They may be sipping coffee in the desk across from you, lurking in your corner of the classroom or occupying the home next door. In the most unfortunate of circumstances, they may even be tossing, turning and snoring within inches from you. There is most always incriminating evidence of them in your phone, and such breeds have a brilliant way of taking up real estate inside of your headspace.
Let's talk about the dream-killers and the crazy-makers: the two types of people you must eliminate from your life forever, or at least until they transform their chronically infectious and sabotaging behavior.
#1 The Dreadful Dream-Killer
The dream-killers often have little or no faith in themselves, therefore they cannot be expected to have faith in you. They are chronic skeptics and negatrons, always waiting for a storm cloud to appear and rain down on anything good. Severe weather conditions are almost always in the forecast.
Dream-killers are like a splash of spoiled milk in a recipe of otherwise delicious perfection; it just ruins the whole damn thing. They will throw shade over your sunny day. They will find fault and offense where no problem exists, and are strategically brilliant at back-handed compliments. If you cook for them a fabulous dinner, they may ask how you managed to burn the rice. Perhaps you could have selected a more appropriate wine, too.
They will provoke you to second-guess yourself. They will contaminate your faith, poison your thoughts and throw cold water on your victories. They will usually serve it to you on a platter of, "I'm just looking out for you."
They say that hard times reveal true friends. Well, so do successful times. Successful times often reveal the dream-killers.
They will make you feel that your accomplishes are less of a "big deal." They may do it will a snicker, an eye-roll or sometimes just agonizing silence and disregard.
Dream-killers often subscribe to the mindset that another's success takes something away from the possibility of their own. Your success makes them uncomfortable, intimidated and worrisome in ways that even they may not understand or admit. They cannot fully celebrate for you or be happy for you for too long.
They just continue to choke, choke, choke on that "haterade."
#2 The Seductive, Swindling Crazy-Maker
Crazy-makers will suck your time and energy from you. There are vampirish and parasitic, yet are often charismatic and charming enough to persuade you to forgive them for their madness. They will create a storm over themselves and ask that you join them in their rain dance.
You may be experiencing a personal tsunami, yet they will never know it because they are too busy counting their collection of clouds. They love their madness more than they are capable of loving you, for they are hopelessly addicted to swimming around in the turbulent waters of their own chaos.
They often show up for the dinner party with no offering and no willingness to help, but they eat your casserole, drink your champagne and participate merrily and unapologetically in the sharing of their crazy tales. They vomit their drama into every corner, but they will never offer to help you clean it up. Their timing is brilliantly destructive to your schedule, your agenda, your deadlines, your responsibilities and, ultimately, to your success. They take, take, take and suck, suck, suck -- dousing everyone in their path with their black magic of problems.
Crazy-makers are not afraid to force themselves upon you. They show up at your doorstep or beg to see you when they need something from you, but are often nowhere to be found when you need a favor. They often excuse their behavior with, "Well, you know I've been going through a difficult time." They are always going through a "difficult time."
Most days are like an afternoon at the circus. They are brilliant swindlers, always putting on a parade, a spectacle or an emotional freak show. They create their own roller coaster ride, but then kick and scream at every jerk and dip. Often perceiving the normal trials of life as though they are a natural disaster, they are a ticking time bomb -- a volcano on the constant verge of eruption.
They are an entitled breed. When they succeed, they enter the room as though walking on stilts. When they fail, however, they ride in like a freight rain straight through your sunny day.
I once worked with a lady who swore her uterus was falling out and, thus, requested that someone take her to the hospital. Nothing was wrong with her, but such episode had conveniently occurred moments after discovering that a few of my co-workers and I were preparing to confront her in regards to a betrayal. Such is classic crazy-maker behavior.
An afternoon excursion with a crazy-maker often feels like entering into some freaky vortex where time is accelerated and lost. By night, you will be rendered hopelessly exhausted while they are up howling at the moon. This is because they stole every shred of your energy from you.
They rarely pause to reflect on how their behavior affects others, for they are so high up in their tornado of chaos, their feet are never on the ground.
Like any skilled magician, they convince themselves and others that everyone is crazy except for them.
The Cast Always Makes or Breaks the Movie
The dream-killers are usually drunk on a concoction of "haterade," whereas the crazy-makers are drunk on their own chaos and self-destruction (famous for demanding that you join them for a sip or two). Dream-killers spoil your dreams with a splash of negativity, whereas crazy-makers cause your dreams to slowly spoil while distracting and entrancing you with their voodoo.
Both are sabotaging to your every day.
The reality is this: If you are over the age of a kindergartner, you have likely fallen into at least one of the above categories at some point in your life. I certainly have. It's those who continue to choose such behaviors month after month and year after year, however, that we must eliminate from our lives completely.
It is not your responsibility to remedy anyone else's overdose of anything.
So, if you have a dream-killer or a crazy-maker in your life, you have a decision to make. Figure out why you've been rolling out the red carpet for these types of people to play such a role in your life. Every day spent tolerating bad behavior is a day you betray yourself. Life is too short to stand under a storm cloud or to ride in on a freight train, my friend.
And, you know what? If you do not write them out of your script or at least assign their role a new set of boundaries, you are just as much of a thief to your dreams and a freight train to your sunny day as they are guaranteed to continuing being. Build for yourself an energizing tribe of dream-catchers and day-makers.
The cast always makes or breaks the movie, after all.
I'm just being honest.