It is better to be alone than in bad company.
A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with. Sometimes luck controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let stay, who you pursue, and who you let walk back out.
Ultimately, you should surround yourself with people who make you a better person and distance yourself from those who don’t. Here are some general warning signs you’re in the presence of the latter:
1. They only make time for you when it’s convenient for them.
It’s obvious, but any relationship without regular interaction and communication is going to have problems, especially when there’s a lack of commitment.
Don’t waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it’s convenient for them. You shouldn’t have to force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they truly care about you they will gladly create space for you.
Being in a relationship with someone who overlooks your worth isn’t loyalty, it’s stupidity. Never beg someone for attention. Know your self-worth, and move on if you must.
2. They hold your past against you.
Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved past them. They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you. Do not help them by acknowledging their negative behavior. Keep moving forward.
Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose in creating a better day today. If someone continuously judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to repair your future by leaving them behind.
3. You feel trapped.
Healthy relationships keep the doors and windows wide open. Plenty of air is flowing and no one feels trapped. Relationships thrive in this kind of unrestricted environment. You can come and go as you please, but you choose to stay because where you are is where you want to be.
If you want to be a part of someone’s life, all the open doors and windows in the world won’t make you leave. If someone has closed them all in an effort to trap you into something you don’t want to be a part of, it’s time to find the strength to kick down the door. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the Relationships and Self-Love chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
4. They discredit your dreams and abilities.
If you allow others to define your dreams and abilities, then you enable them to hold you back. What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends on what you choose to do with your time and energy.
People will throw all sorts of assumptions your way about what is possible and what is impossible. Look beyond the presumptions and mental limitations of others, and connect with your own best vision of how YOUR life can be. Life is an open-ended journey, and what you achieve comes from what you expect to achieve and what you work to achieve.
So don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Keep living your truth. The only people that will get mad at you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.
5. They have lied to you more than once.
Love is a verb, not a noun. It is ACTIVE in all relationships. Love is not just feelings of passion and romance between lovers; it is also a behavior among friends and family. If someone lies to you, they are unlovingly disrespecting you and your relationship.
When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unloving to you!
Bottom line: Those who avoid the truth and tell you only what you want to hear do so for their own benefit, not yours. Don’t put up with it. (Read Emotional Vampires.)
6. Their negativity is rubbing off on you.
The negative people in your life don’t just behave negatively towards you, but towards everyone they interact with. What they say and do is a projection of their own reality – their own inner issues. Even if they say something to you that seems personal – even if they insult you directly – it likely has zero to do with you.
This is important to remember because what these negative people say and do shouldn’t be taken to heart. Although you don’t have control over what they say and do; you do have control over whether or not you allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their venomous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. If you feel like these people are getting to you, take a break and give yourself some space to breathe.
Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people. Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.
7. They are excessively envious of what you have.
A little bit of envy is OK, but when someone is excessively envious of what you have, there’s a good chance what they really want is to take it from you.
Excessive envy doesn’t tell you how much someone admires you, it tells you how much they dislike themselves. If you can, try to help lift them up, but also be careful that they don’t pull you down. Oftentimes no amount of love, or promises, or proof from you will ever be enough to make them feel better about themselves. For the broken pieces they carry, are pieces they must mend for themselves. Happiness, after all, is an inside job.
8. They motivate you to be judgmental or hateful.
Truth be told, no human being is superior. No faith, race, size or shape is inferior. All collective judgments about others are wrong. Only judgmental hypocrites make them.
If you judge others by their skin color, their body size, and their outer beauty, you will miss EVERYTHING about who they really are. It is amazing the quality of people you will learn about and meet in this world if you can simply get past the fact that lots of people are not dressing and living the way you do.
People who motivate you to judge or hate others are as bad as bad company gets. Avoid them at all costs. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
9. They want you to be someone else.
Spend time with people who see you the way you are, and not as they wish to think you are. Spend even more time with those who truly know about you, and who love and respect you anyway.
If someone expects you to be someone you’re not, take a step back. It’s wiser to lose relationships over being who you are, than to keep them intact by acting like someone you’re not. It’s easier to nurse a little heartache and meet someone new, than it is to piece together your own shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space within your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space within yourself where YOU used to be.
What would you add to the list? What’s one big warning sign you’re in the presence of bad company? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
Photo by: Bhumika Bhatia