People who are exhausting to be around often display these 9 behaviors (without realizing it)

It’s no secret that some people can be exhausting to be around.

These individuals seem to have a knack for sucking the energy out of a room, leaving us feeling tired and depleted after spending time with them. But what specific behaviors do they exhibit that make them so exhausting?

Below, check out nine behaviors commonly found in people who are exhausting to be around.

1) Constant negativity

One key behavior of people who are exhausting to be around is their consistent negativity.

These individuals seem to have a dark cloud hovering above them at all times. No matter the situation, they always find something to complain about, focus on the downside, or predict a bleak outcome.

This persistent pessimism can be quite draining. It’s like trying to swim upstream against a strong current – it’s exhausting and often feels like you’re getting nowhere.

Interacting with negative people can also influence our own mood and outlook. We might start feeling down or adopting a pessimistic view ourselves, which can further drain our energy.

Recognizing this behavior is the first step in dealing with such individuals. Understanding that their negativity is more about them than about you can help protect your mental and emotional energy.

Having said that, it’s always important to maintain empathy. These individuals may be battling their own issues that manifest as constant negativity.

2) Dominating conversations

Another behavior that can be particularly exhausting is when someone consistently dominates conversations.

I recall a friend of mine, let’s call him John.

Every time we’d meet up, John would take over the conversation. He seemed to like the sound of his own voice so much that he would talk non-stop about his problems, his achievements, barely pausing for breath. It felt like a monologue rather than a dialogue.

The rest of us barely got a word in edgeways. And when we did manage to share something, John would quickly steer the conversation back to himself.

This kind of behavior can be really draining. Conversations should be a two-way street, where all parties get to share, listen and engage. When it becomes one-sided, it’s like being an audience member at a never-ending show.

Recognizing this behavior is crucial. It can help us set boundaries and ensure that we also get the chance to express ourselves in conversations.

3) Lack of empathy

A distinctive trait of people who are tiring to be around is their apparent lack of empathy. They seem oblivious to other people’s feelings or experiences.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s like a bridge that connects us, allowing us to relate to one another on a deep, human level.

As American memoirist and poet Maya Angelou put it: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Empathic people are often perceived as more likable and pleasant to be around. On the flip side, those who lack empathy can come across as cold and self-centered, which can be draining for others.

Recognizing this behavior is key. It can help us understand why interactions with certain people leave us feeling unheard or undervalued. It’s not about us – it’s about their inability to empathize with others.

4) Overbearing need for attention

People who are exhausting to be around often exhibit an overbearing need for attention. They crave the spotlight and will do anything to keep it on them.

Whether it’s constantly interrupting others, telling outrageous stories, or making every situation about themselves, their actions scream “look at me”. This behavior can be incredibly tiring for those around them, as it leaves little room for anyone else to shine.

This constant bid for attention can feel like a tug of war, where the rope is your energy and attention. 

“The way to deal with attention-seeking behavior is not to reinforce it. By not reinforcing any behavior, the behavior can be extinguished,” advised clinical social worker and Fidi Therapy founder Marcos Quiñones

5) Incessant complaining

We all know someone who seems to complain about everything, from the weather to the waitress at the local diner. This incessant complaining is another behavior often exhibited by individuals who are draining to be around.

Psychoanalyst Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries asserted that chronic complainers not only did themselves a disservice but also negatively impact those in their vicinity.  

He explained:

“When people are thinking and reacting in negative and pessimistic ways, without realizing it, they transfer these feelings onto others in a process psychologists call “projective identification.” It is as if they use other people as some kind of garbage can for their negativity, making these others feel weighed down and exhausted.”

Complaining occasionally is natural. But when it becomes a constant habit, it can create a negative atmosphere and pull down everyone’s mood around them.

When you’re with someone who is always focusing on the negatives, it’s like being stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella. You end up soaked with their negativity, which can be emotionally exhausting.

6) Dismissing others’ feelings

image 11.30 19 People who are exhausting to be around often display these 9 behaviors (without realizing it)

People say those with no filter are usually the easiest to be around because they’re honest and true to themselves. But is it so?

It’s incredibly draining to be around someone who acts like they have a filter that only allows their own ideas and emotions to matter, while everyone else’s are rendered insignificant. 

Our feelings are a fundamental part of who we are. They reflect our experiences, our perceptions, and our humanity. When they’re disparaged or invalidated for whatsoever reason, it feels like a rejection of a part of us.

Recognizing this behavior is important. It’s a reminder to ourselves that our feelings are valid and important, regardless of how others may perceive them.

And it’s a cue to surround ourselves with people who respect and value our emotions enough to turn on their filters when they’re around us.

7) Lack of respect for personal boundaries

Another behavior that people who are exhausting to be around often display is a lack of respect for personal boundaries.

I remember a time when a colleague would constantly invade my personal space. She would go through my desk, look over my shoulder to see what I was working on, and insist on joining me even during my lunch breaks when I clearly needed some alone time.

This disregard for personal boundaries can be quite draining. It feels like an invasion, leaving you with no room to breathe or be yourself. It’s like being constantly watched, with no respite or sanctuary.

Recognizing this behavior is crucial in preserving our own mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s a reminder that we have the right to establish and maintain our personal boundaries, and it’s okay to distance ourselves from those who don’t respect them.

8) Constant criticism

Overly critical people are immensely difficult to be around.

Whether it’s your choice of outfit, your career, or even your taste in music, nothing seems to be off-limits for their critique.

This constant criticism can feel like a barrage of negativity, making you second-guess your decisions and damaging your self-esteem. It’s like walking on eggshells – you’re always anticipating the next critique and trying to avoid it.

If you’re always finding yourself on the receiving end of negative criticism, consider distancing yourself from the person to protect your inner peace. 

9) Emotional vampirism

The most draining trait of all is what’s often referred to as emotional vampirism. Emotionally vampiric people suck the positivity and energy out of those around them, leaving them feeling emotionally depleted. Why is that?

From a mythological standpoint, a vampire is a creature surviving by feeding on the blood of other living beings. It’s unlikely you’ll encounter any of them outside of Hollywood.

Emotional vampires, on the other hand, are thick on the ground. They feed off other people’s energy, thriving on drama and chaos. They get a kick out of gaslighting, spreading falsehood, and making you question your sanity.

“If you can avoid this person, that’s my first recommendation,” advised psychologist Natalie Dattilo at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “If it’s not [an option], get good at setting boundaries and limits and sticking to them.”

Final thoughts: It’s about self-preservation

When we delve into human interaction and behavior, it becomes clear that our mental and emotional wellbeing is often directly linked to the people we surround ourselves with.

The behaviors we’ve discussed – the constant negativity, the dismissal of others’ feelings, the incessant need for attention – these can all take a toll on our energy levels and overall state of mind.

Recognizing these behaviors in others isn’t about placing blame or putting them on our blacklist. Instead, it’s about self-preservation. It’s about understanding what affects us negatively and why, so we can better protect our mental and emotional health.

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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