You’ve likely heard the term “guilt by association.” A healthy personal brand isn’t just about the image you project to the world, but also the people with whom you associate.
As you become more successful and well-known, you should be constantly examining and re-examining those around you to determine who is allowed a seat at your table. It is, after all, your choice, so choose wisely. Failing to do so could have potentially harmful effects to your personal brand, but more importantly, to your mental health and overall personal growth.
As you begin to identify these people in your life you’d just as soon forget, I encourage you to refrain from a fiery public dissolution of the relationship. Simply back away from the relationship quietly both online and in person. Click here for a great article as to what to do if confronted by the removed party.
Below are the personality types that should be asked to leave your table:
The Emperor of Shade
The Emperor is someone who has an overall negative persona and/or bad professional (and likely personal) reputation. This person can often be dishonest, misleading, and has little regard for the collateral damage their words and/or actions may cause. They steamroll their way through all situations to ensure they get what they want. Having someone like that in your inner circle will make others assume you conduct business that way as well.
The Dream Killer
All successful people have dreams and goals. For you to flourish you also need to be surrounded by a tribe who are just as invested in your success as you are. The Dream Killer is someone who goes beyond playing the role of Devil’s Advocate and goes straight to having an issue with everything you do. That kind of negativity is exhausting, and likely due to their jealousy or insecurities, so it’s best to focus your time and energy to those who are in your corner.
The Gimme Pig
The Gimme Pig is someone who never hesitates to reach out to you when they need something, i.e, wanting you to attend a professional event, needing you to donate to a charity, or helping them with a job search. They need you to act on their behalf and will likely hound you until you do so. That said, the second they get what they need, you do not hear from them again until the next need. Next time they have an ask, simply ignore it.
The Actor is engaging and supportive to your face, but speaks of you and/or your efforts—in a negative or unflattering way behind your back. Should you be fortunate enough to find out about this person’s actions, you should immediately cut them off from your information pipeline. They can’t gossip about what they don’t know.
We all stumble sometimes, but The Brick is someone who frequently has troubling events happening in their life, i.e. relationship drama, money troubles, and brushes with the law. The Brick is likely on their way down, (Newsflash: you can’t save them) so you need to remove them from your life before they take you down with them.
Letting go of relationships is never easy. But you can’t fly with boulders attached to your feet, in pursuit of your dreams don’t hesitate to put your personal brand and emotional needs first.