1. Post the free subscriber Substack that links to this post

Grammarly

I have to go to the site and use the tool directly there. I have to copy and paste. I think transferring the original blog post won’t work.

  • I can use the generative AI system to ask what I could potentially cut or identify any gaps. I could have ChatGPT also do this and use them both.
  • I can run the plagiarism tool, just to be safe.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Understanding Weak Individuals and Their Impact
  • Identifying the Problem
    • The Mother: Emotional Manipulation
    • The Friend: Leeching Resources
    • The Wife: Abuse and Neglect
  • Understanding Weak Individuals and Their Consequences
  • Practical Steps to Resolve the Problem
    • Example One: Addressing the Mom’s Behavior
    • Example Two: Reducing the Leeching Friend’s Influence
    • Example Three: Removing the Abusive Wife
  • Conclusion: Protecting Yourself from Weak Individuals
  • Actionables: Steps to a Healthier Life

Introduction: Understanding Weak Individuals and Their Impact

Have you ever felt drained by certain people in your life, leaving you broke, spiteful, and stressed?

Throughout my life, I have had to deal with weak individuals. These toxic relationships drain your resources and refuse to add value to your life. And value isn’t restricted to money. A person willing to listen to your problems, help you move, safely watch your kids, be a positive role model in your life, or give you sound advice adds value to you.

The people I knew would use me for resources and emotional dumping. One person would take money from my bank account to fund his poor eating habits. Another would unpack her stupid, racist theories about the evils of white people she had never met. Such people left me broke, spiteful and stressed. They added no value to my life.

Protecting personal resources and maintaining emotional stability requires identifying and managing relationships with weak individuals. In time, I understood I did not have to associate with people who did not help me. I learned how to remove them from my life or reduce their access to my time, energy, and resources.

Today, I want to guide you in doing the same. I start by defining my terms and discussing who weak individuals are, then outline the steps to remove toxic people from your life. Next, I argue why you should want to reduce weak individuals’ time with you despite society’s shaming tactics. Thirdly, I give the best techniques for reducing weak individuals’ power over your life.

Identifying the Problem

“All cruelty springs from weakness.” – Seneca

I define weak individuals as people who steal and consume the resources of others while adding no value in return, often leading to toxic relationships. Such people are leeches, whether intentional or not, and their weakness brings dysfunction, frustration, and pain to good people. Their shortcomings can be selfishness, laziness, or outright abuse from a lack of emotional self-control.

Furthermore, weak individuals can vary in their intentionality, severity of dysfunction, and frequency of weakness. Understanding the uniqueness of the weak individuals you associate with can help you determine how aggressively you should respond to their behavior, including the necessary steps to remove toxic people from your life.

Let’s look at a few examples to help us determine how weak individuals drain good people, what techniques they use to do so, and how they rationalize their behavior:

The Mother: Emotional Manipulation

emotional manipulation: weak individuals

Sometimes, we don’t realize how callous or sensitive we are until others help us see.

An emotionally manipulative mother may frequently insult or belittle her daughter’s looks or achievements. This belittling may arise from jealousy of the daughter, a snobbiness borne of a false sense of superiority, or a misguided desire to inspire her daughter to try harder.

The mother may have other positive qualities. But her constant jabs can deflate her daughter’s sense of self-worth and make her fail to enjoy time with her mother. Lastly, while the mother enjoys the emotional value her daughter’s company brings, the daughter cannot consistently say the same for her mother’s company.

The Friend: Leeching Resources

A friend who has fallen on hard times may need assistance. He may have lost his job or home, so he needs help from his community and the government. He is siphoning resources, but there is an explicit and implicit understanding that he uses these resources to get back on his feet. But he doesn’t. He continues to leech time, money, and energy from his friends, who have to support his laziness and lack of motivation.

The government may also pay him unemployment, which the friend uses to take resources from productive people indirectly. When confronted with his laziness, the man may accuse his friends of being unforgiving or unmerciful and could cite trauma as his reasoning for not stepping up. Although once a good friend and community member, this man has allowed a few bad events to turn him into a freeloader.

The Wife: Abuse and Neglect

The last example is an abusive wife who frequently hits and scolds her husband. She gains the value of his money, time, and energy as he pays for her things, gives her attention, and supports her hobbies. But she pays nothing in return and openly despises her husband.

Her abuse obviously takes a toll on the mental and physical well-being of her husband, but she simply doesn’t care. She loves being abusive and may frequently cite trauma as an excuse for her present-day abuse. She intentionally avoids responsibility for her actions and half-heartedly agrees to treat her husband better, but she never does.

Understanding Weak Individuals and Their Consequences

Notice the various levels of abuse in each instance. The wife is a clear abuser, but I would still consider her weak, as all cruelty stems from weakness. But she is infinitely a more horrible person than the friend or the mother. However, the mother and the friend still act poorly, harming the good people around them.

Additionally, weak individuals usually use societal norms to invade good people’s lives. The husband is committed to the wife, and she takes advantage of that. She couldn’t abuse a stranger with such efficiency. Conversely, the daughter might feel obligated to tolerate her mother’s abrasive attitude because it might be considered improper to criticize a parent’s passive-aggressive insults.

Although “weak individual” covers a vast net of people, we must be aware of who we deal with on the individual level. Some people simply act in poor taste and need a gentle reminder. Others are outright abusive and need to be removed from our lives.

Now that we’ve covered weak individuals and how they add stress and dysfunction to good people’s lives, let’s dive into how to reduce or remove their involvement from our lives.

Practical Steps to Resolve the Problem

weak individuals | two hands pressed together on glass

Weak individuals are a burden. Never feel bad for reducing their influence in your life.

The key to a happy, stable life is to remove destructive forces and avoid toxic relationships. Weak individuals, with their dysfunction and manipulations, cannot benefit you.

To be wise and fair, we must consider the severity of the weak individual. Once we determine how abrasive and abusive they are, we need to see if they can change in any meaningful way. If not, it’s essential to follow the steps to remove toxic people from your life. From there, we should consider our personal tolerance level for their bad behavior. Lastly, we should set in motion our plan for correcting their behavior or removing them from our lives.

Example One: Addressing the Mom’s Behavior

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” – Charles Dickens

Identify the extent of damage caused by the weak individual. Weak individuals vary. Sometimes, all they do are annoying things that can rob you of mental stability. However, they can also be abusive and hurt you physically and emotionally.

Therefore, be honest about what they are doing to you. In my experience, it pays to err on the side of underreaction, especially when the transgressions have been recent. We never want to burn all our bridges because we are in a poor mental state. Sometimes, we genuinely overreact; more often than not, people are not “weak individuals” per se but act poorly and need correcting.

For example, the mom I mentioned before needs to be corrected. She is belittling her daughter, even if unintentionally. They need to talk it through, find a solution, and work towards a better path. This interaction requires negotiating and being open to the idea that one may be oversensitive. There is a solution that does not require removal and reduction.

Furthermore, the daughter loves her mother and has clear proof from her childhood and adulthood that her mother loves her. Thus, this could be a problem with the tolerance level. The daughter may not tolerate the passive-aggressive comments, whereas someone else could easily shake them off. A mother who cares about her daughter will acknowledge the offense and seek to change her behavior or negotiate the tone and delivery of productive feedback.

Let’s examine the second example of the leeching friend to understand better when we should reduce interactions with weak individuals.

Example Two: Reducing the Leeching Friend’s Influence

The friend example provides a more typical example of weak individuals. Most weak individuals are simply leeches: people who exist to take from others and give nothing in return. They couch their parasitical nature with platitudes and slogans.

First, the friend isn’t a family member who raised and cared for you. A friend is someone you may know well but only recently. Never overcommit to recent friends or quickly abandon old ones. The longevity of the relationship should play a role in your determination.

Second, look at what they are doing to and taking from you. The mother is taking peace of mind by saying discouraging words. This transgression is not unimportant, but it can be ignored or forgiven in most circumstances, even without confrontation.

However, the deadbeat friend wastes money and time by refusing to care for himself even when he is capable. The friend’s thievery and transgressions are deeper, and his excuses for doing so are inexcusable. He can work; he just chooses not to. He can contribute; he just wants to be lazy.

Thus, I would reduce the resources provided to this person. Stop paying for his lunch, driving him around, talking to him, or listening to his problems. This “friend” is not providing these resources and attention to you; why should you have to do so, especially when this isn’t a dependent person but someone capable of more?

The last example is the wife. She gives obvious reasons to remove a person from our lives. Let’s examine it further.

Example Three: Removing the Abusive Wife

In the last example, we have the abusive wife. She is the prime candidate for removal. We remove weak individuals who are abusive and too self-destructive to keep in our lives. This is a rarity, but you must act when you experience people like this.

The obvious resource is the police. If someone actively harms you, you must seek legal and physical protection. In this instance, the husband should file a report and get the protection he needs. I understand that is easier said than done. Domestic violence is a complicated issue. But this is the best solution instead of trying to negotiate or reduce the time you spend around an abusive person.

You must never feel bad about removing terrible people from your life. Our culture is one of involuntary obligations imposed upon us for the sake of weak people. We are told we must be loyal to an abusive family or committed to identities that we do not choose or maintain. You do not have to associate with family members who mock you and belittle your dreams. You do not have to associate with a race of people who find you “corny” and a “sellout.” You do not owe people your loyalty. Do not give yourself away to the undeserving.

Conclusion: Protecting Yourself from Weak Individuals

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

We are not saints, and being weary of our own flaws is the key to true self-growth. I used to be very strict about cutting people out of my life. I have relented over the past few years, but I still believe it is crucial to have high standards and only associate with good, virtuous people.

Additionally, avoid being petty about removal. For example, don’t remove people from your life who are good but a little boring. You must remain loyal and invest time in good people even if they aren’t exciting or interesting. I live near an older neighbor who likes to talk my ear off. But he has aided me with a few house projects, so the least I can do is attentively talk to him when he sees me.

Focus on building positive relationships with supportive, virtuous people who contribute to your life.

Protect yourself from the destabilizing influence of weak individuals. Reflect on your relationships, set high standards, and actively distance yourself from those who hinder your growth.

Become An Individual and live a life free of weak individuals.

Actionables: Steps to a Healthier Life

Reflection | reflect on virtue, person standing on beautiful beach

Always remain aware of your flaws and weaknesses to grow in virtue.

  1. Weak Individuals: How many weak individuals do you have in your life? What are they like? Why are they still present? Have you tried communicating with them or helping them improve their behavior?
  2. Self-Examination: Have you ignored or belittled good people you thought were too toxic? How did you feel? What can you do to prevent yourself from over-responding?
  3. Assess Relationships: Make a list of all the people you interact with regularly. Identify who consistently adds value to your life and who drains your resources.
  4. Set Boundaries: Clearly define and communicate your boundaries to those who tend to overstep. Be consistent in enforcing these boundaries to protect your time and energy.
  5. Evaluate Contributions: Reflect on what each person contributes to your life and what you contribute to theirs. Ensure that your relationships are balanced and mutually beneficial.
  6. Plan Your Exit Strategy: For relationships that are persistently toxic, create a plan to reduce or eliminate contact. Consider gradual withdrawal or setting firm cut-off points.
  7. Practice Self-Care: Focus on activities that replenish your energy and improve your well-being. Prioritize your mental and emotional health by engaging in hobbies, exercise, and relaxation.
  8. Learn Assertiveness Skills: Develop your ability to assert your needs and stand up for yourself in a respectful manner. Practice saying “no” without guilt and expressing your feelings honestly.
  9. Your Own Weaknesses: What are some of your weaknesses? In what ways can you avoid becoming a weak individual? How could your own bad behaviors hurt others and lower the quality of their lives?
  10. Document Incidents: Keep a record of specific instances where someone has drained your resources or caused stress. Use this documentation to remind yourself why certain relationships need to be managed or ended.
  11. Foster Positive Relationships: Invest time and energy into supportive and uplifting relationships. Surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you.
  12. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly assess your relationships and your own behaviors to ensure you are not contributing to toxicity. Be willing to make changes as needed to maintain a healthy and balanced social circle.

Please remember it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

Refer to the linked articles and studies throughout this post for detailed evidence and case studies supporting these views.

*Image credit to Unsplash.