You are what you eat & you definitely are with whom you are friends with. The people you surround yourself with most of the time, really have a huge impact on the person you become. Researchers Dr. Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hameshave found that the highly negative mindset of students vulnerable to depression can be infectious, making their closer circle more likely to suffer depression as well six months later.
Of course, it’s not that easy to find great new people to add to your inner circle of friends; people who will encourage and support you, show sincere interest in your world, and inspire you.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to identify the people in your inner circle who are sabotaging you in some way.
If one of the following types of people match the description of a person in your inner circle-kiss them good-bye!
1. Narrow-minded Egomaniacs
They are keen advocates for their own egos and (often narrow-minded) points of view. They love to brag about themselves. They have a low self-esteem, although it seems as if they spill over with confidence and arrogance. They would rarely admit that they were wrong and hate their failures. They don’t like to see other people suceed…neither you nor anyone else!
Remove those negative, envious people from your inner circle, they will bring you down and disencourage you as they don’t want you to succeed.
Counterpart: Instead keep/find people who are open-minded, ask smart questions, share lessons learned and ways to do things differently, and offer to help you if a problem does arise.
2. Unconditional Fans
On the other end of the scale are people who think your every thought and action is exceptionally clever, amazing, incredible. You’re Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Einstein alltogether.
Unconditional praise is fun but rarely helpful. None of us are that smart, that insightful, or that talented. Often we do get it wrong. Often we do make mistakes. But often we don’t realize it until someone tells us. The scarce honest feedback is also the problem why we oftentimes overestimate ourselves. It’s easy to tell someone he or she is great. It’s much, much harder and it takes an honest and curagious person, to tell you that you can do better. Empty praise is the enemy of improvement. Be nice to unconditional fans, but don’t pay too much attention to what they say. Let your parents be the only unconditional fans you need.
3. Bad gossip machine
I admit, it’s hard to resist inside information and bad gossip. Knowing the reasons behind Anna’s decisions, the motivations behind Tom’s actions, the inside scoop about Jane’s hidden agenda-jeez, that stuff is hard to just walk away from.
The only problem besides a bad concience is, the person who gives you the very private information on others, is also giving others the inside info on you!
Don’t confuse gossip about real people with criticism on types of people (no specific one). This is okay since you don’t hurt anyone’s reputation.
Counterparts: People who are willing to share the inside scoop on only their own ideas or feelings-it also shows that they value honesty, fairness and are trustworthyness.
4. Self-centered & Sightless
Before Nicolaus Copernicus, people thought the Earth we live on was at the center of the solar system. Too bad there hasn’t been a Copernicus for people who think everything revolves around them.
Self-interest is important but being around solely self-centered people just sucks.
Don’t try to change their mind, just move on-they won’t even notice you’re gone.
Counterpart: People who are genuinely interested in other people’s opinions, feelings and achievements. Dale Carnegie identifies and describes the underlying rules and their importance in his timeless bestseller “how to win friends and influence poeple”.
Those are, among others:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
People with these character traits are the one’s to keep very close.
5. Stumbling block visionary
The visionary of all tripping stones has the dubious ability to foresee an endless list of potential roadblocks and problems that in reality will most certainly not appear and sometimes even cannot appear.
Sure, nobody wants to make a mistake they could have avoided. But when someone always counters every new idea with a never-ending list of reasons it just won’t work, then this person should go, because unreasonable doubt and a level of risk-aversion that would even make a german feel super save, is the enemy of achievement and adventure.
Counterpart: If my idea truly lacks certain things, I definitely want to know. Tell me, show me evidence why, and then tell me what might work instead. Then you’re helping. Otherwise, you and I should just go our separate ways.
6. The Needy
Truth is: You need to service some equipment on a regular basis so it doesn’t get useless.
What doesn’t make sense is when you need to “service” some relationships regularly in order to keep them from falling apart. They need regular “check-ins” so they can feel reassured that you still care. Of course it’s important to nurse relationships, but it shouldn’t be an obligation. If you don’t contact these types of people regularly they make you feel you’ve somehow let them down – In short, they’re needy.
Counterpart: Strong relationships can survive without a feeling of guilt and obligation, they are based on only one kind of need: The people you truly want in your inner circle are there when you really need them just like you are for them. You call or meet each other because you have sincere interest in each others life’s and not because you fear the other person forgot you or is obliged to call you.
7. The Ambitionless
Some people just drift like walking deads. They wander aimlessly from day to day and year to year with no plan, no purpose, no goal- and no enthusiasm. Neither can you help them, nor will they give you new input, inspiration or support you in your dreams-they just don’t have the inner ambition to do so.
Counterpart: Being surrounded by people who have ambitious plans, meaningful purposes, and big goals-even if their goals are different from yours- is both inspiring and motivational. It’s infectious to see their eyes shining while they tell you about their new project or goal. Feed off their energy, and they’ll feed off yours.
True Friends are the ones with whom you can be yourself around and who help you to be the best version of yourself!