The saying “Show Me Your Friends I Tell You Who You Are” is not new to your ears.
The book of Proverbs 13:20 reiterates this phrase saying, “He Who Walks with Wisemen Will Be Wise, But the Companion of Fools Will Suffer Harm.”
These two phrases tell us that one can judge your character by the company you keep. The cycle of friends you have reflects the personality in you. They say, “Birds of one Feather Flock Together.”
If you keep bad company, you develop bad habits. Bad associates influence evil characters to individuals.
On the other hand, good friends are resourceful. If you keep a good company, people will judge your reputation rightly.
So, who is a friend?
A friend is someone you spend a lot of time with and associate. Someone you share secrets, sympathy, empathy, love, compassion, shared interests and beliefs, kindness, tenderness, and have fun with.
There are different types of friends. Some are good, while others are evil.
In this article, we are to discuss bad friends/companies, their influence, and how to avoid them.
Who are Bad Friends?
Bad friends are toxic.
These types of friends do not want to see you improving in life. They are friends who feel bad when you progress in life.
Unlike good friends who inspire and push you to do better in life, bad companies exploit your efforts, drain the energy in you, and view everything you do on a negative perspective.
In 1Corinthians 15:33, the bible says, “Do not Be Deceived: Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals.”
Therefore, bad associates always create problems in friendships.
If your inner being tells you something is wrong in your friendship, it may mean that you are dealing with a bad friend. Consider reviewing that friendship.
How Do You Know If a Friendship is bad?
The following are the most common traits relating to a bad friendship. Pay attention to all of them and if any sounds familiar in your current relationship, consider revising that friendship,
1. They feel bad When You Progress in Life
Bad friends never want to see the best of you. They are jealous. They never feel happy whenever you achieve in life.
2. They Mock and Downgrade You in front of Other People
Generally, when they feel bad about themselves, they use you as a distraction. Such people are dangerous, worth dropping immediately.
3. They Share Secrets about Their Other Friends with You and Talk Bad about Them
If they can share confidential information about their friends with you, how much of your secrets have they shared out? If they talk evil about their other friends with you, be sure they talk bad behind your back when you are not there.
4. They Influence you to do Things that Put You in Trouble
They are troublemakers. They invite you to participate in unethical behaviors. Such friends provoke you into doing wrong things that end up leaving you in trouble.
5. They Share Your Secrets with Other Colleagues
A good friend is one you can trust with your whole heart. Someone you can share secrets with trusting they will keep and not share. If they start sharing your confidentialities, cut lines with them.
6. They Hold Your Past against You
They are not willing to understand and give you a break when you do wrong. They keep reminding you now and then of the mistakes you committed in the past.
7. They Keep Telling Lies
Frequently such friends lie to you. Friendship full of lies violates your trust and disrespects your bond. Trust is the pillar of any friendship, and if broken, the existence of that relationship is useless.
If your friendship has any or all of the above features, it is time to re-think this bond. These are some of the traits of an unhealthy relationship and are hazardous to your well-being. Think and act fast.
How Do You Avoid Bad Friends?
Firstly, it is essential to note that some of these features occur accidentally. Before making any further decisions, it is wise talking to them about their behaviors. Address them on their face and express your feelings against their bad character.
If they do not change, follow these steps and walk away,
1. Forget the Past
Every relationship has memories of good times, happiness, affection, etc. Do not be sentimental. Forget the good times. People come and go in our lives. Do not let the past imprison you. Forget and delete anything that can trigger your memory to remember.
2. Set limits with Your Friend
If you still want to keep your friend, for one reason or the other, draw lines and protect yourself from their evil influence. Set boundaries and tell them what characters you do not entertain. Limit the time you spend with them.
3. Let the Friendship Die Naturally
Distance yourself from them. Commit yourself to other things whenever they want to drag you in their evil habits. Say no to invitations by making excuses.
Stop replying to them. Make the relationship look boring for all of you. Stop engaging, and the friendship will fade away naturally.
4. Find New Friends
Start looking for a new company. Find friends who are will be there for you during good and bad times. Build up yourself and forget the wrong people.
5. Unfriend them on Social Media
Defriend and unfollow them on social media; this will help you forget your past. Do not reply to their messages. Do not comment on their posts. If need be, block to deny them access to your life on social media.
6. Avoid Talking About Them with Friends You Share in Common
Stop talking about them with your mutual friends. Do not gossip about their bad character or try to turn your mutual friends against them. If you want to talk about them, talk to someone not connected to your social network.
7. Cut All Communication
End all communications with them. Do not respond to their messages. Do not answer calls. Delete all your previous messages and do away with their numbers.
Finally, be brave enough to let go of friends who pose more harm to your well-being than good. It is not easy to cut friends, but for a healthy being, it is advisable to let go of people who are weighing you down.