Everywhere I turn, people are on some kind of a diet. Whether it’s Atkins or South Beach, people are obsessed with right mix in their food choices to reach their ultimate weight. Of course, most popular diets involve carbohydrates and proteins. The idea behind these diets is that foods are divided more or less into three categories:
Proteins—Chicken breasts and salmon (all good)
Good Carbs—Whole grains and leafy vegetables (necessary, but in moderation)
Bad Carbs—Breads, pizza crusts, and pastas (avoid these unless you want to stay overweight).
It’s a structure that also applies pretty well to people that surround us.
We all know our proteins. These are people who bring out best in us and give us energy and support, reinforce our drive to achieve, and help us grow personally and professionally. These can include our mentors, our most unconditionally supportive or inspirational friends, our spouses and partners, and our children.
Good Carb People
The good carbs may be trickiest to identify. These can be friends and associates who are generally good influences, and provide useful help, but may be best experienced in small doses. Maybe these are loyal colleagues who provide useful support at work but maybe they lack same drive we do. Or they can be good friends who care about us and are always there to lend an ear or can always be counted on make us laugh, but may have a few bad habits we don’t want to rub off on us.
You can’t and shouldn’t get rid of good carbs, since they do provide some value in your life, but you have to be careful not to spend too much time with them or rely on them too heavily.
Bad Carb People
Of course, you can easily recognize bad carbs in your life. These are toxic people who waste our time, drain our energy, dampen our self-esteem or try to influence us in wrong direction.
These are “friends” who envy everything we achieve and posses, and try to undermine us, usually just at moments when we are feeling good about what is going on in our lives. Have you ever heard a “friend” downplay a promotion (“Well, you must not have had much competition”) or try to make us insecure about our appearance (“So, you wore that to interview and they still gave you job?”) Too often, underminers in our lives are old friends who we have tolerated out of a misplaced—and unreciprocated—sense of loyalty. And sadly, sometimes they are family members. If you want to investigate this further, check out new book The The Underminer: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life by Mike Albo and Virginia Heffernan.