As Jim Rohn famously said, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. It is hard to tell which friends will grow with us as time passes and which ones will stagnate and try to stop us from succeeding as well. You might have some frenemies at this moment who seem to be supporting you but in reality make a negative impact on your mood, attitude, or decisions. They might have persisted in your life because you grew up together or because you feel like you owe them, but if they hold you back, it is probably time to say goodbye.
Does success change people?
There are a lot of things you can tolerate in a friend – jealousy is not one of them. True friends will help you get higher even when they feel low and seeing you succeed won’t scare them away. They have a healthy self-esteem and they want to be surrounded with people who grow, just like you, instead of trying to bring them down to their own level.
Stick to people who are genuinely happy to hear about your success stories and say good things about you behind your back.
Just like any human being, you could also make a mistake once in a while but if your friend chooses you for who you are and not for your status or your bank account, then they should be able to accept your apology. When you’re going through hard times, life will teach you some great lessons and one of the most valuable ones is that you’ll know who is there for you.
It is okay to have people on your contact list only because they are beneficial for your future and who think the same way about you. But they shouldn’t be in your inner circle.
The art of handling distance
If you have moved to another city, state, or country at least once or your schedule is basically a series of business trips then you know how it feels when months pass without meeting people who once were part of your everyday life. You soon start to delay calling them until you have a better network and more time or energy to talk and that moment just goes further and further away. So before the months become years, just give them a 5-minute call before your next flight takes off.
Sometimes distance can come handy when you have to evaluate your relationship with a person but too much might make you strangers to each other. Nevertheless, if you keep in touch once in a while, then meeting again will feel like you never left.
Reactions tell a lot
Negativity is contagious and it is the number one thing that sabotages your growth. It can seem like a good intent of giving an advice or a series of friendly complaints. It might be the hardest decision of all to keep distance from people you have a history with who turn out to prevent you from living as happily and successfully as you possibly can.
However, you can easily spot these people just by saying a neutral statement about something that happened to you or you look forward to. For example, you might say I am flying to Europe and I will have a 12 hours flight. They can react to that by saying “Oh, that’s great! You will finally have some time off! Enjoy your time on board!” or they can say “Uh, that’s horrible, so boring! What are you even going to do for such a long time?”
You decide which one you would want to hear more in your daily conversations. Negative comments can be really subtle as well, but you have to spot them in order to eliminate the unwanted mindset from your most important relationships. Some people intend to change and you can have a positive impact on their lives with just a little effort and they will be grateful for it. Others will run in circles and will be against your growth. Once you spot this pattern, no matter how hard it may seem it is time to say goodbye.
You are the only person who has control over your life, so stay positive, and spend it with people who make you improve!