We’ve all heard the common phrase “ You are who you associate with.” But what does that really mean and how do you know if you’re hanging around the wrong crowd?
This is a problem that stretches from early teen years to the depths of adulthood. It’s easy to convince oneself that a strong character or mindset can enable someone to hold their morals, standards, and drive amongst a crowd that lacks motivation.
Unfortunately at times, the influencer becomes the influenced. King Solomon put it this way, as recorded in the Proverbs: “The one who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” For an in-depth look at how your intuition might help you in the realm of friends, read chapter 15 of
King Solomon put it this way, as recorded in the Proverbs: “The one who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” For an in-depth look at how your intuition might help you in the realm of friends, read chapter 15 of Ingredients of Outliers: A Recipe for Personal Achievement, titled “Intuition: Your Guts Don’t Lie!” In the meantime, we’ve compiled a short article that will touch on a couple of “red flags” that your friend circle may not be the group for you.
In the meantime, we’ve compiled a short article that will touch on a couple of “red flags” that your friend circle may not be the group for you.
1. They don’t support your successes or lift you higher.
Friends want to see each other succeed. When a golden opportunity arises, a true friend will celebrate with you.
Jealousy is a green-eyed monster and someone who you consider a close friend should never resent your triumphs. Support is also essential toward your decisions whether they are good or bad.
If a good friend feels you are making a mistake of a lifetime, and intervention is necessary, they will carefully and thoughtfully offer constructive advice to you toward making better choices. They will not need you to listen to their advice though and should give you the freedom to fail every now and again, which is something that we all need sometimes in the learning process.
2. They aren’t there when you need them.
There’s a saying that a good friend will be at your front door on moving day. It’s easy to get a group of “friends” over on a Friday night for drinks and dinner. But when comes time to clean up a giant mess (either figurative or literal), move to a new home, or you just need to talk and everyone is suddenly unavailable, you might need to re-evaluate your circle.
Friendships are built to embrace life’s highs and lows, fun times and disasters.
We all know life will throw curve balls. Find a group that shares the same interests as you and likes to have a good time, but can also endure through the tough times with you. Then make sure you are there to do the same for them.
3. They settle or embrace negativity.
Motivation is contagious. Unfortunately, the lack of motivation and the presence of negativity also have infectious tendencies.
A group of people who accepts mediocrity is not a group that will inspire you to be the “best you” possible. Watching your peers move forward and push the limits in a positive way will undoubtedly inspire you to take risks and make moves.
Does that mean that anyone who is not moving forward gets cut out?
No, as covered in #2, we are not suggesting you leave someone when they are down, but instead, suggest that you put boundaries in place if they are trying to drag you down in the process. You would not be helping them, only enabling if you allow them to use and abuse you. But this is a unique scenario, let’s talk about a different type of friend.
Sometimes in life, you become friends with someone and sense that they are a bit dramatic or negative, but think maybe you can be a positive influence. Check that friendship. Are they the influencer or are you?
If you find yourself focusing on things that drag you down, or are enveloped by bad habits only when you are around them, take a step back. Gain your strength and wait until you can spend your time with that person again and maintain your focus on your goals.
Whether you like it or not, your friend’s ideals, motivations, and actions will to some degree rub off on you. Although you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends and these friends will ultimately be extremely influential. Surround yourself with people that take on the world sprinting, with a smile.
PS. On a related but unrelated note, Huffington Post covered today the 10 Elements of a Soulmate, and used an eerily similar picture as we did in our post. It’s an interesting read, check it out!