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Don’t Believe the Hype (Men)


In life we come across many categories of people. They can all serve one positive purpose or another, especially if we categorize them correctly. What might appear to be a negative relationship can have positive benefits and vice versa. It has a lot to do with awareness, consciousness and intentionality. Today we are exploring three groups of persons – the zombies, the rulers and the frantic fanatics.


There are those who are physically present but mentally absent – they really do not care about what you are doing, why you are doing it or how it is going. We can call this group the zombies. Their lack of interest can douse your excitement and slow your progress if you do not put them in where they should fit in. Then there are those in whose eyes you never quite measure up. They pay attention to your every move but never seem to have a positive observation or an encouraging word for you. We can call this group the rulers – they measure you up and rule you out. Finally there are those who we will call the frantic fanatics. To them everything you do is perfect and they cheer you on and they scream wildly at every small thing and they truly see you as having attained the pinnacle of your success. While the intentions of the frantic fanatics are good, they can end up having a paralyzing effect if we allow that praise to intoxicate us.


The zombies are easily identifiable. People who simply act as placeholders. They are there but there is no impact either way. Sometimes you might be unequally matched and you are a positive or negative influence on them, whereas other times you are simply coasting through each others’ lives leaving no fingerprints, footmarks, imprints or impressions. When you are both zombies there is less of a problem. However if this is someone who’s life, hope and dreams you are pouring into without receiving any kind of attention, regard or reciprocity then this is a toxic relationship. Zombie relationships can be converted to positive ones in some instances, but it depends on how you go about the relationship, what parts of your life you relegate these people to, and what effort you make to achieve balance. Based on your analysis this may be a relationship worth throwing or worth growing.


The rulers are most commonly identified as trouble. In their natural state they detract and never add. You do not need to think long and hard to realize their impact on your life. After all it is easy to know when a person has little regard for you and the things you do. No matter your best efforts they never seem to grant you any acknowledgment, praise or encouragement. They are the people who will never acknowledge your achievements and this is okay. After all, the plans you make and decisions you take should never be about someone else’s assessment of them.


Rulers are easy to identify and their place is clear – they should not be consulted when you are at a crossroads or feeling uncertain about yourself and in need of some validation. Neither should they be let into your inner circle or deepest thoughts. They have identified themselves with those who are simply not there for you. If you properly identify and then align your expectations though, this category of persons quickly loses their power over you and their force for evil can be used for your good.


Rulers do have a place. The more extreme versions of them belong out of your lives. However, it is not always so simple so the sooner we learn to get the best out of our rulers the better. There are instances where rulers might belong to groups you cannot easily separate yourself from (i.e. family members, colleagues, team members of some sort). That is okay. As long as you know who and what they are, they can be useful. Rulers make a good test group. With them you can test out rough ideas (not sensitive ones), identify cracks in your logic and get a devil’s advocate perspective.


There are many times you need the harsh truth and rulers will never be afraid of giving it to you. Situations where some genuine friends might consider the importance of your feelings over the harsh truth, a ruler would go straight for the jugular. Their brutal feedback allows you to approach whatever you are doing through a more realistic lens. Their feedback allows you to refine your ideas and strengthen the weaker aspects of your logic prior to launch. As long as you are prepared for their criticism, cynicism and negativity you can take the benefits and leave without any major bruises to your expectations or emotions.


Finally there are the frantic fanatics, who despite their best intentions are one of the most dangerous categories of persons. They genuinely believe in you. They think you are absolutely amazing. You will often hear words like “role model, mentor, hero.” Phrases such as “I want to be like you” and “I wish I were as x,y,z as you” constantly are laced within their words. This group are not a danger unto themselves and their intentions are often genuine. However as humans we tend to be susceptible to the power of praise. What frantic fanatics do is they quench your fire when you take their words and observations too seriously. No matter how successful and accomplished you are, I am sure you aspire to do and be more. However the words of frantic fanatics can easily douse the flame of passion, can slow down the hustle spirit within and can quickly make one comfortable right where they are.
Frantic fanatics unknowingly encourage people to make “good” an enemy of best. Because you have done well (by their estimation) and they praise your accomplishments, if that praise is not properly filed it begins to get you hype. When you are having lazier moments it is possible to make your frantic fanatics to become a crutch. If you reach out to them they can easily speak (too) soothing words to you (from the heart) about how well you have done, compare you to others less accomplished and make you feel like you have already reached the pinnacle of your success.


If you know you aspire for more beware of all those around you. Do not take the criticism of the rulers, the disinterest of the zombies or the hyperbolic praise of the frantic fanatics to heart. Keep your head in the skies, your feet on the ground, your leg on the gas, and your eyes on the prize.


Zeni St. John

  • Sekyen

    Awesome! You have really said it all!!

    June 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm Reply
  • Fiyinfoluwa

    Been a while.
    Awesome piece.
    My take away is “keep moving” no matter the accolades or dissuasion. There’s always room to be better. Thank you

    June 20, 2018 at 1:38 pm Reply
  • Debbie Akuiyibo

    Thank you Xeni. Very beautiful write up.

    June 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm Reply

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