“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:Advertising
- 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.Advertising
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:Advertising
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.Advertising
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?
Last Updated on February 21, 2019
The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach
In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.
Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.
Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.
Conflicts are literally everywhere.
Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win
Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.
Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.
Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.
Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.
Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.
The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts
Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:
Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships
How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.
Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.
Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.
Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem
How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.
Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.
Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.
Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances
How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.
Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.
Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.
Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows
How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.
Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.
Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.
Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem
How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.
Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.
Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.
Step 6: Solve the Problem Together
How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.
Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.
Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.