We often don’t realize how much of an effect our friends have on us. The way we act. The way we speak. And the way we think. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way, that sometimes it is better to let go of some friends. And once I let them go, I was surprised what a positive difference it made in my life. While I was sad at first, after a little while I realized I was more relaxed in my everyday life. I was more confident in myself. And I was more focused on what my goals were and more motivated to achieve them. So – who are the 5 most dangerous friends to have? And are some of them your friends?
Negative Nancy. These friends never have anything good to say about anyone or anything. Their life, the husband, their work and sometimes even you. When you share good news with them, they don’t have anything nice to say. They thrive on the negative. They tell you why it is a bad idea, why it won’t work and they may even tell you why you won’t be able to succeed. This can make you start to see the world at it’s worst too, as they drag you down into their misery. Not the best mindset to have if you are taking on the world with big, brave goals. You need to surround your self with friends who build you up, not who tear you down.
Crying Cathy. There is always a drama going on in their life and they look to you to be their counsellor. Sometimes it is one drama, that goes on for weeks or months (or heaven forbid, years!!) Other times they will go from one crisis to the next. Once the crisis is over and you have made them feel better, they leave you to go back to other friends. They use you to feel better. You may only see them when they need your shoulder to cry on. Or they may rely on you for months while they get their life on track before abandoning the friendship. Everyone has a tough time occasionally and needs a shoulder to lean on, but don’t get used. While you devote a lot of time helping Cathy, you neglect your other friends and most importantly yourself. When Cathy leaves, you realize you have put your life on hold, often for months.
Backstabbing Betty. She will give you back handed compliments – an insult hidden in a supposed compliment. They make snide remarks about you hidden in a joke. They undermine your confidence to make themselves feel better. It doesn’t just effect your confidence with the thing they comment on, but your overall confidence too. If you are going after big goals, you need to feel bold, brave and fierce.
Selfish Sally. All conversations are about her. When they need advice or a shoulder to cry on, when they need your help, and when they have big news or something to celebrate. When you try to share, your news gets glossed over before they turn the attention and conversation back onto themselves. This isn’t a friendship, this is you being the only member of Sally’s fan club.
Jealous Jenny. She envies you. What you have, who you are and what you are working towards. Because she is jealous, she may try to ruin what you have – like causing conflict in your relationship. Or she may try to stop you taking action towards your goals by trying to distract your or taking up a lot of your time. She may try putting doubt in your mind so you stay at her level; so you lose the confidence to take a leap of faith. Don’t let her sabotage you. Two years from now, you will kick yourself for letting her stop you.
So what if you are friends with one of these girls? The tricky thing about being friends with one of these girls is that they don’t start out that bad. They seem nice. You hang out for a bit. Then slowly their real personality starts to come through. It is subtle at first. Then when they get away with treating you like that, they push your limits a little bit further. Then a little further again. Next thing you know, they are a full blown version of Nancy, Cathy, Betty, Sally or Jenny. You may have been friends with them for a few months or you may have been friends with them for years. The longer you have been friends with them, the harder it is to move way. So how do you do it?
For me, I got to the point where how I was being treated wasn’t okay anymore. She pushed too hard and I reached my limit. So I decided if they wanted to be friends, they would have to live up to their side of the friendship. And I never heard from her again. With another friend, all I did was ask to be spoken to respectfully instead of the way I was being spoken to. Not only did she leave, but she took another one of the dangerous five with her. A blessing in disguise.
Remember – these people aren’t always disguised as friends.
They may be people you work with, or even family members.
Once these people are no longer in your life, you look back on the relationship and realize how much you let them get away with. How much you let them push the boundaries. And you kick yourself for a little bit – asking yourself “Why did I let them get away with it?” But you also notice the friends and family around you who are there when you need them. Who make you feel great about who you are. Who are your cheer squad when things go well. And are there with tissues and ice cream when things don’t work out.
Take a look at your friends and family and be honest.
Make sure you spend time with people who will help you achieve your big, wild, crazy dreams.