Are Your Friends Helping or Hurting You?

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.” - Colin Powell 


Take a second and think about 3 or 4 people you spend most of your time with.  

  • Who are they?
  • What do they stand for?
  • What are their beliefs?
  • Do they want the same things from life as you?

Did you know you will most likely start to mimic them, subconsciously.   This includes their behaviors, actions and communication skills.  For better or worse, you will begin to mirror those who hang around most often.  In psychology, you can find plenty on what is called mirror neurons.  Essentially, mirror neurons lead humans to imitate or duplicate actions.  We also use mirror neurons for the experiential learning.  Essentially, we are influenced unconsciously regarding our surroundings.  This includes our friends.

Here are a few examples:

  • You may not use inappropriate language, however you, as you begin to hang out with someone who does, there is high probability you will start to mimic them by using the same language.
  • When you hang out with the wrong crowd - you will do things you naturally wouldn't have done if you were not in that crowd.  This would always upset your mother.
  • When you walk into a room and subconsciously see everyone sitting in a certain positions, you will likely follow suite and sit just let them.
  • Your best friend doesn't trust anyone and tells you to NEVER trust people as they all lie.. Guess what you end up doing?

The interesting part of this is that we usually do this without even knowing.   Did you know our subconscious controls 98% of what we do.  It is our default programing based upon our experiences to date.  Emotions are highly contagious.

There are people you will come into contact with that are poisonous; if you spend a significant amount of time with them, you may very well become poisonous yourself.  If you are in a meeting and someone makes a negative statement, there is a higher likelihood that someone else will bring up more negative statements.

A driven personality can be negatively influenced by friends who are not driven.  It’s a Saturday morning and you need to get to the gym yet your friends want you to do something else.  They may jokingly make fun of you or even call you out in an attempt to derail you because they want you to do what THEY want you to do.  It is important to recongnize that your goals are yours.  Your friends have their own and they don't usually care about yours as they are attempting to fulfill their own. This is where you need to know your priorities and understand how bad you want something. 

Are you willing to push off your goals and dreams?  We are habitual creatures, ff you push them off once, you will find a reason to push them off again..and again...and again. 

Honestly, good friends understand and want the best for you.  Back to the original question, are these the kind of friends you have? Those you spend the most time with, do they push your to be  the best version of you?

Find friends that want the same things in life.  Find like minded people and you will find your success becomes far easier to obtain.  If you want to be a successful business man or real estate agent, surround yourself with people who are successful in business and real estate or who are learning as you are.  Since science tells us we mimic our friends, this sounds like a win-win.

Did you know emotions are highly contagious, find friend who are compassionate, loving and kind.  Mirroring these emotions are certainly going to help you along.  Those are the friends that will get you places vs keep you from getting places. 

A good exercise, write down the top three-five qualities you like about yourself.  Now, look at your closest friends.  Do they represent your top qualities?  If they do not, you should consider finding new friends and/or figure out why you are looking for friends which get in the way of your best YOU.

In order to live, I mean truly live, you must be happy.  You should evaluate your friendships on a deep personal level.  If you have friends which bring out your worst, you need to part ways with them.  You only have one life to live, why waste it being surrounded by people that do not want the best for you?  

For every minute you are upset is a minute you will never get back.  You ok with that?  As I was once told, "no one can take your happiness from you without your permission".  What this means is, you are in absolute control of your happiness.  To keep poisonous friends around is to accept, tolerate and even mimic their behavior.  What are you going to do?

Remember, bad friends are very easy to find!  Don't waste your time on them!  instead, find the friends that will help you to become better, not worse.  My mother taught me this a long time ago and I can tell you - It is the absolute truth!

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