pool their resources in order to survive and live in a compound or community environment hearkening back to past eras where multi-generational family living was the norm. Many are and have been distrusting of government and big business. They feel a need to pull back and they are going to be doing business with the mom and pop businesses (if they survive) but new bartering systems will result from our crunch, and squeeze. There will be many phoenix’s rising from the ashes of this economic turmoil and consumers will want to spend their money with people and establishments where they feel they matter. Home-based businesses are going to boom and the cacooning trend will continue where people seek safety and comfort in the walls of their own home and if industry does not know to find the consumer in their home they will lose market share. However, technology and the internet has already been able to exploit this opportunity. But the bottom line is that with geographical boundaries receding and globalization upon us, the political and economic heat will continue to rise until the burn destroys one or more of the players. It is a time of political and economic arson and even though fire destroys, it also cleanses, so my hope is that even though things may appear grim, I am working to focus on my microclimate while being vigilant about the macroclimate and hope that the emergence of something worthy will transcend the inevitable destruction.

Fawcett, S.E., Brau, J.C., Rhoads, G.K. & Whitlark, D. (2008). Spirituality and organizational culture: cultivating the ABCs of an inspiring workplace. International Journal of Public Administration; 31: 420-438, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2009 from EBSCOhost Database.
Merriam-Webster (2007). Webster’s New Explorer College Dictionary New Edition. Federal Street Press.

Friday, March 6, 2009

YIKES! I've Become a Network Marketer!!!!

Not in a million years did I ever think that this would happen TO ME! I was as the library with my children one day looking for a book for a paper I was writing on the thrilling topic of finance and economics, which turned out to be a rather interesting topic, but I digress. I had taken my precious little ones to the children's section first to load them up with books so they sat quietly looking at their books while I stood perusing the business section looking for my specific title. OK, I was minding my business looking for my book and another woman came to the same section. We began to chat casually (this is how it all starts :) and she brought up THE PRODUCT! On the inside, I was rolling my eyes, HARD! On the outside, I smiled and looked somewhat skeptical I suppose. I reluctantly gave her my e-mail and number and then thought to myself, what have I done! I have set myself up! I don't want in to one of those things! She did call me as I knew she would, I had objections and such but she was persistant, but pleasant. She finally nailed me down do an appointment when she would come to my home. I almost picked up the phone several times that day to cancel. The ONLY reason I did not is because the product was in the health and wellness industry and I am all about health and wellness and was a little interested to hear about that and I knew as a grad student in business that the health and wellness industry is trending like crazy and is only growing by leaps and bounds. OK, so she came over (with her upline), another eyeroll on my end. I watched the video while I allowed my children to run around like crazy, it was not important enough to me at the time to force them to be still. I listened to their compensation plan and I tasted the product. I thought it was yummy, hmmmmmm. I SIGNED UP!!!!!!! I could not believe I DID IT! So, I was on a break from class for a week and I consumed all the literature they left, researched every aspect of the product and the business seven ways to Sunday and I was actually IMPRESSED and kind of happy I did this. EVEN MORE SURPRISING TO MYSELF! WOW! One thing that really stuck with me is an article I read by Paul Zane Pilzer, who is a world renowned economist, multimillionaire entrepreneur, college professor, author, and economic advisor to two U.S. Presidents and a leading predictor of economic catalysts and trends........You want to know? OK, he said that the two HOT industries that we are going to see BOOM right now, even in the midst of our crazy economy, are home-based business (check), and the health and wellness industry (check, check). This company is smack dab in the middle of that!!!!! HELLOOOOO! From a business stance, the company is debt free, in 12 countries around the globe and opening the European market and Malaysia in the 4th quarter of this year and is just under 4 years old and has already done over a BILLION DOLLARS! I am impressed. It took Microsoft over 12 years to do a billion. I want in on this! So if any of you want to ride this vehicle with me, you are more than invited! The most successful in the company are doing over $7 million a year and I am not opposed to that! The company is featured in this months (March, 2009) Dupont Registry magazine at Barnes & Noble and has been featured on Rachael Ray, Fortune, and a host of news, media, publications etc. and the product itself is helping people with arthritis, diabetes, cholesterol, and nutrition. I know I sound like a raving lunatic, but I have never seen the right product, the right timing, the right leadership, and did I mention they are socially responsible giving back to the country where they harvest the fruit and produce the product? I mean, I just can't go on more about it. I am proud to be a part of it......I am excited to help others and to help myself at the same time! I would love to welcome others to be a part of this explosion of health and wealth! And my positive comment for the day is even if you are just barely making it in life, the upside is that you are still on top and you are still making it! So cling to the positive and be thankful and grateful for what we do have in life! Contact me if you would like to discuss more about my newest venture in life and if you would like to be a part of it together! The beauty of this organization is that we can live anywhere in the world and be a part of the same team! AHHHH The power of the internet! Have a blessed day everybody!!!