Separating yourself from negative friends

How do you separate yourself from friends that have no future without hurting them?
– Kristal Burnett, 24

Dear Kristal,

You should always try to better yourself, regardless of the struggles and obstacles life throws at us.

It sounds like you want to better yourself, and you should be proud of that.

Removing harmful people from your life can be hard in some cases, but you need to do what is always best for you. You could give someone advice and hints, but if they wanted to make something of themselves, they would do it.

Some people will never want to better themselves. These types of people wait until rock-bottom to change, but I do not think you want to be around to see your friend reach that point.

Here are a few tips to separate yourself from these harmful people:

1. Stop helping them out. If you get a call from your friend asking you to bail them out of a situation, do not do it. Your friend needs to learn to handle things on their own. You being there will not help them grow into the person that they need to be. They need to take responsibility for their own actions and problems. He or she does not need someone who will help them get out of situations, they need someone who will prevent them from getting into trouble in the first place.

2. Stop hanging out with them. If they call you to hang out, don’t agree to meet up. You do not want to give them the idea that you are still OK with hanging out together. If you really want to separate yourself from someone, you have to actually be apart. You do not want to encourage their lazy attitude on life, nor do you want to be a part of it. Distance yourself from negative energy and pessimistic people in your life, because they are toxic. The people we associate with are a reflection of us.

3. Nicely tell them to get their life together. You may think that there is no nice way to say that, and maybe isn’t, but you can try. Do not be rude, but simply tell your friend that they need to start doing something substantial with their life, and that you do not want to see them tread too deep along the wrong path in life to the point where it’s too late to turn back.

People make their own decisions, and your friend might be offended if you just forget about them entirely, but they need to realize that you are making your life better and they need to do the same.

You need motivation in your life and people around you who will make you better. Your friend unfortunately is not one of those people in your life right now. There is nothing wrong with removing laziness from your life, even if that laziness is a person.

You are not your friend’s mother, you are their friend.

– WiseCat

 

Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] and @kristinacsuc on Twitter.