Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not Everyone is Going to Behave and Play Nice

This is a real minefield that can screw up personal lives and businesses in particular if you let these kind of people gain a foothold into your life.

I call them, "The Terrible T.P's."- Toxic People.

According to Jack Canfield, "You're better off spending time alone than spending time with people who will hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre standards. Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people- people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealists and visionaries."

There is so much wisdom in that paragraph it is downright astonishing.

Not only can a T.P. wreck havoc with your soul and emotions, keeping you constantly on edge and worrying what's going to happen next, a T.P. can ruin, I said, RUIN your business.

Get rid of them.

That's right. Just ax 'em at all costs. They are absolutely insidious as cancer and can bring down the whole house of cards just by their constant negativity and dissatisfaction.

Here are the hallmarks of a T.P.:

(1) Dismissive- they're not interested in you or what you have to say- how your day went- what's going on with you, or basically anything else that might take the focus off the very most important thing- THEM.

(2) Will Attack You Personally- not usually to your face, for a T.P. is a great coward.

(3) Are Really Highly Insecure- which, without help, spins them ever deeper into the whole T.P. cycle. They tend to criticise others unmercifully, just so they can feel better about themselves. A true T.P. usually has nothing but negatives to say- gloom and doom is a constant.

(4) Are Ego Maniacs- and can only stay focused on any given conversation if they are somehow involved.

(5.) Is Stuffed Full of "Craptastic" News- "Craptastic" is a termed coined by my friend Robin Black. The whole focus of the relationship is centered around them and their problems, needs, etc. Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that there's problems in life. That's not what I'm talking about. These people only care about themselves and the horrible set of circumstances, marriages, business problems- they are experiencing, and they are always and forever, experiencing them. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for a true T.P.

(6) Are Liars and Betrayers- If you want to see me go positively ghetto- lie to me. I can't stand someone who'll lie me. It sends me into absolute orbit.
Two years ago I had someone on my staff, who is also a very good friend and has my back at all times- call me up and say, "Marilisa, I'm calling you because if I owned a business, I'd want to know about this- so I'm calling you."
"What IS it, Crystal?"
"You've got a girl out here who doesn't care about anything you've tried to do for her or have done for her, and she's out here badmouthing you and the company."
"What'd she say?"

Foolishly, "Boo Boo" dumped all her "craptasticness" on Crystal- uh... one of my best friends.

Two years ago is the very last time I have had an employee issue as bad as this one. Know why? I don't hire a T.P. anymore.

If you look close enough, they will send up enough red flags that you won't even consider hiring them.

Walking two more additional years down the entrepreneurial trail- I'm somewhat wiser now about what to watch out for, than I was in the past.

And really, I have to be- because nothing sets me off like these kind of people. I actually insisted that I be driven over to her location (as she was on location for us) for the express reason that I might, "Kick her aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasss!" Seemed completely reasonable at the time.

My husband knows another business owner that he once scolded, "Bobby! You can't put your employees in a headlock."
"I know, Tony. But they just made me so mad!"
"It's illegal, Bobby."
"Oh, right."

I used to think I had a problem with anger. I don't have a problem with anger.
I have a problem with Toxic People.

Another thing that makes me positively see red is a betrayal.
Or a betrayer.

Last year I hired a guy to come and do some contracting work for one of my businesses. I was hiring him under the umbrella of my business and he stated that he understood that, even signed legal documents to that effect beforehand. Yet, he showed up in his company shirt, which should have been a clue. I was slightly miffed, but stupidly decided to keep mum.

Later, he went back to my client and tried to solicit their business.
I'm like, "Awwwwwww, hell no!"

I'm not going to have a nice, cozy little pow wow with him and "explain" what he did wrong. He's a grown man. He should know better. I'm not going to hold any body's hand- no one pays my bills but me. I'm not "playing" at having a business. If you aren't a pro- I'm done. Plain and simple.

I see him from time to time. He's smart enough to stay clear of me- and it's wise to keep up the good work.

I am not being arrogant. I'm fair. I believe in fairness- I seem like a very nice person, and I am. People tell me all the time how "gracious" I am and how I say "hello" to everyone- which I do. I don't hang in my own little group- I reach out. I like that.

It's very sweet and endearing to me how there's very many people that I know that will come over and make inroads to me from across crowded rooms, anxious and excited to talk to me. And I know why. They know without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm going to treat them well. That I'm interested in them. That I sincerely care.

But cross me. Really cross me.
I had a great friend once, T.J. I just loved T.J. He was a no- nonsense hulking black guy- a policeman. He had a saying, "There's going to be a misunderstanding up in here." T.J. wasn't playing with you. Don't cross him either. Tony and I had more fun with T.J. who was just a great guy.

(7) Think You are as Stupid as They Are- A Toxic Person doesn't understand how their T.P. reputation will get around. Confidentially, two different people came to me about one particular person that we both know.

Interestingly enough, both of them brought the subject up to me first. (I'm not going to ever tell you about how I don't like, don't trust, don't care for- anyone. But if you mention it first, yeah- I'll speak up.)

The first guy, who's an ex military Sergeant and a genuinely sweet sort of rough- and tumble- kinda guy said, and I do quote, "I wouldn't piss on her if she were on fire. I mean, she's just a b*$#& for no reason." Ouch.

The second woman said to me, reservedly, "Uh... do you know what's up with her? Because this is really weird. I thought it was just me. Oh, it's not just me? Well, good. Because I thought maybe it was just me."

No, it's not just you.

So kids, when you meet a Toxic Person in your personal life or your professional one, you tell them that Entrepreneur Chick says you can't play with them anymore.


  1. Hey EChick, I have worked hard to get and keep TPs out of my life. Sometimes they come in sheep's clothing and I have been fooled. I will believe almost anything...because I want to... the first time, but I pray for wisdom and discernment now before I get involved with people in business.
    Anyway, I loved the column and look forward to reading more in the newspaper!!!!!!!!!
    Love ya, Diane M

  2. "Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people- people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealists and visionaries." Diane M, that's YOU. I always come away from any time that I've spent with you- uplifted. You are an awesome talent and an awesome friend- and for that, I thank you. xxoxxxo EC

  3. "Oh. Here's my surprised look." hahahahaha

    I couldn't agree more about T.P. They'll only mess up your life, personally, professionally, or both.

  4. Marilisa---wonderful post! I will definitely keep checking back on your updates. Love ya girl!

  5. To Robin:
    LOLOL- I know you're glad I've gotten better because it's always YOU I'd call and go, "You have to help me right now!" Not that you ever seemed like you minded... ********

  6. To Jean,
    Right back attcha, you CouncilBABE you.
    (I know that's horribly un- politically correct of me- but you are!)

  7. I totally agree 100% and TP's steer clear cuz' Dr. Marilisa is in da' houz. :-0

  8. The TP at my job is unavoidable. She walks in unexpectedly and innocently makes unrealistic demands and then she responds with surprise that I am unprepared. The worst was my sister told me she overheard this chick loudly talking about me in a public place, wondering why they didn't fire me, that I was trying to outshine her, that I was inappropriate, etc. She won't leave when I say it is a bad time and then I have to walk around her to get away! She will hang herself if I can just get out of the way! Your words ring so true Entrepeneur Chick!

  9. That's the really tough one- when you HAVE to see them. As I said, she'd probably not ever say that to your face- I hope your situation will work out, Aly- as I find you very intelligent, creative and transparent.
    (I can send Mike Da Fish up from Jersey if she's really bugging ya. Heh, heh, heh...)

  10. This subject matter is, unfortunately ever fresh.

  11. Actually, my ex-husband coined the term "craptastic." It kind of describes his life. Oops, did I just say that?

  12. Polly,

    Bad husband. Good word.

    Maybe he knows the woman with the pool. Maybe he was the one who left the big hole in her backyard, even.