The Church of Scientology coined the term SP to identify challengers of their practice (e.g. "hey Spanky Taylor, your baby's eyes are covered in mucus and flies, maybe leave this cult?" = suppressive person) but @sarahramos and I have adopted it to describe people who want to hold you down or are otherwise indirect/conniving.
  1. A friend who puts you down all the time
    A friendship should be a source of support, not more shit to make you feel bad about yourself. Amy Poehler: "Only hang around people that are positive and make you feel good. Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb. And the earlier you start in your life the better. The minute anybody makes you feel weird and non-included or not supported, you know, either beat it or tell them to beat it." This SP projects their insecurities onto you, and is unworthy of your friendship.
  2. Someone who's being negative about the world/life, not you
    Some ppl r bitter assholes, but some r just going thru a hard time & u still love them & want them in ur life. If it's wearing on u, u can say something like, "It makes it harder to navigate my own body issues when u get really critical of other ppl's looks," hoping they'll cut down on the body shaming. U can also figure out which topics not to broach with this person - maybe they become nihilistic when u discuss work. But they're not trying to SUPPRESS U & u know they're not normally like this.
  3. A person in your extended social circle who puts you down even though you barely know each other
    Since you don't have a relationship with this person and there's nothing to work out, but you're also likely to keep running into them since you have a lot of folks in common, take the high road as often as possible, shrugging off their comments & killing them with kindness. When it comes down to it, you want to be able to honestly say that their actions were unwarranted and that you did not engage. Then hopefully other people recognize this person as a SP, too. 🚩
  4. An authority figure who takes an issue with you and you don't know why
    Senior year I walked into class and my teacher said, "I saw ur in that movie! It looks dumb!" I wish I'd pulled a Tom-Cruise-after-getting-pranked-on-the-red-carpet and been like, "Why would you do that?" If an authority figure is indirectly suppressive (put-downs disguised as humor or feedback), being TC-direct about it gives U power. Ur not playing their dancey game, but u also don't have to keep it bottled up. (Plus u need to keep ur cool if u need something from them, like a grade or a job.)
  5. An ex who ended it but still needs your validation
    Unfortch there is no EZ transition from partners 2 friends, &if it was their decision, they need 2 respect ur space instead of sticking around&checking to make sure ur heart system is still attached. R there very strong ppl out there who can go from 100 to 90 to 75 etc. gracefully? I think a clean break, 100 to 0, might b the only way @ first. Also, this person shouldn't get the best of both worlds - basically continuing 2 have a relationship but w/out making themselves emotionally available 2u.
  6. Suggestions encouraged🚩📍🚩📍🚩
  7. People who always rush to "give you a hand" at work, when really it is their way of trying to make you look weak or showing they assume you are weak. I experience this a lot as a female physician. Our male colleagues offer to "help" the women far more than they help each other. It seems like they stop by in case we need to be "rescued".
    Suggested by @AlexandraLouise
  8. People who constantly check up on you and spend a lot of time checking you're okay.
    This is always clearly heartfelt, full of love and beautiful. But sometimes it can also make you think you are weak and fragile when you're not. Sometimes you need other people to treat you like a strong, resilient, sturdy human in order to actually feel like one. And as soon as someone asks you if you're going to be able to deal with a situation without panicking/crying/needing to leave it makes you think you can't. When you can. Almost always.
    Suggested by @scarcurtis