Your 20s are a hell of a time, although most of us probably wouldn’t choose to live them over again if given the chance. It’s a decade loaded with fun—legal booze, illegal drugs, disposable incomes and sex without dating—but it’s also filled with a series of glorious mistakes that (hopefully) don’t bear repeating.
As adverse as I am to conventional maturity, we all have to grow the fuck up at some point, and these days, the age of 30 is about as late as you can last without at least starting down the path to adulthood. An important step along that road is getting rid of the stuff that’s slowing you down. And by stuff, I mean people. Specifically, what the pop-psychology community refers to as “toxic people.” Let’s take a look at some of those assholes and kick them to the curb.
1. The Crazy Girlfriend
Yes, sex with crazy women is amazing, but you really need to get it out of your system in your 20s. There’s more to relationships than great sex, but youth makes it hard for that to compute.
2. The Instigator
This is the guy who waits for everyone to get drunk enough, then comes up with a great idea for mischief or general tomfoolery. But when the time comes to explain yourself to the cops, this douchebag is notably absent. You can live without him.
3. The Shitty Boss
A person who berates you, makes you work unreasonably long hours and shows no appreciation for anything you do is not someone you want to work for. You do it because you have to, and by the time you hit 30, you need to be far enough along in your career that you shouldn’t have to anymore.
4. The Naysayer
“You can’t do that,” “It’s not realistic,” “That won’t work.” These are the slogans of unimaginative assholes who want to bring everyone down to their own miserable level. You don’t belong down there.
5. The Drama Queen
And this doesn’t just mean women. Dudes can be drama queens, too. Anyone who inflates any given situation to unreasonable levels has no place in your life. Dealing with these people is exhausting and by 30, you have more important things to spend your energy on.
6. The Hater
When we’re young, we hate a lot of stuff and really seem to enjoy bitching about it. Movies, music, TV shows—everything sucks. But if you’re over 30 and still hanging around some troll who can’t seem to get an ounce of enjoyment out of anything in life, get with the ditching.
7. The Fair-Weather Friend
When things are going well, this guy’s always around. When you’re down, he’s mysteriously absent. This jackass is not a real friend and you know it. Give him a taste of his own medicine and let his texts and calls go unanswered.
8. The Needy
And I’m not talking about the poor and hungry. Those people need something real, so why don’t you spend some time volunteering instead of catering to the emotional needs of someone who should be able to take care of themselves but can’t.
9. The Party Animal
Yeah, this guy, too. To be clear, I mean the guy you ONLY see when it’s time to rage, the guy who doesn’t have a single story that doesn’t begin with, “I was so wasted…” He’s going nowhere in life, and the older you get, the more pathetic he seems.
10. Buzzkill Bill
Also known as “Debbie Downer.” These people are always miserable about something or other, and they suck the air out of every room they enter. Lighten up, dude. It’s not that bad.
11. The Victim
A close relative of Buzzkill Bill, this person might as well hang a sign around his neck that says, “Why me?” Everyone’s out to get him, no one ever treats him fairly, he can’t catch a break. Well, dickhead, I’ve got some more bad news for you. You’re out of the gang.
12. The Racist
If you hang around someone who hates anyone that’s different from him, then you’re a dick by association, and it’s going to work out badly for you. And this isn’t limited to race—I don’t care if he hates people for the color of their skin, their gender, their religious views, their sexual orientation or whatever. By 30, you should know that the only people you should have prejudice for are prejudiced people.
13. The One-Upper
Oh, this fucking guy. You just told a great story, but he can top it. You just got a promotion and he can’t resist dropping the fact that he still makes more money than you. You just bought a house and he built one. He screams his insecurities from the mountaintops in the form of his accomplishments. Let him know that you don’t measure your success by his yardstick.
14. The Bean-Spiller
If you told someone something in confidence, and then someone else told you, it should be clear what you have to do. Friendships require trust, and the older we get, the more important that trust becomes.
15. The Guy Who Steps On You To Get Ahead
“It’s just business,” is the battle-cry of assholes. It’s a meaningless statement that dickheads use to justify doing something they know is wrong. If someone dicks you over, even if it’s exclusively for the sake of his career, he’s worse than useless, he’s harmful. Get rid of him.