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Top 10 Toxic People to Avoid at All Costs

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It's easy to waste a lot of time and energy trying to deal with certain types of people. These troublesome individuals create conflict and turmoil, but it's not inevitable that you should get stuck in difficult, unsatisfying relationships. Children often have no choice about who they associate with, but adults do have a choice. Here are the 10 personality types to avoid:

1. The "Volcano." This person carries around a lot of anger just under the surface. Sooner or later the volcano is going to blow, spewing hot lava all over you. Their rage is always out of proportion to what's happening to them. You'll end up walking around on eggshells, when what you need to do is just walk away.

2. The "Charmer," otherwise known as a sociopath. This type of person might appear attractive and know all the right things to say, but their whole reason for being is to con their way into getting what they want. They lie with a smile on their face. They cheat, steal, manipulate and exploit. They break as many rules as they think they can get away with, all with great finesse and without a drop of remorse.

3. The "Narcissist." This person values themselves over everyone else. Initially, they might appear nice, but eventually you'll realize that their needs and feelings are the only ones that matter. They'll let you down when you need their support and turn on you angrily if you inadvertently get in the way of their needs being met.

4. The "Drama Queen." This character needs to be the center of attention or to create a crisis everywhere they go. Either they're in trouble and demand to be rescued or they make problems for the people in their lives. They'll often pit one person against the other and then sit back and enjoy the show.

5. The "Cynic." This angry, bitter individual sees the bad in everything, but their attitude is really just a psychological defense against feelings of vulnerability. They've unconsciously decided that negativity and pessimism will prevent them from getting hurt. The problem is, their rotten attitude is hurtful to everyone else.

6. The "Complainer." This individual blames everyone else for what's is going wrong in their life. Because they refuse to be accountable for the consequences of their choices, they keep repeating the same mistakes ad infinitum, accusing those around them of causing all their suffering.

7. The "Boor." This is a pretentious name-dropper and social climber who sees you as a rung on their ladder to success. They'll stop at nothing to have the money, power and status they crave. Social interactions are all strategic to them and designed to maximize access to the lifestyle they aspire to. They're incapable of genuine affection.

8. The "Wild Child." They're the rebel, the rule-breaker, the non-conformist. At first glance, they might seem exciting but very quickly it becomes clear that their recklessness disregard for their own and everyone else's welfare is hurtful and unattractive. Even if they're willing to suffer the consequences of their impulsiveness, you don't have to.

9. The "Dreamer." This person always has the next big secret of success just at their fingertips. They're full of grand ideas and plans, but either they don't follow through or they don't think things through, both of which result in social and financial disaster. Attaching yourself to this sinking ship puts you at risk of being dragged under.

10. The "Lost Boy." This person is a modern-day Peter Pan. They've refused to grow up and instead, try to get their friends and loved ones to take emotional and even financial care of them. This perpetual child could actually grow up if they wanted to, but because they'll never take responsibility for themselves, they'll be a burden on you forever.

Once you can identify these 10 problematic personality types, you'll be able to protect yourself if they happen to walk into your life. Instead of getting caught up in a frustrating or messy interaction, you can avoid these trouble-makers and focus your energy instead on building satisfying and meaningful relationships, devoid of unnecessary drama or complications.

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