How Parasites are the New Attention Seekers!

Attention Seekers

Parasites suck! Yeah, don’t we all know that! For the purpose of this blog post, I’ll define them with the scientific definition I was taught in High School creatures that live on or in another living organism, deriving benefit from it and thereby causing harm to the host organism!

Now that we have an idea of what they are, you might recall some types of people that actually drain you whenever some time is spent in their presence.

I’ll state some little-known types of parasites I know.

  • The Bojangles!

The Bojangles is a contentious type of person, who loves arguing for the fun of it. He gets a high from backing you into a corner and watching you squirm in conversation. Whenever you discuss with him, he needlessly and mindlessly points out the differences in both of your opinions. The Bojangles is not interested in accepting your opinion; you must accept his. And when you don’t, he resorts to name-calling, subtle jabs, put downs and invalidation of your person. It is not uncommon for this type of parasite to offer you toxic praise like how can such a smart person like you fall for such a stupid prank? Bottom line is that he feels intimidated by you. How do you handle such a person? First, you need to understand that you are in total control of the type & duration of conversation you get drawn into.

When you realize this, should you find yourself in a discussion with a Bojangles, purposefully change the discussion whenever he starts pointing out differences in opinions with you by saying something like this calmly Joel, I feel bored whenever I hear you go on and on about your points because (insert your reason here, like I am not motivated to accept your opinions) Now, I’d want us to talk about (insert new conversation thread, like your day at work) so that I can feel satisfied chatting with you. I must warn you that sometimes, the Bojangles might want to suck you into yet another debate, but when you remember you’re in control of the type and duration of the conversations you have with people, you won’t give in!

  • The Clinging Vine

This is a type of parasite encountered by most people. In your social life, you have surely come across that person who seems to be blissfully unaware of the fact that you have other things to do and other people to spend time with. She takes up all your time whenever she calls, you politely count the minutes in your head, looking for a quick exit whenever you start chatting with her. Woe betide you if you don’t take her calls or respond to her chats on time. There will be Hell to pay as she will grumble and want you to grovel for her forgiveness. Disgusting! She makes demands of you, insensitive to the fact that it may be inconvenient for you to oblige her. She’s literally a clinging vine!

A friendship becomes toxic when you’re not clear on your personal boundaries and dealbreakers.

How to shake off this vine and keep your sanity intact? When you call a friend/take a friend’s call, mentally note the maximum number of minutes you’ll spend on the phone and nicely excuse yourself when that time is up. Resist the urge to reply any text message or instant message e.g. Whatsapp that isn’t urgent immediately. This will discourage those who think they can command your time from clinging to you. Don’t reveal too much info about yourself too soon, as these clingers see this as an unmistakable sign that you are very fond of them.

  • The Damsel in Distress

A parasite may be a person who comes to you for help or advice, just as a way of taking up your time and feeding fat on the free attention you offer him. If you’re the type of person who derives her self-worth from helping others, white knight syndrome it will be very easy to fall prey to this special type of parasite.  Desist from being overly generous with your time and resources (money, attention, skills, advice etc) with people in order to discourage potential damsels in distress from feeding off you. If someone comes to you for help, find out what personal effort he has made in solving that problem. Your perspective is too valuable to offer to lazy people who want others to do all their work for free.

And did I forget to mention that you might want to desist from giving advice/help that can be found on Google? If you notice someone just confides in you, tells you secrets and asks for your advice without using it beneficially or at all, STOP!

The single most important piece of advice I can give you is to accept and act like you’re in control of your social life! True that life happens to you but you get to choose how to respond to it!

Related: The Secret to Knowing The Most You Should Tolerate


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