Obvious Signs You’re Hanging With the Wrong Friends

George J. Ziogas

Stick with the people who pull the magic out of you

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Are you happy? Do you have a high level of self-worth? The biggest mistake people make is to seek those things from others. You shouldn’t find your self-worth in the relationships you have with others. You shouldn’t seek to build your happiness on the relationships you have with others. However, the relationships you build will influence your feelings, including how you view yourself.

Everyone has reached a point where they meet up with a friend they haven’t seen in a while. Sure, you’ve kept up using social media, and you text from time to time, but you haven’t sat across from each other and broken bread together in a long time.

As you chat about your lives, you quickly realize exactly why it’s been so long. You feel an immense weight on your shoulders as you listen to them brag about their accomplishments while tearing others down. When you try to share what’s been happening with you, they’re dismissive, distracted, disinterested. You realize that you’re better off without this person.

You remember why you’ve avoided meeting up for so long. If only it was always as easy as that. Often, we overlook the signs we’re hanging with the wrong friends. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most obvious signs.

Before we continue, I’d like you to keep this question in mind. In a healthy relationship, what should each party take/give?

They Tear You Down

If your friend is telling you that you don’t have what it takes to do something you want to do, you have to ask where they’re coming from. Are they acting out of concern for you? Or are they trying to tear you down to hold you back? Sometimes, terrible people are more than happy to crush your spirit with a sly smirk on their face. If you have a friend who consistently shoots your ideas down, discredits your thoughts, and offers no emotional support, that’s not a friend.

You shouldn’t put others down with negative comments, and you shouldn’t accept it when someone does it to you either. Protect the things you’re passionate about, and remember, when others place limits on you, it’s because they’re tied up in their own limits. Their support extends only as far as their imagination allows them to dream. That isn’t your limit.

They Offer No Support

Are you allowed to be yourself when you’re around this person or group of friends? If you have to hide some part of yourself, then that isn’t a friendship. The unique aspects of who you are might sometimes seem like a burden, but they’re part of what makes you incredible. You deserve unconditional love.

It shouldn’t come with a list of requirements. You have the right to happiness, and nobody has the right to hurt you. So, if you have a friend (or friends) who offer you no emotional support whatsoever and seem intent on dragging you down, you have to consider whether it’s a friendship to continue. Surround yourself with people who support you, but also people who aren’t afraid to push back when it’s necessary.

Don’t fall into the trap of a relationship with someone who only respects you if you make decisions they like. It’s hard to stand up to people at the best of times, but it can be especially daunting when it’s someone close to you.

They Create Negativity & Revel In It

Do you have a friend who is always surrounded by negativity? Or, more to the point, they seem to create it? Worse still, they revel in it after they’ve created it. You can’t control their attitude, but you can control your own.

Unfortunately, when someone comes with a vat of negativity, it can be difficult to avoid being plunged into it alongside them. Don’t let them sink your ship with their negativity. It’s your life, and you can choose not to be party to their opinions and actions.

They Validate Self-Abuse

We are often our own worst enemies, but it doesn’t help matters when a ‘friend’ is standing by to validate our self-abuse. Think about it this way. If you treated others how you treat yourself, how would you be described? You have to treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you’re so quick to offer to others. If you have a friend who is quick to join your self-abuse pile-on, then they’re not the right type of person to spend time with.

Real friends know you, they see you, they love you, and they want to build you up. You can’t expect them to solve all of your problems, but you should know they’re prepared to stand by you when you’re faced with problems.

They Knock Your Looks

This might sound shallow, but our looks can often be areas of deep insecurity. With the rise of free airbrushing tools, your social media timelines are littered with photos that have been touched up endlessly. You see photos of people with white teeth, perfect skin, and thin thighs.

It feels difficult to compete with, even though you know they don’t look like that in real life. If you have a friend who takes potshots at your body, style, or looks, you need to let them go. Friends shouldn’t make you feel unattractive and if they do, they’re not really friends. You are who you are and you need to embrace it.

They Aren’t There

You can’t rely on people to do the things you want them to do because you can only control your own thoughts and actions. However, true friendship means encouraging each other, believing in each other, and offering support during tough times. It’s in the tough times you start to see someone’s true colors shining through. So, who isn’t there for you at the moments you most need a friend? Those people don’t belong in your life.

In a perfect world, relationships would be 50/50. But, if we’re being honest, they rarely are. If you take a snapshot of periods of your life you will see there are times when things are 80/20 and times when it’s 30/70.

The important thing is that there’s an even level of give and take. You might have to support your friend more often than not for a specific period of time, but you know that when you run into issues, they’ll offer you the same in return. That is a balanced friendship. If someone isn’t there when you need them, you need to consider why that is. It doesn’t necessarily require physical presence; friends can support each other through text and phone calls.

They’re Unhappy

If there’s someone in your life who isn’t happy for you when you win at life, then it’s the biggest, most obvious, tell-tale sign they’re not a good friend. Real friends want you to succeed, they celebrate your success, and they’re happy for you!

Your friendships shouldn’t bring constant drama; they shouldn’t bring negativity or feel as though they’re built on conditions. Your friends shouldn’t bail, bitch about you to others, or wield your secrets like weapons.

Life is often less about where you are and what you do and more about who you walk beside. Others build you up, and others drain you, but you shouldn’t jeopardize your happiness, self-respect, or dignity because someone else has placed limits on what life can be. If there are wrong people in your life, leave them behind and replace them with the right people.

“If you have one true friend you have more than your share.” Thomas Fuller

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HR Consultant | Life Coach | Freelance Writer | Delivering content with the reader’s interests in mind.

New York, NY

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