“Surround yourself with people that push you to do better. No drama or negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.”
The importance of social connection cannot be understated. It reduces stress, helps us feel understood and has a ton of other benefits (find more about that here).
While social connection is good. Not all social connections are good. And while being socially connected helps us, having the wrong types of connections can hurt us. Below I outline 13 negatively impactful social connections and how they can negatively impact us and our lives.
1. Blackout Buddies
Woot woot! But really, womp womp.
Blackout buddies, or any friend we get wasted with are not a healthy connection. It doesn’t need to be booze, it could also be drugs or another kind of harmful coping method like binge eating. This is negatively impactful because bad habits may start to seem normalized and we start to get stuck.
2. Drama Attractors
It’s not good to be closely connected with people who constantly have drama or turmoil in their life. Of course, some drama can’t be helped, but people who constantly have drama around them will just bring us down. If we are close to drama we may get sucked into the drama.
3. Gossip Kings & Queens
Gossip kings and queens bring a different kind of drama. They are so caught up in other people’s lives they don’t talk about much else (yawn). Not only is this boring af, it’s negatively impactful. Keep in mind, if they are talking badly about others then they are most likely talking badly about you to others too.
Some people depend on others to do the difficult life work for them. They turn to others and try to skirt responsibility. Of course we should be able to depend on our friends and family for help. It becomes an issue when others try to skirt their responsibilities onto us. There is enough responsibility to go around, and it’s negatively impactful for us to take on responsibility that isn’t ours.
RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Ways to Stay Socially Connected While Physically Distant
And unsuspecting person can be subjected to another person’s codependent habits. This can manifest in ways such as a friend wanting to have say in your life and choices. Or a friend thinking they know what is best for you better than you do. Or someone who is trying to control you and force you to do things their way all of the time. This is negatively impactful and results in a negative, energy-draining connection for both parties.
6. Boundary Fighters
Boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships. Some people DID NOT get this memo. They will try to weasel their way in, or crush boundaries, which in turn creates an unhealthy connection and relationship. Other times, people who are bad at setting their own boundaries may also try to ignore yours.
⚡ Healthy connections require healthy boundaries.
While we would hope everyone wants to genuinely connect, some people are just in it for what they hope to get out of it. This is negatively impactful because we are being used. The person isn’t connecting with you, the are connecting with what they can get from you. Not only is it a bad spend of our energy, we are getting fed negative energy by the manipulator.
Someone who is controlling likely has an idea of what type of person they want you to be. They don’t acknowledge us for who we are as a person. In this scenario the controlling person is connecting with their ego, and there is an illusion of connection, but really you are being subjected to a bad environment.
9. Debbie Downers
Some people just love being miserable. It’s like they created this little cocoon of misery that they want to protect at all cost. It’s could be a cute, little cocoon and it could be warm and toasty in there, but it sure ain’t healthy. If we get sucked in to their negative energy we can end up taking on their shitty mentality of life, and das just not good!
10. Put Downers
As the name suggests, put downers are people who put us down. They most likely think they can’t do something and so they project that onto us. Connection is supposed to bring us together and improve our life. Put downers will do the opposite.
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11. Busy Bees
🐝 Buzzzzzz. Buzzzzz. Buzzy bees are those who are apparently always trying to connect but are unable to do so because they are always super duper busy.
🗞️ News flash: errryone is busy! We find ourselves spending a lot of mental energy trying to connect with them when we need to just let them be (with their poor time management skills) and find people who are willing and ready to connect.
Has a nice ring to it and it’s a word I made up to describe people who are clingy. They may want to connect but they are doing it wrong and it’s not healthy for either party involved.
13. Bad Fits
If the glove don’t fit… I’ll let myself out.
Sometimes people simply aren’t a good fit. We may get caught up in wanting everyone to like us that we forget. A bad fit is just that, bad. Sometimes people just don’t get along. It doesn’t mean we hate them. It just means we don’t connect. It’s best to leave these be, trying to force something to work takes too much energy.
🌯 Wrap up
This list is not exhaustive but wowza was it was exhausting to write. Referencing all of these bad types of connections gave me a bad energy. I felt I was being a Debby downer (BTW, totes sorry to anyone named Debby if they are annoyed by that reference)!
That is not my intention. My intention is to help you become aware of the types of bad connections so you can make sure the connections you do form are good ones. Social connection is the lifeblood of human happiness and you deserve the best!
Also, I know that everyone is perfect and blah blah blah, but when you think of the list think of how you may be guilty of one or two of these. It may be in a particular relationship or a constant in your life. We all need to improve!