You can’t choose family; you are stuck with the one you were born with but you choose friends. I for sure was a kid who would have loved to disown one of my strange uncles but blood runs thick. This is however not the case when it comes to your social network. It is an interesting dynamic; as a kid you socialise mainly with your cousins but this changes as you grow older. With age, you have a say as to who is welcome in your life and who isn’t; these decisions shape you. It’s a control that you have over your own life that you should exercise. These people can make or break you.

Choose friends with no restrictions?

An open door policy probably shouldn’t apply here. By all means, open your doors and your horizons when meeting new people but if you find traits that are problematic, close the door. You will feel the alarm going off inside your head because of an incredibly off-putting attitude. We all have friends or family that love nothing but sulk and complain.

It’s as if they have a little grey cloud following them wherever they go and you can’t get through a small talk without hearing them groan about something. That’s not just off-putting, it affects your mood and if the only reason this person likes you because you listen to them 24/7. It’s probably not a good friendship. It’s because you are the only one listening and they’re the only ones talking. Friends have an incredible effect on us, whether we like to think of us as fiercely independent or not.

Making the wrong friends

Time

Time can simultaneously mean very little and a great deal when it comes to friendship. If you’ve had a friend since Primary school you will share great stories/memories, inside jokes and similar childhoods. Often times it’s also the case where you have grown apart and have become two completely different people. Both of you, however, hold on due to the strings of commitment. I.e. it’d be a shame to lose touch with someone who you’ve known for so many years. It’s understandable, but it shouldn’t be the sole reason why you decide to keep someone around. Time is precious after all, why spend it on people who you don’t really like but feel somewhat obliged to because of some external factor like when you met? You choose friends for genuine reasons.

It is crucial to choose friends who will pull you up. If instead, you spend your entire time with a bunch of people who haven’t left their houses in weeks, they are probably not going to be people you respect. If you are looking to succeed in life, these people are probably not going to kick-start your system when you need it and help you thrive. In fact, they might even demotivate you indirectly because you look around and find people perfectly happy sitting at home doing next to nothing. If you have to compare yourself, compare up and let it be a motivator, not the reason for inaction.