“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
- Jim Rohn

Most of us have at least one friend we consider toxic: the loser friend who disrupts our entire world the second they step into it. We know things would be so much easier if we cut them loose, yet we spend more time figuring out why we stay than it would take to actually leave.

Why You Have Loser Friends

The truth is, it happens for a multitude of reasons:

  • You’ve been friends with them since you were kids.
  • You know them so well you’re constantly justifying their behavior.
  • You feel guilty because they don’t have anyone else to turn to.
  • You feel obligated to spend time with them because they’re a mutual friend of your BFF/spouse/family member.
  • You’re afraid of how they’ll react if you confront them (a.k.a. more drama).
  • You feel it’s easier to deal with them than disrupt your hectic lifestyle any further.

Usually though, it’s a simple case of outgrowing each other. What caused you to “click” initially as friends no longer applies, or your lives are going in completely different directions.

I felt this way about several people I used to spend time with: they were going nowhere fast, had no goals, no ambition, and their only focus was their next self-destructive adventure. I’ve always had huge goals for myself, and these were being diminished by the company I kept for the variety of reasons above.

What Constitutes a Loser Friend?

When I use the term “loser friend,” I don’t mean they themselves are losers—everyone is entitled to live their life exactly how they want to—but what they’re doing to your life is causing you to lose what you want… and you’re letting it happen.

If you have friends who do any of the following, you need to seriously consider their place in your life:

  • They’re not supportive.
  • They’re not there when you need them.
  • They’re only there when they need you.
  • They make you feel drained.
  • They have no ambition.
  • They constantly infuriate you.
  • They expect you to drop everything when they want to do something.
  • They think everything is an urgent crisis.

Take it from someone who watched her own life implode: if you want to be amazing, you have to spend your time with amazing people. In order to make room for these people, you have to leave your loser friends behind.

Why You Should Leave Your Loser Friends Behind

It’s not going to be easy, but letting them go is a necessary part of creating the life you’ve always wanted for yourself. Otherwise:

1. They’ll hold you back from your full potential.

The biggest thing I learned from my experience with friends like these is that you’ll never live up to your full potential if you’re constantly weighed down by unnecessary drama and complication. In order to succeed, you need a solid routine and a strong support system. Consider your loser friends the loose floorboard in that support system, constantly distracting you from your goals.

2. They’ll make you feel like crap about yourself.

When they want you to do something you don’t want to do, they’ll constantly nag you and make you feel guilty about being who you are until you cave to their demands. It’s an incessant, vicious cycle that won’t end until you put a stop to it. If you don’t, get ready for a wide array of self-esteem issues.

3. They’ll negatively impact your reputation.

Even though you were guilted into going to that party and became your sloppy friend’s crutch, the dream employer you’ve wanted to work with since you were in public school isn’t going to know that when they’re checking out the horrific pictures you’re tagged in on Facebook.

More than that, if you’re this easily influenced in your personal life, they’re going to assume you won’t be able to hack it in a professional setting.

4. They’ll bring out the worst in you.

You know all of those bad habits you’re trying to break? Your loser friends will make it so difficult for you to build good habits you’ll constantly crack under the pressure and eventually give up on the concept entirely. After all, if you change for the better, your relationship with them will change for the worse, and will work against what they need from you.

5. They’ll dim the good things in your life.

You’ll be so focused on their drama, needs, and wants, the stress of your friendship will cause you to lose focus on the aspects of your life that are going well. Simply put, negativity breeds negativity—is this really how you want your life to be?

So what are you waiting for? Leave drama to the circus and live your life exactly how you want to, with who you want to. If you don’t decide to do so now, your loser friends will decide for you.

How have loser friends impacted your life? How did you handle it?

Ready to upgrade your friendships?: Are You Wasting Time with Bad Friends? Here Are 5 Traits of True Friends

Featured photo credit: Average Ned via Flickr

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