Thursday, June 19, 2008

You Are (Usually) Your Friends

Originally uploaded by Painted Jezebel

"Bondage is... subjection to external influences and internal negative thoughts and attitudes." ~ W. Clement Stone

What sort of people do you surround yourself with? Who do you choose to befriend at work? How do you decide someone is enjoyable to be around? These are all questions that are very important, yet we rarely consider them like we should.

When it comes to life or business, often it's who you choose to associate with that can determine your success. It is possible for people to be led and for you to lead them out of their negative, or destructive behavior. However it is too often the case that the person doing the leading is the destructive friend or business associate. So what can you do?

Here are just 4 types of people one should try to avoid:

  • Impulsive Friends - Those who have a tendency to be impulsive, not really considering their actions or decisions tend to bring with them some dangerous personal habits. They can be really enjoyable to be around sometimes, but those who are impulsive tend to also form poor spending habits. They are reactionary and invest more in emotion (though not always a bad thing) than actually thinking things through.
  • Debbie Downers - These are the friends that can turn a perfectly good conversation into a train wreck. There's always something negative to bring up. You may have something positive to say about someone, or something, and then the Debbie Downer's of the world bring the word, "but" into the conversation.
  • Victims of Life - Have a friend who is always getting the shaft? Does it always seem like nothing in their life goes right? Is everyone always out to get them? Is the system holding them down? Were they born in a circumstance that was impossible to overcome? And most of all, do they always find more time to tell you about it, instead of overcoming their victim status? It's true that everyone has tough times in life. We all have to endure through rough spots in our careers, personal lives, or even psychologically. The danger we face when faced with difficult moments is giving in to the victim mentality. Self pity is rarely going to help you overcome. It will usually bring you down, and if you have friend who is a victim of life, they will have a tendency to bring you down too.
  • Control Freaks - Friends or associates who are only happy when they have complete control can be very difficult to be around. If there's an idea that is good, it's theirs and no one else has the ability to come up with their own. When someone with a strong, positive personality comes along they try to suppress them and make them look bad. They are demeaning, demanding, and destructive when the control appears to be slipping from their grasp. It's sad to watch people (especially in positions of authority) who feel they must always be in control self destruct when things don't go quite as planned. A true leader doesn't always have to be in control. In fact, a true leader doesn't even need to be in control.
This just scratches the surface when it comes to the sort of people we should try to avoid, or will have to deal with in life or work. While avoiding them may not always be entirely possible, it is possible to be aware of them and do your best not to follow their lead.

"I never thought a role model should be negative" ~ Michael Jordan

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