5 simple changes that improved the quality of my friendship Circles
You may have heard the sayings, “who you hang around is who you become,” or the “quality of your life is a direct reflection of the expectations of your peer group.” What these are saying is choose your peer group wisely.
Have you ever hung around someone else who is really down in the dumps and depressed and found after a while that you start feeling like that too? The beliefs, emotional states, opinions, actions and more of your peer group, friendships and family can easily influence you.
If you are starting to notice that your peer group or friends are not what they used to be, feel negative or toxic or are not conducive with your growth and how you want to live your life, then it is time to make some changes.
Here are 5 top tips to improving the quality of your friendship circles:
- Reduce time spent with negative or toxic friends
If you are finding you have some negative or toxic friends it may be time to start spending less time with them. You don’t have to cut them out completely if you don’t want to but if their negativity is affecting your wellbeing, is it worth spending so much time with them if it is negatively impacting you? You will often naturally find as people get older and people go on their separate paths that you will naturally drift apart and spend less time with them anyway. Just focus on what you are doing in life and slowly reduce contact overtime.
I hear some of you saying, “What about family, I have to see them?”. Well you can deploy this action but you may also want to team it with point number 3.
- Don’t try to change your friends
What ever you do, don’t try to change your friends. In fact don’t try to change anyone. You can only change yourself. If you do want to encourage them to change their behavior or habits, the best way you can do this is to be a source of inspiration to them. If you embody the change you want to see in them, they might be inspired by your change and be encouraged to change also. You can’t make them change, everyone is on their own journey. We need to realise our own learnings in order to make changes in our own lives.
- Don’t accept or indulge in their negative behavior
When you are hanging out with your friends and negative, toxic or unacceptable behavior occurs, don’t accept it. If you witness the crime but don’t say anything about it, isn’t your behavior just as bad? Approach your friend in a nice and friendly way and tell them how their behaviour makes you feel and suggest something positive you would rather talk about. They may not be consciously aware that they are doing it or having that affect. Get good at changing the topic of conversation towards more positive banter. Some people naturally like to connect through their problems. Try asking them questions, which highlight good things that have happened in their day, week or more.
- Spend quality time with them
Our lives are getting busier and busier so it’s important when we are spending time with friends that it is quality time, as free from distractions as possible. Put your phone on silent and leave it away from you. Focus on your time together. If they are running around busy all the time when you are with them, suggest something you can do together, play a game, go out for a meal together etc. Take them out of their environment so you can both relax. Really focus on your time together, listen, ask great questions and be present.
- Find new peers
Feel like you need to associate with new people all together? Then find groups of people with similar interests. Check out meetup.com, which features meetup groups all over the country on different interests. If you are growth driven but finding your peer group is stuck in rut, start going to personal development seminars and meet likeminded people. We find a lot of the people who attend our seminars go on to make lifelong friendships with people who are likeminded and who can support them on their growth journey.