Relationships that Drain You

To identify those who might be dragging you down (anchors), let’s look at six types of toxic relationships, courtesy of Cheryl Richardson in her book Take Time for Your Life:

THE BLAMER. A person who consistently blames you and everyone else for his problems. Instead of taking responsibility for his life, he blames others.

THE COMPLAINER. (I call them whiners and put up a “no whining” sign in my art marketing action workshops.) The person for whom nothing is going right. Instead of doing something about it, she just complains a lot.

THE DRAINER. The world revolves around him. He’s always needing your help to feel better.

THE SHAMER. Cuts you off, puts you down, reprimands you, or makes fun of you and your ideas in front of others.

THE DISCOUNTER. Challenges everything you say. She has a strong need to be right and finds fault in almost any position.

THE GOSSIP. Self-explanatory. If he gossips about someone else, you know he’s probably gossiping about you.

Do you know any of these people? Start making a list and figure out how to set your boundaries with them.

I highly recommend Cheryl Richardson’s book or audio as a way to begin.

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8 comments to Relationships that Drain You

  • Not only does the artist need to avoid the “six types of anchors”, the artist also needs to avoid “becoming” any one or combination of these same six anchors. When one’s business/art career isn’t going well it’s very easy to develop a negative mindset & become any one or number of these personalities, thereby anchoring and dragging yourself down. Think positive.

  • Excellent, point, Hap! We don’t want to become sources of negative energy ourselves. Check.

  • SO! What do you do when your own MOTHER is 5 for 6? (Don’t mind me… just venting!)

  • Patricia Bucko

    When I began to take myself seriously (as an artist) my husband failed to offer any positive feedback. He did, however, find all the technical problems and faults in my work. At first, this really annoyed me! After many discussions with him, I realized that this is his basic personality. Concerning art, he does not relate to my style or subject matter – nor can he express himself well verbally! I have learned to surround myself with other creative people who are encouraging & uplifting, while retaining hubby as my tech support guy. Keeping expectations low, I’m sometimes pleasantly surprised when he does make remarks such as, “Your perspective is really improving.” Thanks for letting me vent! Patricia Bucko PS Couldn’t trek to art shows, etc, without his help!

  • I’m right there with you Patricia. My husband is who I immediately thought of when reading Alyson’s blog. He doesn’t actually discourage me, but he’s not a cheerleader either. I guess I should be grateful that he’s not real strong in any one of the anchor categories; he’s just a bemused observer.

  • Sometimes it’s those who are closest to us with whom we have to set the strictest boundaries. My mother was very unsupportive when I wanted to move to Colorado and start my own business. She didn’t mean to be. She was worried about me, but it came back to me as just negative energy. I told her that she had to be supportive or we could no longer talk about my future. Never heard another negative word from her after that. BTW, I love and adore my mother and consider her my best friend. All the more reason to have the talk and make sure we’re on the same page.

  • sally J Meding

    My husband has always quoted the saying “If you want to fly with the eagles then don’t hang out with the chickens”. I used to hang out with chickens (aka. anchors) and learned the hard way that people can become codependent on you-to the point of stalking you even when you finally say “TIME OUT-enough already”. This “used-to-be-chicken” got fried for the last time! No more parasitic drainers/users for me! I have been much more successful in my art career since I learned to recognize the users/anchors-and they can be quite devious in getting their needs met. The real eagles fly on a two way street (you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours), as soon as it becomes a one-way street its time to take flight. Alysons 6 types to avoid are accurate and I would also include the “users” (those who love to take advantage) under the “drainer” catagory.

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