Beware of parasites and leeches

‘Friends are like melons; shall I tell you why? To find one good you must one hundred try.’  Claude Mermet

Parasites and leeches are people who live through others’ strength. If you include them in your supportive network, parasites and leeches will use some of your energy to support themselves.

 Parasites and leeches are generally weak and needy, and as you are most likely a strong individual (people who decide to work on their legacy are usually strong) they will soon try to use your strength to make up for their weaknesses.

 You may have parasites and leeches among your circle of friends, and as they are your friends you may be tempted to include them in your supportive network due to trusting them. Don’t be fooled. If you still want to keep them as your friends that is fine. They may be parasites and leeches in the workplace, but in the pub some of them make great drinking buddies – especially if you are keen to inflate your ego by comparing how well you are doing to how badly they are doing in life. But do not – I repeat: do not – allow them anywhere near your legacy projects.

 Parasites and leeches will of course ask you to be included in your supportive network, will show great enthusiasm for a while and say how this is different to any other work they have ever done and how it fills them with energy. But sooner or later, they will slip into their old habits and either destroy or seriously drain your project of resources.

 So the easiest thing is not to include parasites and leeches in your supportive network in the first place. If they keep asking, keep saying ‘no’ – they will sulk, but they know they need your strength in their lives, so don’t worry too much about losing them as drinking buddies. They will only leave you if they find someone else who wants to create legacy and is foolish enough to allow them to join their supportive network – in which case, pity the person whose supportive network they have joined.

 You may feel protective towards your parasite and leeches friends – that is a natural reaction from the strong to the weak, don’t fight it back. It’s okay to help them out if they need a tenner, but don’t jeopardise your legacy project by burdening it with their ineptitude. You have a task to fulfil – don’t let your parasite and leeches friends become yet another obstacle you have to overcome.

 The time is now.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at