Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Well, hanging with Davy in middle school was not such a good idea. Let me make this clear, Davy did play a negative influence in my life but ultimately, I chose my actions.
I've heard it said, that at times we become like the people we choose to hang-out with. This could be good and it could be bad.
A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with. Sometimes, a little bit of luck controls who walks into your life, but you really are the one who decides who you let stay in your life.
Ultimately, it's really important to surround yourself with people who make you a better person and let go of those who don’t.
Here are some warning signs you’re in the presence of bad company:
1. Their negativity is rubbing off on you
What's your definition of success for your life? Do you want to be your definition of success? Here is something I have found out: People who desire to become their definition of success, avoid people who are laced with negativity. Why? Simple. Negativity can easily rub off on others.
The negative people in your life don’t just behave negatively towards you, often times, it's also towards everyone they interact with. What they say and do is a projection of their own reality – their own inner issues. Even if they say something to you that seems personal – even if they insult you directly – it likely has zero to do with you. It's them. They are negative.
This is important to remember because what these negative people say and do shouldn’t be taken to heart. Although you don’t have control over what they say and do; you do have control over whether or not you allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their venomous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. If you feel like these people are getting to you, take a break and give yourself some space to breathe.
Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people. Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.
2. They motivate you to be judgmental or hateful
I'm just going to say it, I want NOTHING to do with judgmentalism and hate. This does not mean that I don't make judgment calls in my life, I do. It also does not mean that I like and approve of everyone. I don't. However, truth be told, no human being is superior. No faith, race, size or shape is inferior. All collective judgments about others are wrong. Only judgmental hypocrites make them.
If you judge others by their skin color, their body size, and their outer beauty, you will miss EVERYTHING about who they really are. It's amazing the quality of people you will learn about and meet in this world if you can simply get past the fact that lots of people are not dressing and living the way you do.
People who motivate you to judge or hate others are as bad as bad company gets. Avoid them at all costs.
3. They discredit your dreams and abilities
In high school, I told a peer I wanted to become a school teacher someday. First words out of their mouth was, "What? That's stupid. Help me understand why you'd want to work at a job and barely get paid? You don't really seem like you'd be very good at teaching either."
Well, I'm now beginning my 37th year working with students and I LOVE it! I chose to pretty much not hang-out with this peer and keep pursuing my hopes and dreams. Glad I did. Right?!
If you allow others to define your dreams and abilities, then you enable them to hold you back. What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends on what you choose to do with your time and energy.
People will throw all sorts of assumptions your way about what is possible and what is impossible. Look beyond the presumptions and mental limitations of others, and connect with your own best vision of how YOUR life can be. Life is an open-ended journey, and what you achieve comes from what you expect to achieve and what you work to achieve.
4. They want you to be someone else
Spend time with people who see you the way you are, and not as they wish to think you are. Spend even more time with those who truly know about you, and who love and respect you anyway.
If someone expects you to be someone you’re not, take a step back. It’s wiser to lose relationships over being who you are, than to keep them intact by acting like someone you’re not. It’s easier to nurse a little heartache and meet someone new, than it is to piece together your own shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space within your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space within yourself where YOU used to be.
What would you add to the list? What’s one big warning sign you’re in the presence of bad company? Please leave a comment below and let me know.