[Average read time: 3 minutes]
When I was 29 and going through a divorce, things weren’t exactly going to plan. Duh! At a time when most people I knew were beginning and cultivating long-term relationships, I was doing the exact opposite. I felt rudderless and without purpose. On top of that, many mutual, long-time “friends” chose whether they would remain friends with me or her. Some chose her, others chose me.
It wasn’t all bad. One of the best things that came from this period of my life was realizing who truly cared and who didn’t.
I had many friends, but felt lonely at times. I finally realized I was spending time with the wrong people who were bad for me.
How did I know who was bad for me?
Try this checklist:
- Do you feel bad or anxious after spending time with them?
- Do you argue a lot with them? Not an occasional disagreement or debate, but legit arguing?
- Do they put you down in a non-constructive way?
- Do they try to limit your opportunities?
- Do they try to isolate you from your friends or family?
- Do they resent your success or try to overshadow your accomplishment with theirs?
- Do they not listen to you as much as you listen to them?
- Do they add drama to your life?
- Do they not allow you to be yourself?
If you say yes to any of the above, it’s time to remove that shitty person from your life.
It won’t be easy at first, but your happiness is worth it. I was scared. Then I did it and guess what happened…
Reverse the checklist above and that’s the people who are in my life now.
Family, friends, and people who make me feel good, encourage me, and celebrate my wins. I am fortunate to have a family and small circle of friends that support me and have my back. A handful of close friends from high school, a few from college, and a few amazing people I add to my circle at every new job.
This is one of the most underrated factors of career success – having a coworker/friend that motivates you, celebrates the good times, and picks you up through the bad. There’s no substitute for that.
In the peak performance industry, a common belief is that you are the average of the people you spend the most time with. When your entire sphere of family, friends, and people is filled with good, quality people that have your back, you can’t lose.
It goes without saying that if you surround yourself with great people, your career, business, relationships will all be impacted in a positive way.
Fortunately for us, shitty people are easy to spot.
Purge them from your life and notice the difference.
People will show you who they are very quickly if you pay attention.
On the flip side, is there anything on the checklist you may be guilty of? It’s never too late to be a better friend, spouse, parent, neighbor, and human.