The Hidden Costs of Friendship
Like it or not, everyone you spend time with influences you. The question is- how much space do you allow people to have in your life? Are they forces of good or are they energy vampires? Do you know how to tell the difference?
We all have those friends who can be a lot to deal with at times. Maybe it's someone you've known a really long time, or someone with whom you share mutual friends. Perhaps you've shared some great memories with this person and that makes it hard to objectively evaluate the role they play in your life.
Regardless of the reason, keeping semi-toxic people around can be expensive. Ever hear of opportunity cost?? Friendships carry huge opportunity costs. Here's why...
Every moment you spend with someone who is jealous of your successes, relationships, or status, is a moment you could have spent with someone who fully supports you and wants the best for you.
Here are a few tell-tale signs that a friend in your life may not be worth the opportunity cost:
- The friendship is an emotional rollercoaster
- When you spend time with this person, you feel worse, down, or drained
- They have a PITA (pain in the ass) factor
- You have no shared goals or values with this person
- You tolerate behaviors from this person that you would not tolerate with other people
- You frequently give this person the benefit of the doubt
When you allow people space in your life, their presence exerts influence on you - and this influence subtly affects how you treat other people. If you want to be successful, the way in which you treat others should be positive and should add value. When you keep people around who can't or won't do that for you, it threatens your ability to offer that to others.
Does this mean you should run out and cancel everyone who isn't on Team You? No, not at all - but do stop and ask yourself if the amount of energy and time you give to them is appropriate for what they give to you. Should troublesome friends carry the same level of influence as someone who uplifts you, or should their influence (and space in your life) be adjusted so that it more accurately reflects the nature of the friendship?