As the article describes, these kinds of people are good to avoid. They are toxic to our happiness, self-esteem, and the overall quality of our lives. In a nutshell, here are the types:
1. Manipulative Marys. These types get you to do things you don't really want to.
2. Narcissistic Nancys. Folks who focus on their own needs at your expense.
3. Debbie Downers. People who have a pessimistic, glass-half-empty view of life.
4. Judgmental Jims. Those who find unique perspectives "wrong" and "disturbing."
5. Dream-Killing Keiths. Ones who remind you that your dreams are unachievable.
6. Insincere Illissas. People who you never can tell their true feelings; hard-to-read.
7. Disrespectful Dannys. These are subtle bullies who demean and show no respect.
8. Never-Enough Nellies. Individuals who take you for granted and are hard to please.
If you wish more detailed descriptions, please visit the original article.
You can probably think of a few people in your own life that fit the attributes of one or more of these toxic personalities. Avoid these people if you can, for the sake of your mental health! But as writers, we can utilize these kinds of characters in our stories. This list provides a gold mine of negative personalities that we can throw across our main character's paths to make him/her more miserable, his/her goals less likely to be achieved. The name of the game is conflict, right?
Well, with this list of personality types--hello, Conflict!
Using These Personalities
In our writing, we can develop these people types as our villains or antagonists. A parent. A best friend who unwittingly stands in your main character's way. A well-meaning but interfering teacher or uncle or grandparent. I can totally see a parent being manipulative, hard to please, dream-crushing, hard-to-read, or judgmental of a teen's interests and views.
You could even use a dash of some of these traits in your main character. Your MC needs flaws so they're not too perfect, right? Well, maybe for instance your character has a "downer" view of life, which gets in the way of his or her dreams. (Your antagonist can be "self against self," rather than someone external to herself.) Also, in a lot of teen novels, there's a prevailing habit of using "snarky" main characters, and I think snarkiness is often tied to being judgmental--the character has little tolerance for people who are different from him/herself, even though this snarkiness is often used for an outrageous, fascinating, or humorous effect.
Have you used one or more of these toxic personalities in your own writing?
Can you think of any other ways you could use these personality types?
Have you ever written a story where the main character was his/her own worst enemy--the antagonist? Did your MC have to overcome these toxic traits to be victorious?