I just want to brag for a second and say that I have one of the best best-friends a girl could ask for. She is infinitely supportive and has managed to forgive me even when I’ve completely messed up. However, recently I have had to let go of two very close friends and limit the amount of contact I have with them. As an introvert and someone who chooses her friends with great thought, this was extremely hard. I realized after sobbing out on a balcony alone for awhile that it was time to let go and put relationships that belong in the past behind me.
Though these two people have their good qualities and attributes that I can truly respect they were both having a negative impact on my life. For the past couple of months I’ve been thinking about a quote by Jim Rohn
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
As an eighteen-year-old I am still discovering who I am and who I want to be, but despite my age I still know of certain qualities that I would like to possess. The one that has become most important to me is having a positive attitude. Even though I knew I wanted to be positive about life and my experiences I was spending a good deal of my time around two consistently negative people.
I want to clarify that a positive attitude is not the same as an optimistic attitude. An optimistic person expects a good outcome, but a positive person will look at the bright side of things even if they have a bad outcome. I believe with practice a person can become more positive about their situations whereas a person will naturally be an optimist, realist, or pessimist.
Because I have battled depression and it is something I always have to be on guard for I’ve learned to foster a more positive attitude and become more aware of potential pitfalls that may be difficult for me to climb out of.
The hard part about spotting pitfalls is that sometimes it’s hard to eliminate them from your life. I love the two friends that I’ve had to push away recently, but no matter how much I care about them I know that for my own health and stability I need to let them go. If you surround yourself with negative people or people that attract drama you will become that way yourself over time. It is unavoidable.
For example, these two friends would constantly put themselves down. Eventually it wasn’t enough for them to put themselves down, but they started also saying negative things about our entire group of friends as a whole. Each time I hung out with these two I began feeling worse and worse about myself and I started thinking negative thoughts about myself even when they weren’t around. Not only did this result in moodiness and tears, but I gained about five pounds (I’m an admitted emotional eater) and I started putting others down to make myself feel better.
It’s only been about four days since I’ve ceased communication with these two former friends, but I’ve already started being kinder to those around me and even started a new work out routine. As children of God it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, physically and mentally. If there is someone who is hurting you or making you feel less than the treasure that God made you to be perhaps it is time to create some space between you and that person. I recommend that today you to take a step back and look at the five closest people to you. Is that who you want to be? Consider how those people make you feel about yourself. Is that how you want to make others feel? I knew that I didn’t want to hurt others like my two former friends were hurting me and I knew that meant making a change in who I was around. It may be hard, but trust me it is worth it.