Could your friends be a bad influence? Here are the signs that you are in bad company and tips on how to deal with toxic and bad influence friends.
You already know that birds of the same feather fly together! Friendship is fundamental if you want to live a more fulfilling life. But what should you do if your closest pals keep on getting you into trouble? This is what we call a bad influence.
A good friend should bring the best in you and support you during hardships because they are like your family. You must be very objective when figuring out if your friends are helping you to build a great future or they simply are bad influences.
But what does bad influence mean? Simply put, it is a situation where someone encourages you to do wrong by example or inculcates bad thoughts on you.
If you are not sure of the type of birds you flock with, here are some signs that your friends are a bad influence.
- Your friend tells you to lie to your partner, parents or other friends
- The company is all about partying
- You feel tired, annoyed or empty after hanging out with your friends
- Your friend has a carefree attitude that costs you a lot of money
- Your get-togethers are all about gossip and making fun of other people
- You feel guilty when refusing to go somewhere or do something your friend suggests
- You often feel unappreciated, miserable or intimidated when hanging out with your friend
- Your friend is a chronic phone thief
- Drama is always finding you
- Your friend never warns you when you cross the line
How can you stay away from bad influence? Here is a rundown of the best tips.
Identify bad friends
It’s not that hard to notice a bad friend. You can tell by how they make you feel. Many times, you’ll feel uncomfortable around bad people. They will pressure you to get into things you don’t want to. And when you refuse to do it, they start teasing or intimidating you.
Often, they’ll use reverse psychology to get what they want, making you feel guilty when you don’t concur with their suggestions. This is exactly what a bad influence is. It comes from someone who does not have respect for your values or opinions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out who your friends really are.
- Have they tried to manipulate you?
- Do they boss you around?
- Are they disrespectful and mean?
- Do they abuse drugs?
- Do they belittle your opinions?
- Do they make you feel bad about your body and eating habits?
- Are they violent?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you need to start realizing the negative effects your friends have on you. Perhaps, you give them too many chances or even defend them in front of your partner or parents when they object how your friends treat you.
Many times you’ll feel used, trapped, drained, frustrated, unappreciated, and guilty for what you do with your friends. That is when you know you are too good at being influenced.
Embrace positivity and shun negativity
The truth is it is not easy to block all the negative people in your life. You also need to know that your friends will abandon you when you start moving towards positivity.
You don’t need to ignore them completely. All you have to do is change the frequency of interacting with them. Gradually reduce the exposure to these toxic friendships.
Consider having a few weeks away from them to allow the emotions to subside. Then follow minimum interaction in the future. Toxic friendships are like germs in the air: there is no way to avoid them completely. But you can take the necessary precautions not to come close to dirty places or share drinks with the bad guys.
Using this strategy, you will reduce the time you spend with the bad people and increase your interactions with positive people.
Want to rise above a bad influence today and in the future? Start creating barriers between you and your friends. This way, you’ll make it clear on how they should treat you. You must be very direct on what is okay and what is not when interacting with people.
But how exactly do you set these boundaries? Here are some solutions.
- Genuinely express your needs and feelings
- Limit the amount of time you socialize with bad influence friends
- Don’t force anyone to change but leave it to them
- Leave friendships where you feel offended or endangered
Turn negative people into supporters
Did you know that you can change even the most notorious individual into a supporter? While you may reduce interactions with a bad influence in the short term, you have a great opportunity in the long term to influence them positively.
This is a bold move where you try to reconnect with a negative person after a while. Most likely, your past friend will realize how your life has changed and might also want to emulate you. But you need to be very assertive when expressing your beliefs and ideas.
Let them know that your new lifestyle cannot be altered. The greatest benefit of reconnecting with a past friend is that you get to learn more about yourself.
Sleep on it and stay away
One of the main objectives of bad influence friends is to get you into an emotional rollercoaster so you can react. The first thing you should do is get away from the relationship and their environment as soon as you can.
This move will not be easy, especially if you are in the same school or workplace. It is going to turn awkward and you might hurt their feelings. There are several decisions you can make to stay away from them:
- Stop talking to them and your mutual friends
- Cut phone communications with them
- Quit following them on social media
Ensure that you’ve made the above decisions when you are not in an emotional state to avoid regrets. Make sure you have pondered on the matter and are in a relaxed state of mind.
Remember that a bad friend wants you to make irrational decisions and that’s what you want to avoid. So, any time you deal with them, make sure you are in your right frame of mind. You can delay your decision if you feel anger.
Sometimes, you don’t have to react because some people are not worth wasting your time. When you act calmly, your success increases significantly.
Initiate relationships with successful people
We all need someone to lean on. When looking for friends, ensure that they are ahead of you in terms of professional and personal development. Remember that success attracts more success. The best thing about successful people is that they are always busy so they don’t have time for gossips.
They are more likely to hang out with you only when you have something important like business ideas. Some might not initiate anything, but don’t be afraid to contact them. As you meet for coffee, emulate their lifestyles and let them guide you.
Do you know the reason a negative person goes out of their way to make you feel miserable? It’s because you may lack self-confidence, plus a combination of other factors which have a lot to do with your life and not the bad influence friends.
To overcome the impacts of bad people on you, it takes a lot of bravery and confidence in yourself. Yes, you can defeat them no matter how influential they are. It’s time to say no to anyone who insists you follow their ways of doing things. Use your self-development tools to defeat these circumstances.
Sure, some friendships are very toxic and it may take a while to abandon them. But keep in mind that nobody should try to make you perfect. So, instead of dwelling on the situation, use the above ways to rise above the bad influence.
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