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Want to Reach Your Goals? Get Rid Of Your Toxic Friendships

A psychotherapist explains the power of surrounding yourself with positive, supportive friends.

PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Getty Images
PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Getty Images

When you think about making positive changes in your life – such as getting in shape, going back to school, opening a business – think about the #1 thing you think you’ll need beyond resources such as time and money.  My guess is its support from the people you’re closest to.  That said, think about who in your life is supportive and who isn’t. For 2022 rid yourself of the toxic, non-supportive, fear-mongering friends and embrace those that have your back.  

Knowing who is good for you is pretty simple. These are the people who respect you, are honest, and want you to succeed.  Then there are the people who could win the lottery and find something to complain about, or have the day off from work and complain, or get promoted and complain. They complain about everything and anything — job, other friends, family, politicians, celebrities, government, and more. They aren’t as easy to spot because, after all, they are usually your friends. 

To help you make a distinction between those who are supportive and those who aren’t, answer the questions below.

  1. Is the person usually negative and unhappy in their career, with family, relationships?
  2. Do you feel exhausted after spending time with the person?
  3. Is the person demanding and self-absorbed?
  4. Is there a lot of drama and crisis in the person’s life?
  5. Does the person have a victim mentality or helpless mentality?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then you know that the person isn’t going to be supportive of you when pursuing your goals. Keep your distance from him or her and maintain boundaries. Now is the time to put your own needs first. Don’t stoop to their level. Don’t feel obligated to remain friends with them or to rescue them. Doing so only enables their behavior and drains you of energy. Be strong and stand up for yourself. To appear vulnerable provides an opportunity for the fear-monger to suck the life out of you.

Speak up and be proud of your goals and what you’ve set your sights on. To move forward, align yourself with like-minded, positive people who share your interests and goals. 

For more tips on living a healthy and stress-free life, check out my book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.