Friendships, Arguably some of the most important relationships in our lives. This is for a few reasons. First, unlike romantic relationships, they tend to be more resilient, less reliant on each other’s moods to functions, and friends are the ones left to pick up the pieces when those romantic relationships end. Secondly, unlike familial ties, friendship isn’t automatic. Your family have to love you, and you love them in return, instinctively, it can’t be helped, even if they don’t particularly like you, or again you don’t like them. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, who you are friends with effects who you are, how you behave and how your life turns out.
I’m not treading new ground here. Plenty of speaker and motivators have talked about this idea. That is that you are the reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with. For better or worse. As a result, I’m not going to spend much time on that, but it does make sense, doesn’t it? If you hang around with people who don’t want to grow, who are all talk and no action, who are happy not to push, to change or to serve, what do you think your default way of being is going to be?
On the other hand, if you surround yourself with positive, enthusiastic people, dedicated to developing themselves so as to help others, how do you think you are going to behave? Exactly, and by exactly, I mean that you were right to say to yourself “I’m going to be kickass”; if not well, you’re wrong.
The point of today’s post is to support you in finding ways to walk away from the friendships that are not only not helping you move toward to a more fulfilling life, but actively delaying your progress. This is not to say these people are not good people, though they may well not be, it’s just time to move on from them. Here’s a few ways to tell.
They are Drama Monkeys!
You know the type, the ones who are always complaining or finding a reason to get their nose out of joint. Maybe he’s the one in the group who always blaming everything that goes wrong in their life on everyone else. Or maybe they are the one always making terrible life decisions, continually coming to you for advice because they are aware their choices are of poor quality, but continues to make them regardless of the consequences. This type of person, no matter how much you try and help, will not change and you are going to expend so much energy, and create so much stress on yourself, that it will, at best, delay your progress, if not stop it entirely.
The Realistic Ones
This type of friend will be constantly telling you your dreams are too big, that you need to calm down, get your head out of the clouds. They are always too ready to pick apart any idea you have, rather than support your drive. They may feel as though they are just looking out for your best interests, but that’s not their place. As your friends, they should be supporting you and if they really want to help you, they need to help you overcome any obstacles they can see in your way. If you ask them to do this and they cannot change their behaviour, you need to distance yourself from them. This is because they may profess to care about you but they are acting out of fear of your success, particularly if your success may put into sharp contrast their own short comings. This negativity will infect your thought process, make small difficulties seem like insurmountable barriers, and sap your confidence and drive.
The “You’ve Changed” Folks
While not the hardest people to deal with, those are up next, these will never the less make you think the hardest about whether the choices you are making are the right way forward. Like the realistic friends, these members of your social group will be all about looking after your interests, but instead of telling you that your ideas are getting out of hand, they believe that you’ve changed, perhaps that you’re being brain washed, that the decisions you are making to better yourself, are in fact hurting you. This, much like the negative Nellys I was just talking about is because they are afraid for your change, making them face up to a lack of development in their own lives. If you cut down on the partying, the working for the weekend, the “happy where I am, this is where I’m going to stay” mentality, then they have to stop and think about where they are in life. And, believe me, that is a conversation that is no fun to have if you have no plans forward. So, when they come to you, when they lose their cool and call you names because you changed, tell them “yes, I have, I’m changing for the better, that’s what we’re meant to do as humans. We are meant to grow.” If they don’t get that, if they don’t want to support you and help you reach your goal because of their own selfish insecurities, then again, I would question how good a friend these people are, and whether you allow them to remain an active part in your life.
These people are some of the hardest people to free yourself from because, unlike the drama monkeys or negative Nellys, they do genuinely want you to be happy, unfortunately they are unable to understand that that will mean that you have less spare time to party, hang out or catch up for Game of Thrones marathons. They will thankfully be the easiest friends to “manage”. This is because they do really want you to succeed. You just need to make it clear that because you are working hard on making your life more enjoyable, more satisfying, and all around better. This is the key though, it’s on you to make sure you do take an hour whenever you can, because this friendship, is worth keeping around. You can never have too many people in your corner.
So, there we go folks, I know it’s a little darker, a little more to the point. But I think it’s necessary, there will be lots of forks in the road to success and fulfillment for you, some are avoidable, some less so. We’ll talk more on distractions and avoiding them in a future piece, but the people you surround yourself with on this journey will ultimately play a much bigger role on whether you get there, and how long it takes you than many people realise. Hence why we started here.
For now, my friends
Get Up, Get Out There & Get Awesome
And while you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends. So, pick carefully.