Article updated 2018
You would know by now that who you spend time with is who you become. That means that if you spend a lot of time around people who are negative and spiteful, you will eventually become negative and spiteful too. This is a follow-up post to the post Warning: Pick Your Friends carefully.
Most of us will encounter bad friendship groups, bad friends or bad influences in our lives due to proximity. You may work with a group of people whose conversations are negative or bitchy, or whose values do not align with yours. You may simply have family members who do not add a lot of value to your life, or who feel like an absolute pain to be around. Schools and Universities are also another great source of random “friends” you meet because of proximity.
So, what does this all mean? What do you do? If you already have a friendship group that you’ve realised are bad influences, what are your options? What about childhood friends whom you have known forever? What about parents or brothers or sisters whom you love but have a ‘heavy’ energy that makes you wish you weren’t spending time with them? (Click here to take the quiz on “How High Value High Status Am I on Facebook?”)
Given that the tendency to become who we spend the most time with; the next logical question is:
Should you leave your friends?
The short answer is no. You do not have to leave your friends. The point of all of this is that you must pick your friends carefully, and be mindful of whom you spend the most time with.
However, if you find that you have been spending a lot of time around people who are not the kind of influences you want in your life, here are your options:
1) Influence them, and become a greater influence in their lives than they are on yours; or
2) Take them out of your peer group or influence.
3) Stay knowing that your life will never be as bright as it could be. (Don’t pick this one)
Let me explain.
With this option, you don’t leave your existing friends; instead, you lead them. Provided that you have determined that you can give them hope. Don’t lead your friends simply because you believe your values are superior, but rather, if your friends are in a bad place, or aren’t fulfilling their potential, or are being unfair to the people around them; you can provide your care and love. (Click here to take the quiz on “Am I Dating a Commitment Friendly Man?”)
There is a gray area, where you can stay a good friend to them, but stop spending as much time with them, if at all. You can always care for someone and be there for someone without having to spend a lot of time with them. This is a bit of a grey area. You may only choose to do this with family or childhood friends.
LOVING a friend and being a TRUE friend doesn’t have to mean that you make that person or that peer group the main influence in your life and spend a lot of time in their presence. It just means that you will be there for them if they ever truly need you, but that your time is better spent elsewhere.
To be honest, your life is too short to just settle for an average connection with another – for breadcrumbs – a feeling that you have ‘company’, for fear of feeling lonely, or being SEEN as a loner.
By making solid choices, you then allow yourself more room to grow.
By leading your friends, you get growth. Also; by forcing yourself to find better influences, you get growth too.
A note about leading your friends
You must be sure within yourself that you are prepared for leadership. If, say, your friend(s) have some bad attitudes about life that don’t serve them, you can care more and offer them solutions, and them help them create the life of their dreams.
This, however, can be a very difficult task. Many people will listen to you when they’re in your presence, but as soon as they return home, they may resort to their old patterns again. Old patterns that have taken them years, or decades, to cement in to their life. Be mindful of this. You must have (or must develop) strong leadership qualities in order to do this. It also takes some time to fully influence someone.
Think about a change in your own life you may have once “tried” to make, and it took days, months, even years to fully change. Worse still, for most who try to change an area of their own life, they never fully get there anyway. Weeks go by without anything really “changing”.
Think about the typical news years resolution. When was the last time you knew of someone who kept their new years resolution?
Or what about the person who is going to quit smoking? Or lose weight? How often does this ever truly eventuate?
So, if you are like many people, and have so little influence over your own life, then it certainly will be infinitely difficult to influence someone else with totally different belief systems and ideas. Though not impossible.
Leading your friends and peer group is about bringing a more compelling picture of the future and communicating to them in a clear and precise way so that there cannot be any miscommunication.
Do it to contribute to those whom you value, not for your own need to feel superior or smarter. If you can repeatedly communicate this message to these friends without having doubts, then those individuals will eventually align themselves with you or with more empowering beliefs and/or energy! 🙂
With this option, you decide that you will take this friend out of your influence and/or peer group. On this path, you send that person love, and move on and take another path. You may just need to give them space.
People come and go in your life. You may not be able to keep every single friend all the time, in the way you’d like. Leaving a friend behind does not have to mean that you don’t care. For me, I only make this decision when even my own resolve to lead them over and over has proved uneventful. Some people just simply have no good reason to change, even if they know they ‘should’.
Don’t stay joint at the wrist for fear of loneliness. Love is not lost just because you don’t have as much contact with a friend.
People always have their own ambitions and desires and fears. They are not always (usually not, in fact) at the same stage of life as we are, from moment to moment. We can’t always expect our friends to grow and make the choices we want them to make. They sometimes need their own kind of growth, and sometimes that means making major mistakes and have up and downs in life. We need to remember to respect that and remember that a life that is flat is not a life worth living.
So give your respect to other people’s decisions. If that friend comes back into your life, welcome their presence, but don’t settle for their negative or destructive influence in your life.
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You are worth too much to do this. Honor yourself. We have all been given only a short time on this earth, so, do remember to not just settle for little crumbs of connection. You are not this kind of woman! Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
Nurturing your differences
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are friends with someone whom is very different to you, this does not mean you have to leave them! If you feel inspired by them, loved by them, and you both nurture your differences, as long as this friend is not pulling you down or a bad influence in any way, then there is no problem with such a friendship.
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What are your thoughts? 🙂 Have you ever had any bad influences? Or been in a bad friendship?
P.S. Connect with me on social media
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Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
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