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5 Types of People to Stay Away From for Sobriety's Sake


Sober Recovery Expert Author

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When you’re in recovery, your goal is to stay sober, work towards personal growth and learn to keep certain emotions in check. However, some people may intentionally or unintentionally push your buttons and flare up negative feelings. Certain personalities cause you to feel aggravated, annoyed or extremely down. As these negative emotions arise, it can become tempting to think about having a drink or two in order to calm down.

Sometimes, maintaining your sobriety may depend on disassociating yourself from negative people. Here are 5 personality types to stay away from as you strive to make positive changes in your life.

To maintain your sobriety, you may have to cut ties with negative people. Here are 5 personalities to stay away from as you strive for positive changes in your life.

1. The Instigator

As a child, if you ever had a younger sibling who called you names, jabbed you on the side for no reason or just did whatever he or she could to provoke you, then you know why you need to avoid instigators. These people find sheer delight in getting a reaction out of others. They laugh when you are mad and, many times, it seems like they just don’t know when to stop. If you come across an instigator, do your best to keep your distance.

2. The Debbie Downer

A Debbie Downer seems to always feel miserable and unafraid to tell people about his or her problems. While they say they want to feel better, you see them week after week oozing negativity and sadness to anyone who will listen. Surely, you’ve come across this type of person at least once in your life. While the Debbie Downer may be someone you care about, you don’t have to spend a large amount of time listening to their problems. Having someone constantly dumping their negative emotions on you can wash you out of your own energy, which you need while making positive changes in your life.

3. The Pessimist

A pessimist is someone who always thinks the worst is going to happen in situations. They’re skeptical and can really put a damper on other people’s good moods. For example, if you excitedly approach a pessimist about a new career you are pursuing, they can literally squash your dream in minutes by spewing out all the ways you will never be able to break in. Maybe their lives haven’t been great and they think that everyone else’s life will follow suit. Whatever the reason, these individuals are not open to positive changes and refuse to see the silver lining in their own lives and in yours. While in recovery, you need people who believe that you are powerful enough to create lasting change. Don’t let pessimists get in the way.

4. The Self-Centered Person

People who are self-absorbed will not be interested in adding anything of value in your life. Instead, they may just end up sucking your good energy when they are around. As they focus on their own selfish gain, they’re unable to show the empathy, compassion or encouragement a person in recovery needs. They maybe inconsiderate and chiefly concerned with what they can get out of you. Don’t let a self-centered person drain you out of what you can give. Sometimes, even if you care about a person, it is best to stay away.

5. The Rude Person

People who are rude can set you off in a matter of minutes. Usually, their rudeness extends not only to people they are close to but also to people they don’t know, such as waitresses and store clerks. If you have a friend or acquaintance who treats you rudely even after you have told them that their actions disrespect you, it may be time to walk away from them. Being the target of someone’s rudeness can make you feel angry or hurt, emotions that aren’t going to help you in your sobriety.

Even if other people do not realize it, sobriety carries the weight of gold. You have to do whatever you can to protect it. If this means avoiding people who radiate negative energy, so be it. At this point in your life, your number one responsibility is to heal past physical and emotional wounds, which includes distancing yourself from those who can hinder you from accomplishing just that.

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