As we get older, we start to sense more and more the people we do and don’t need in our lives.  We meet new amazing people to connect with and we might outgrow or no longer have things in common with others.

We become more aware of what we will and won’t tolerate from people and realise it’s okay to let them go if they are not in harmony with you or there to help you grow.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said ‘We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with’.

Now, if that is true, doesn’t it make sense to let go of (or spend less time with) people you no longer need in your life – for your own good and for the person that you want to be?  On some level you already know who is right for you and you can still love people from a distance.  If we are a product of the closest five people doesn’t it feel better to have people in your life who share the same values, are supportive of you and genuinely care about you?  You positively influence them as they positively influence you. But in any walk of life five types of people you will definitely benefit from letting go of (or seeing minimally, wink wink) are…


Yes, we all know a few. You can identify them by their constant moaning about the weather, their job, their friends, their family, their partner, food, a place – no matter what they ALWAYS have something to moan about.

You may find yourself nodding along whilst they try to reel you into their negative web to join them in whatever complaint related issue is on the agenda today – these people are just never happy and you will feel like you’ve had the life drained out of you after an encounter with them. Believe me, life is far too short for chronic complainers and their miserable nature. Be careful not to confuse this with depression which is of course, very different. Complainers are more often than not actually very fortunate (and not depressed).  They’ve just adapted complaining to be their method of connection with other people and they really really enjoy it.  And note – if they complain about EVERYTHING, they are probably complaining to someone about you.

My advice? Just stay away or if that’s really not possible, focus on the good things to be appreciative of when you are around them.  Life’s meant to be spent being happy. We get what we focus on so why not focus on the good things in life?


Closely related to the complainers, gossipers are harder to spot and let go of because with them comes an excitement about knowing someone else’s business. It gives a false sense of connection to the gossiper, that you’re the only special person they are telling but believe me, you could never be so wrong.

Gossipers can’t hold their own water.  If they’re not telling you, they will tell the very next person they come in contact with be it another friend, their co-worker, their mum, sister, their nan… anyone they come into contact with.

The sad thing is about gossipers is that they really don’t care about the person who is trusting them with their personal issue/information.  They act as though they do, promise not to tell anyone then tell, well everyone.

To me these people aren’t friends.  As you grow up you really don’t need these people in your life – you eventually learn who your true friends and good people are in your life are because they have your best interests at heart, without having to share your story with every person they meet.

Remember, if they are gossiping with you, they are most definitely gossiping about you.  My advice again – stay well away.

People gossip because they have no other form of excitement in their lives. They sadly make other people’s business their own and spread others’ misfortune to make themselves feel better, which brings me to my next point…


People who are happy for your misfortune and unhappy for your success are people you don’t need in your life.  These people will hold you back – they will often put you down and can be very passive aggressive.  Jealous people are usually suffering from one of two issues.

  • They have a scarcity mentality (that there isn’t enough in the world), so your success takes away their chance of being successful when the truth is there is more than enough to go around in the world. Celebrating another’s success and happiness brings more success and happiness to you.
  • They don’t have the courage to do it themselves so can’t handle the fact that you have.  They get ‘twisted’ that it’s not them and will sometimes do anything they can to sabotage your success/good fortune.
  • Surely someone achieving success or happiness should be an inspiration to reach your goals and take the steps to get there? It’s about perspective and we can change our perspective but only when we want to. Jealous people often don’t want to and it’s okay to let them go for your own well-being because you really don’t need jealousy or unnecessary drama in your life.


You will know who they are because every time you see or speak to them something else has happened or even worse, they cause something to happen when you are with them.  These people aren’t happy with things running smoothly.  There are constant arguments, relationship issues, fights, crying, screaming – drama, drama, drama.  Anything you say can be twisted into a full- length opera and God forbid anyone says something remotely constructive. It will be taken as a personal attack, or an insult and yet, they are the quickest people to jump to their own defence.  Again, stay far, far away, this toxic behaviour is dangerous. They will drag the closest person to them in for back up and confirmation that they are ‘right.’ They are often very insecure individuals with a constant need for attention and ironically, the greatest need for awareness, growth and self-development.


It should go without saying that anyone who engages in any behaviour or act that is harmful to themselves or you.  We are the most precious thing in our lives. The only person that can really take care of you is you.  The sooner people realise this, the sooner they will find the strength to walk away from harmful and destructive behaviour (drug/alcohol abuse, emotional or physical harm and controlling behaviour).  In fact, stay away or protect yourself from anyone that takes you away from the person you want to be.

My final advice?  Surround yourself with people who love you, are there for you, who you can laugh with, enjoy life with and those special people who unknowingly inspire and fully accept and love you for being you.

 Sarah Keating

Author and Motivational Life Coach

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