I hope you read that line to the tune of Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” when he gets into talking about friends. I’m definitely open to the possibility of new friends, especially the kind that support you, motivate, and inspire you. But if you have rude friends, the ones that bring you down with their words and actions, you should question why they’re still in your life.
In so many of my recent conversations with my close friends, the topic of toxic people and bad friends has come up a lot. I know that I’m not the only one who has had to deal with unsupportive people in my life.
Always remember that you are a reflection of the people who you spend the most time with. You take on their qualities and their mannerisms, so if you’re not careful, you may be picking up qualities that you might not like without knowing it.
So, Who Are Toxic Friends?
They’re the ones that have a LOT to say about what everyone else is doing, but don’t do much themselves.
They’re the ones who don’t understand why you are making positive changes in your life, and try and talk you out of it.
They’re the ones who bring awareness to “flaws” that you weren’t even aware of and make you self-conscious about them.
Find Out Who In Your Life Is Toxic
Do you have a friend who you know is always straight up and honest? There’s a line that people who you look to for advice can cross. If we don’t watch our own thoughts, and actively practice having a positive mindset, then 70-80 percent of our thoughts can be negative.
This opinionated toxic friend can feed into those negative underlying thoughts and insecurities and make them seem so much more exaggerated than they are.
Do you have a friend that constantly makes plans with you and bails? Although things in life DO come up, if you have someone who is consistently bailing last minute on plans that are important to you, this means that they are not prioritizing your friendship. Although you don’t have to see your friends every week, or every month for that matter, you should also be aware of people who don’t respect your time.
If not watched, this can give you feelings of inadequacy, feeling like you’re not worth their time, and also makes you miss out on making plans that you could actually enjoy.
Are you in a relationship with someone who is constantly poking fun at you? Although a joke once in a while is normal, if their words or actions are affecting your emotions and making you sad, they’re toxic. If they get a strange feeling of joy from making you feel worse about yourself, no matter how long you’ve been together, that’s not love. They should be on your team, doing everything that they can to make you feel like a million bucks.
A good rule of thumb is to do a check-in after you have spent time with someone. Did they make you feel better about yourself, or worse? Did you feel like you could speak honestly with them about what was on your mind? Did they shoot down your ideas, or bail on your plans?
See If They Love You Enough To Take In Your Honest Feelings
I’m big on communication. Whether it’s at work, with your partner, or with your BFF, I think sharing how you honestly feel and paying attention to the response is the best way to heal wounded relationships and make things better.
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different and comes from different backgrounds. As obvious as it seems, they might not realize that the things they are doing or saying are hurting you if you haven’t been vocal before.
If you feel this person is worth keeping in your life, sit them down and have an honest conversation about how they are making you feel. Remember to respect yourself, and be open about what they’ve done.
The best relationships work with compromise. If they seem willing to change and take action, you can decide if you’ll keep them in your life.
Sadly, a lot of the time, people may not change. If they are affecting your emotions or your quality of life negatively, it might be time to end the relationship.
Too many times we keep people in our lives that are doing us no good. Women especially fall into the trap of being people-pleasers, but truly toxic people will use you up until you don’t have any more to give, and then forget about you when you need help because they are self centered. They will over-promise and under-deliver.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Alone
There was time in my life where I felt very alone. I didn’t feel connected to my old friends. They were the ones that didn’t understand why I didn't want to do anything on the weekends. They were the ones who didn’t understand why I had goals above and beyond just marrying rich. They were the ones who made me feel worse off after I spent time with them.
Instead of spending time in scenarios that made me feel worse, I spent the time alone. I gained clarity on the type of person I wanted to become, started to take more classes in my personal time, worked on my personal development, and took on my "passion project" that grew into Yes Supply.
Through it, I’ve became the truest version of myself, not one who followed around what everyone else was doing, but the one who says and does exactly what I want and isn’t afraid to share what I stand for.
Build Your Tribe
I connected to people who are motivated and accomplish their goals, and I’ve never been so happy about the people I spend my free time with.
I know it can be hard to start fresh. The older we get, the harder it can be to form strong bonds. However, it’s important to be open to new relationships, because some of the older ones may be stuck in the past with no intention of changing. Like the famous saying notes, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.”
Think about the type of person you want to be. Your career, your hobbies, your lifestyle, your weekend activities. The best way to integrate into these things into life you want is to start acting like the person you want to be, and going to the places that people like that hang out.
If you want to be more creative, you can often find meet-ups, or events in your city at museums or art galleries that are great places to network. When I joined a evening class in digital media skills a few years ago, I met people there that were motivated to start a new career, just as I was starting mine.
If theres someone in your city who is doing something you admire, like running a blog you adore, or started a cool biz, don’t be afraid to reach out and grab a cup of coffee with them.
If you don’t have opportunities to meet people in person, you can always join a facebook community of motivated and inspired creatives and entrepreneurs. It’s better to have a small circle of people who love and support you than a big circle of people who bring you down. When it comes to friends, remember this: quality over quantity.
This post was originally published on yes supply co. Our team brings you interviews, articles and tools from creatives who have achieved their 'yes' in life, to help you achieve yours.