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An End to Bad Friends

Updated on June 16, 2019
Jim Bucsko profile image

Interested in the self-help genre and psychology, I combine such knowledge with my experience of TBI Recovery and my writing skillset.


Eliminate Negativity

We have all, no doubt, repeatedly heard about how crucial positivity is. And perhaps we have heard about how crucial it is to cut the negative influences out of our lives. Yet, it is not that simple, is it? After all, some of these individuals may be friends or family members, perhaps afflicted with depression, no? We will be mostly discussing the negative influences that we need to cut out of our lives, but we will also discuss how to handle the negative influences that we cannot cut out.

First and foremost, however, we must minimize our own negative thinking. The Forbes Coaches Council, for instance, suggests that we utilize writing. I did this years ago, writing affirmations such as: “I will do well in my college presentation today.” In this way, we practice positive thinking and boost our self-confidence. Nevertheless, it is a habit we must foster over time. Plus, we are much more likely to think negatively if we are surrounded by naysayers, for emotions are contagious.

As Dr Alex Lickerman puts it, “In medical school, we were taught that one way to recognize that a patient is depressed is by examining our own mood once we’ve finished interacting with them. If we feel depressed ourselves, a good chance exists they are, too." Similarly, author Robert Greene warns, “Avoid the unhappy and unlucky.” It is, in fact, Law 10 of his 48 Laws of Power book. Additionally, Spanish Jesuit and philosopher Baltasar Gracián emphasized the importance of choosing friends wisely, observing the irony of it being one of the most important things in life yet one of the things we devote the least effort to. Yet, the list goes on and on, the experts commenting on the importance of positive friends is practically endless.

Inevitable Negativity & How to Respond

Yet, to one degree or another, will all have negative thinkers in our life. Perhaps it is a friend with depression or perhaps a family member—someone we cannot or ought not cut out of our lives. How do we handle such a situation? Travis Bradbury answers this question in the Forbes article ‘Successful People’: “A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.”

Also, we must keep such matters in context. In other words, we all complain occasionally. And we usually complain for either of two reasons: We want emotional validation or we want a concrete resolution. For the former, we merely want someone to listen to us. And we so often offer concrete resolutions to someone who is merely seeking emotional validation.

In conclusion, we all ought to be conscientious of who we are friends with. Negative influences and naysayers, after all, will infect us with their negativity. And if we want to overcome an obstacle—no matter what it might be—we must start off with the belief that we can do it.

Works Cited

Bradberry, Travis. ”How Successful People Handle Toxic People.” Forbes.


Forbes Coaches Council. “13 Ways to Overcome Negative Thought Patterns.

Lickerman, Alex. “The Power of influence.” Psychology Today. influence


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