Real friends will help you fight negative urges and will not try to steer you down the wrong road. But sometimes, without even realizing it, we get persuaded to follow a path we don’t necessarily want to travel. Though it may be hard to see it, someone in our life could be a negative influence. You owe it to yourself to stick to true friends who have positive effects on your life.
Reflect on your habits
Sometimes we don’t realize what our bad habits are, and we are never aware of how they started. It’s because of this that self-reflection is a very important exercise. Take the time to know yourself, your thoughts and the reasons for your behaviour. Be honest with yourself or the exercise will not serve your purpose, which is ultimately to improve your well-being. One way to start your self-discovery is to keep a journal or a diary — it will help you to admit to and face your actions. Simply think carefully about actions you’ve taken in the past week or even the month and try to detect patterns in your behaviour. Once you pin down habits and actions you are not proud of, then it is time to trace them back to their sources.
Friends can be a negative influence through direct actions or they can simply carry a negative vibe. Tracing the source of a bad habit back to a friend is never an easy realization, as we probably won’t want to admit it. Contrast the kind of daily activities and spirits you were in with a certain group of friends versus without them. Do not ask yourself if X and Y friends are really negative, because you will always answer with no. Rather, think about how you felt in each scenario and this should give you a better and clearer answer without faulting them directly.
Even after we come to realize that certain people are negative influences in our lives, it can be hard to break out of the cycle or stop seeing them. Rather than asking yourself to cut them out cold turkey, or completely, start doing positive things you never had the time for. Hit the gym, start rock climbing, take music lessons, spend more time with your nephew — whatever it is that you have been wanting to do but never had the time for. Once you start doing more positive things, you will find yourself automatically distancing yourself from those negative people.