Breaking up is hard to do … and sometimes that’s even more true when you’re breaking up with your friends.
As you look to improve your lifestyle and achieve success, you need to create an environment where everything is tailored for your growth, and one of the first things to evaluate is your relationship circle.
Good friends will cheer you on, be a shoulder to cry on when things go badly, and empower you to succeed. “Bad” friends (notice we didn’t say “bad people” … sometimes that friendship or personality types simply just aren’t a right fit), on the other hand, won’t contribute anything productive to your goals and in fact, might actually get in the way of them.
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be in your corner. Keeping toxic friends around can drain you mentally and emotionally, which is something you can’t afford on your journey for self-improvement and growth. You can only afford to be around people who build you up, not tear you down.
If you find that you dread being around someone you call a friend, and their “friendship” leaves you unhappy rather than energized, you might have a toxic friend.
Here’s a list of the types of toxic friendships you’d be better off without as you journey to growth and success.
Friendships You Should Let Go Of:
1. The Hater
Real friends are supposed to be honest, not demeaning.
If one of your friends is constantly negative, downplays your success, or makes fun of your pursuits (either to your face or behind your back), you have a hater on your hands. Having that negative energy in your social circle can discourage you, make you doubt yourself, and have you feeling like you constantly have something to prove.
Don’t associate with people that aren’t happy for you – you want to surround yourself with people who celebrate your accomplishments, not make you feel bad for them.
2. The Fair-Weather Friend
Some friends are always down for a good time and celebrating when you get that bonus, but disappear once the going gets tough.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with having acquaintances that you like to celebrate with, but make sure your closest social circle only has people that you can turn to if you need more than just a friend to party with. A real friendship involves being there for someone who needs them during the good and the bad. If you hesitate to tell someone about your struggles because you know they’re going to disappear, they probably aren’t people who add anything substantial to your life.
3. The One Who Doesn’t Reciprocate
Are you the person who’s always making the effort in your relationship?
When you’re constantly giving, chasing someone down to make plans, but go for months or even years without them initiating anything once or showing the care and support that you do for them, that person is not reciprocating your friendship. You can only put in so much effort for someone who doesn’t want to give the same back to you, so dump them and put your energy into other things and friendships that deserve it more.
4. The One Who Lives on Drama
Having someone who constantly stirs up drama in your friend group and your life is exhausting. These people can waste a lot of your time by getting you involved in petty dramas that have nothing to do with your forward movement and growth. Even if you don’t get involved with the drama yourself, they can affect your friendship negatively by just wanting to talk about other people instead of looking for growth.
Instead, look for friendships with people who are more focused on their own self-improvement, rather than those who seek to put others down. It’s a huge relief to cut out people who find their entertainment in other peoples’ lives.
5. The “Friend” Who Doesn’t Support Your Goals.
These people can take many different forms. They might make try to convince you that your dreams aren’t realistic, dwell on the challenges without trying to figure out ways to overcome them, or “keep you in your place” by constantly bringing up what they perceive as the negatives.
There’s a difference between offering constructive criticism and shutting someone down completely. A real friend will be honest with you but still encourage you to pursue what you want to pursue, because ultimately they know that it’s your life and your mistakes to make and success to gain.
6. The One with Zero Ambition.
This can be a tough one, but friends who have no goals of their own and hold you back from pursuing yours aren’t good friends to have in the long run.
Surrounding yourself with motivated and self-sufficient people can keep you encouraged and challenged, spurring your growth as a person. Spending too much time with someone who is okay with sticking with the status quo and not looking to achieve more can encourage some complacent and lazy habits that won’t help you achieve.
7. The Self-Centered One.
There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling low or discouraged and trying to talk it out with a friend, only to have them turn everything around so that it’s all about them.
Everyone is a little bit selfish; after all, we’re in control of our own lives and have to look out for ourselves. However, true friendship means actively being there for the people we care about. Someone who is selfish and constantly makes everything about themselves is not going to be a good support system because they just don’t care about you enough.
8. The One-Upper.
If you can’t talk about your success without your “friends” butting in and talking about how theirs is better, you’re dealing with a one-upper.
Some people view their relationships with others as a competition and will do anything they can to discourage you from success because they are intimidated and want to stay on top. Healthy competition can be a good way to keep everyone on their toes, but the one-upper won’t be happy for you and might even sabotage your success.
At the end of the day, if you find yourself dreading spending time with someone because of the negativity they will inevitably bring into your life, they are not really your friends. Growing means trimming off some of the dead branches, so don’t be afraid to cut off people who are not contributing to your growth. You are the company that you keep, after al!