When I finished high school, I thought this is the end of crappy relationships. Everyone is a grown up now. We can do adult things! We can sit around and drink beer and discuss career plans with each other. We can discuss the places we would like to travel to and the goals we would like to achieve. How awesome, right?
For the most part, this was true–the good friends I’d had for years continued to be helpful and supportive, but some of the recent friends I had collected over the years, we’re actually pulling me down. I don’t think anyone ever plans for this to happen either. It makes me think of this quote:
“Surround Yourself with Those Who Bring Out The Best in You,
Not the Stress in You.”
It forced me to ask two critical questions about every friendship I had. First, was this friend pushing me closer to my goals? Second, was this friend making me a better person? While answering these questions, it helped me identify 3 key signs I was hanging with the wrong crowd.
3 Signs You’re Hanging With the Wrong Crowd
- You start doing things you wouldn’t normally do: All of sudden you find yourself partaking in activities and associating with people, that just a few months earlier, would not be acceptable. Maybe you’re drinking too much, lying more, or stretching your integrity. Perhaps your job or grades are in jeopardy or you start to doubt your marriage in a way that you didn’t before. There are many ways that a friend can be a bad influence, long past the days of smoking cigarettes after homeroom.
- You put your goals on hold: The goals that were once front and center, have now fallen to the backdrop of your life. You now find yourself spending a majority of your time on trivial, unproductive activities – going to the bar, putting off important projects to go to a club, or constantly pushing back your priorities to grab dinner.
- Your more stressed after hanging out: Friendship should be joyful and life-giving. People who use others to unload the crappy details of their lives, do not bring happiness and peace, they steal it. While sharing is an important part of friendship, you should never be made into a full-time counselor.
The key question is? Can a friendship that’s reached any of these points be saved? Possibly, but only if it feels like a phase, rather than a long-standing pattern.
Have you struggled with leaving the wrong crowd? What signs did you see? Let me know in the comments below.