“You can only work for people you like…
…Some people are toxic avoid them. This is a subtext [to working for people you like]. There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the ‘whole’ before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. it doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energized or less energized. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. if you are more tired then you have been poisoned. if you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and i suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.”-Milton Glaser, “Ten Things I’ve Learned.” Milton Glaser.com.
“Avoid sucking black holes of negativity in your newsroom and your writing life. They will bring you down with them…
…”There will be some people in every newsroom who create a whirling vortex of negativity,” she told her students.
“They spend their time and energy (and yours) complaining, criticizing, blaming and spitting bile. Avoid them at all costs. Their cynical aura may at first seem seductive. But don’t be fooled. They will suck the life and energy out of you—like vampires. Stand back. Be warned. Run for your life. They are vampires. And once they suck you into their dark world, you become one, too. Twenty years from now, you’ll still be sitting in the corner of the same newsroom, spitting bile and looking for your own new recruits.”—Christine Martin quoted in Chip Scanlon, “#15 A Page a Day, The Iceberg Theory of Writing, John Branch on Believing In What You Write, The Loneliness of Writing.” Chip in Your Inbox. January 3, 2020.
…the hoodoo. There are certain people you meet in life who are like the locomotives that always used to blow up—people who, wherever they go, disaster always ensues. One of my main pieces of advice is: Stay away from hoodoos. Sometimes hoodoos are very affectionate and they like to hug you, and I always burn my shirt right after being touched by a hoodoo.
How do you know a hoodoo when you see one?
First of all, a lot of them frequent areas that are ephemeral. Many waterfront communities are peopled by hoodoos. And they generally have a string of failures behind them, they generally are in need of capital, they generally talk a better game than they play. And they often flatter you and pretend to be your amiable friend before they know you. Hoodoos are very good at what they do. A lot of times they command the center of attention and they try to dazzle you with the trappings of success—which when you look into it you will find is a will o’ the wisp.”—Kathryn Shultz, “Hoodoos, Hedge Funds, and Alibis: Victor Niederhoffer on Being Wrong.” Slate. June 21, 2010.
“Psychic vampires, also known as energy vampires, are emotionally immature individuals who drain the time and energy from those around them. They are usually highly self-interested and lack empathy. The relationships they form are largely self serving. You can deal with psychic vampires by identifying psychic vampires in your life, setting firm boundaries with these people, and working on your own sense of self esteem and self worth.”
—How to Deal With Psychic Vampires. wikiHow.
Understanding the basic concept is important if you have a psychic vampire in your life. However, the advice is much too passive. Identify them and cut them out.