Are you further away from your life goals than you imagined you’d be at your age? The people you surround yourself might be the reason you’re not living up to your own expectations. View The Vibe’s Vicki Hogarth identifies the 4 types of toxic friends you need to cut from your life if you plan on becoming the best version of you…
Self improvement is great but, like it or not, your success will be heavily — if not entirely — dependent on the people you surround yourself with. Your friends and romantic partners help determine your fate. Even if it’s been decades since your last classroom lecture on the dangers of peer pressure. Sure, maybe you thought you were in the clear since you’ve successfully avoided the pitfalls of a life of hard drugs or the harsh realities of being a drop-out.
But don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. Just because you’ve got a university diploma on your wall and a respectable job and salary doesn’t mean you haven’t let other people influence you to compromise your personal goals.
If you’re looking to take on a more aggressive approach to self-realization, tackle the most important first step. Take a serious look at the people you surround yourself with. Toxic friends aren’t older versions of the cliché “bad teens” in the educational videos from our high school years who pressured their peers to cut class to get high.
In fact, you’ve likely already had way more unhealthy friendships as an adult than you ever had in high school without even realizing it. If you have people in your life who fit into the following four categories of “toxic friends,” consider cooling off the relationships to de-clutter your personal life.
Want to be a better person? The best way to guarantee that you’ll meet your personal goals is to disassociate with the people who hold you back…
The Emotional Breakdown Time Bomb
Sometimes what feels at first like lucking into a friendship with sincere and open communication suddenly seems one-sided. At least as far as the over-sharing of dramatic life events go. If you realize you’ve become close with someone who feeds off of making their life a soap opera, get out before you become a series regular.
You should be there for your good friends who’ve proven themselves lifelong buddies when hard times inevitably occur in life. But if you realize you’ve made friends with someone who cries over a “breakup” after a bad first date and who loves getting tattoos just to tell the melodramatic meaning of each to unsuspecting strangers…. Then start distancing yourself immediately.
Sure, it sounds cold, but keep in mind that you’re just the water-boy to the waterworks. Anyone can do your job when you’re no longer in the picture.
The Passive-Aggressive Old Friend
Having a childhood bud in your life who knows everything about your personal history is priceless. But be weary of old friends who resent you for how much they think you’ve changed because, well, they haven’t.
If you have old friends who constantly use passive-aggressive comments to critique your lifestyle for how far it deviates from “who you used to be” (read: who they still are), consider making less of an effort to maintain the relationships. Maybe they do it in jest. Like mocking the fancy gym you joined near your office because, last time they checked, jogging was free. (Though their growing beer bellies suggest their physical fitness knowledge is merely hearsay).
Either way you slice it, it’s still criticism. And it will only make you apologetic and embarrassed about your life decisions. It might even lead you to make choices to please others and not yourself.
The Always Wasted/Drunk Friend
Once upon a time, this friend was known to your mutual acquaintances as a “party animal” or “wild child.” But those terms don’t apply after the traditional college years are over. The “party animal” becomes “the lush.” The lush soon morphs into the widely-known person who no one invites to parties for fear or unpredictable outbursts, broken glass, and age-inappropriate sloppy behaviour.
If you’ve got a friend who likely needs help, say so — because if it’s a real friendship, that’s what a real friend would do. If he/she refuses to deal with his/her issues, cut the ties until there’s a change of heart. Plus, If you keep the party animal-turned-party monster around because you like having a drinking buddy who’s always up for a cocktail no matter what time or day it is, that says a lot about some underlying issues that you might actually have.
The Social-Climbing Fairweather Friend
Even in quiet suburban social circles, there’s always a hierarchy of cool that even those of us who refuse to play the popularity game are aware of. Enviable jobs, impressive degrees, huge salaries, proximity to fame, good looks, exclusive personal possessions. Plus, other life achievements or good fortunes influence who we become friends.
Even if we whole-heartedly try to build relationships with people we genuinely like chances are the people you want to be around have similar goals, interests, and even work ethics. So it’s not altogether a bad thing and can actually be integral to your success. Hanging out with people who inspire you will always make you push yourself a little bit harder. Not to get the things that they have but to earn their respect and admiration in the process.
That said, when you’re a goal-oriented individual, it’s easy to find yourself the victim of a social climber who’s actually interested more in who you are on paper than in person. It’s flattering to find out a name-dropper uses your name as social scene caché. But keep in mind that a name-dropper will also air your dirty laundry at the drop of a hat when it benefits him/her. Because there’s nothing like insider gossip to show off inner-circle status.
That’s right. It was never about you. Just like it won’t be about you when the social climber meets someone with a more impressive name to drop. Don’t derive your self-worth from a faux fan base. Especially when ending frivolous friendships means you’ll have more free time on your hands to focus on being awesome.
If you have any tips on how to cut these four Toxic Friends from your life, or if there’s a toxic friend personality type you’d like to add to the mix, let View The Vibe know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.