Bonus Toxic Type: The Announcer

There were multiple Toxic Types that did not make it into the book for various reasons. However, this was not a personality that came up until after the book was finished. Therefore I had no specific references from my initial interviews. So let me know, have you met this type of woman?

Introducing: The Announcer

Her Toxic Range: “You have something in your teeth” to “Do you remember when your dog died last year?”

The Announcer is the kind of person who consistently amplifies negativity. Whether it is your problem or their own, every conversation is an opportunity for them to update you on the latest bad news. Often with absolutely no desire to assist with a solution to the problem, she comes in with her bullhorn to spread the word about how dire things are. While you should not expect your friends to solve your problems, it is not unreasonable to want support. But Announcers do not support; they submerge everything under a layer of dirt because are unable look at any situation with progressive eyes. The Announcer could be categorized as the obnoxious cousin of The Pessimist and The Drama Queen. A more extra version of her kin because not only are they bringing the gloom, but also ensuring they give you an update of every raindrop in the forecast.

There are multiple reasons this is not a beneficial relationship.

One, without fail, no matter how good of a time you’re having, she will inevitably highlight an unpleasant moment as the most significant part of your experience. When the waiter gets her order wrong, even though they corrected it immediately, it will make it to the beginning of the recap. Memories with her always come with an asterisk.

Secondly, all the time is the right time to bring up something undesirable. You could share a post on Facebook telling people you are expecting twins and in the middle of all the congratulations from friends, she would be there, reminding you how at expensive it will be to send them both to college in eighteen years. Sure, that is a very real possibility, but timing?

Lastly, and the most significant, eventually she becomes someone who you cannot share life with. You begin to flinch internally when you see her name on the caller id, anticipating the conversation. You become dissatisfied and disappointed that you must hold back good news and bad new alike.

You have no space to be happy. You have no space to be sad. You have no space to be human because she has this inexplicable need to base humanity on the worst-case scenario.

When Dealing with The Announcer

Remember that your interactions reflect her life perspective not your relationship. Meaning, what you directly contribute is less important to your dynamic than what she already has blocking her vision. It is not your responsibility to dial back your joy or pain to accommodate her outlook.

I do not support throwing people away when they become inconvenient. Toxicity is something we all must manage, so, a little grace goes a long way. Prior to making any drastic changes in your relationship, first make it known that this is a behavior she exhibits in real-time. Meaning if you are giving her good news, “I just got a promotion.” And her response is, “Did you hear Craig got fired on his day off.” In real time let her know, “I’m sharing good news right now, and I would like to focus on that.” Or even more directly, “Why are you bringing that up when I’m trying to tell you something positive?”

It will not be easy, but unless being a uncomfortable is a better option than not having a healthy relationship with her, you should probably get used to maximizing communication to better the relationship. Often people are surprisingly oblivious to how their actions impact others. Who they think they are and how they believe they are presenting themselves can contrast what we see and feel.

However, if after discussing things with her, and allowing time for a change to occur, there is no improvement. If you find yourself becoming resentful or upset with her because she is just always killing the vibe, then you will have to modify your relationship.

Dear Announcer,

Unless you are bringing more than a dreary opinion to table, stop letting everyone know what is on the menu. Being someone others can confide in is a privilege. Every time you take that privilege and turn it into an opportunity to further your jacked-up agenda, you risk pushing away people who want to bring you close by including you in their lives. There are many reasons that negativity may always be at the forefront of you mind, and therefore, on the tip of your tongue. None of those are valid reasons to spread that negativity. Everything you say going forward needs to go through a filter to determine whether it productive, pertinent or positive. If it does not meet a least one of those criteria, you should keep it to yourself. Once you have gotten accustomed to analyzing what you are saying, switch the focus to why you want to constantly bring negativity into the conversation. Questioning your delivery and motivation will keep you in ahead of your toxic trait.