“There are two kinds of power you have to fight. The first is the money, and that’s just our system. The other is the people close around you, knowing when to accept their criticism, knowing when to say no.”
Martin Scorsese (American Director)
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”
Napoleon Hill (American Author, Think And Grow Rich)
“The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.”
Dan Buettner (American Author, The Blue Zones)
Success is contagious.
Good and bad behavior is contagious too.
One study found that emotions circulate through social networks in patterns similar to what’s seen in epidemiological models of the flu virus.
Numerically, each positive person you surround yourself with increases your chances of being positive by 11%.
But, each negative person you let into your life will more than double your chances of being negative.
Recent research also shows that even negative traits, like obesity and smoking, are transferred like a virus from person to person.
For example, if one of your friends becomes obese, you have a 171% chance of also becoming obese.
Your circle of influence is more powerful than you might realize.
Many of us get lazy about it.
It’s not just about protecting yourself against negative influences or people with bad habits — it’s about choosing the right kind of support and the right kind of dialogue with them to protect your progress and success.
How Good Friendships Increase Success
A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that sharing good news with positive people in your social network resulted in “increased daily positive affect and well-being, above and beyond the impact of the positive event itself and other daily events.”
When people you share with are positive in return, those impacts are amplified and extended.
Good people in your life make your highs even higher and make them last longer.
Like any good commercial drug, but better.
Who you share your time and life events with is as impactful as what you share.
The Journal of Human Communication found that when people talked to their friends about negative events and received poor support, they showed an increase in anxiety as well as a decrease in their level of satisfaction with that friendship.
In other words, you’ll feel worse and add friendship drama.
Those who shared the same and received more positive support felt better about their friendships, but still ruminated and felt anxious about the events.
Ideally, you’d be surrounded by positive people that celebrate your positive moments and are supportive, but limit in indulging in the ruminating sharing of negative ones.
The Journal of Marketing Research added that the closer we are to someone, the more likely we are to share more negative information than if we didn’t feel as connected to them.
Like gossip, for instance.
This means that the kind of friends you have and what you choose to share with them will directly impact your own perception and mood.
Your best friendships will have boundaries around useless, negative content and excess ruminating, and be heavy in positive support and encouragement.
They’ll challenge you without belittling you and reciprocate when it comes to celebrating achievements.
The One Friend You Need To Kick Out Of Your Life
Who you hang out with matters.
If you hang out with people who push you to work harder, think more intelligently, and hold yourself to a higher standard, you’re going to live a better life.
But if you hang out with people who cut you down and belittle your accomplishments to keep you in your place, you are going to live a more miserable life.
You’re going to miss out on achieving your biggest goals.
Look, when someone else achieves something great, it’s normal to feel a slight twinge of concern.
Your brain will immediately try to compare what the other person accomplished to what you’ve accomplished.
If the other person accomplished something better or different than you, your brain will try to justify what happened so you don’t go around feeling guilty or less successful than the other person.
A mature person justifies other people’s accomplishments by getting excited for them and thinking, “Wow, if I work hard I can do something like that too.”
Or, “Wow, what they accomplished is completely different than what I want for my life, but I’m really happy for them and am going to help them celebrate.”
An immature person, on the other hand, justifies other people’s accomplishments by saying they got lucky or by acting like their accomplishments are worthless.
If you want to start getting ahead in life, you need to cut ties with the people holding you back.
In particular, you need to step away from the person who belittles your accomplishments just because it makes them feel better about their life.
Here are 3 ways to identify and eradicate the person you should never be friends with…
1. It’s never about you.
Something good happens to you and you want to share it.
When it happens to someone else it’s not as exciting, but if you’re their true friend, you’re happy for them.
The wrong kind of friend to have in your life simply won’t be able to be happy for you.
One of the ways you can spot a critic is that they can’t let you bask.
They won’t look excited when you share good news.
If they’re even listening.
Anything they say doesn’t feel genuine, unless it’s negative.
They’re fake friends.
Passive aggressiveness will leak out in phrases of “Isn’t that nice for you” with a sneer.
They don’t have room to be happy for you, because everything is about them.
You’ll get a minute to speak… and then they’ll change the subject.
They wait for any opportunity to turn the conversation back to them.
Fake friends are frequent interrupters — even their questions seem pre-formulated to allow them the opportunity to turn the conversation back to them.
Everything is a comparison.
Everything has an agenda and it’s never about you — it’s about how what you do reflects on them.
Your success brings out their own insecurities and immaturities and their only way of coping is to take the spotlight off of you.
This strategy will continually deflect away from your goals and your achievements.
You won’t get to enjoy the highs of your achievements because they can’t stand it.
The only solution is to distance yourself from friendships that are this self-focused and this one-sided.
This friend won’t ever be happy for what you accomplish and will always put a damper on your celebration of important milestones and victories.
2. Everything’s a competition.
Not only can your time never be about you or your accomplishments, everything has to be a competition.
It’s not even about equal mic time — these people literally have to be better than you and one-up you on everything.
Part of that game is that you can never be as big as they are — or even close.
So they will find ways to keep you small.
They’ll discourage your goals.
They’ll poke holes in your plans.
They’ll be the devil’s advocate for everything positive that you try to do.
They might even take credit for your success.
These small-minded people cannot stand the thought of you being better than they are in any way.
They can only feel good about themselves if they are surrounded by people that are less than they are.
So every great thing you do will be minimized.
If you start to grow, you’ll be squashed.
You will never get the credit you deserve or any recognition.
Every exhausting interaction with them is a struggle because you will be shuffled into second place or lower in these bullying moves to keep you insecure and on edge.
On some level, you invited this in. And until you set boundaries to get it out, you’ll be stunted in every good thing you try to do.
Every good mood will be a struggle and your lack of significance will permeate every other area of your life.
3. They actively sabotage your success.
There’s no subtlety here.
People that belittle you and downplay your successes might be even more toxic in that they actively try and sabotage your success.
They gossip about you or say bad things about you behind your back to destroy your reputation, personally and professionally.
They are so threatened by your potential that they actively seek to go against you.
These are the manipulators, the users, the toxic, and the downright mean.
Pick a name out of the ugly hat and that’s who these people are.
Everything is a power struggle and they’re out to win at all costs.
Psychological warfare is on the table and they’ll try and make you guilty, indebted, needy, and weak.
To serve their ego and feed their need for control.
They might be your boss, your high school friend or your high school sweetheart.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them — they aren’t good for you, and they have to go.
The longer you keep people this overtly toxic in your life, the longer you’ll be held back.
There won’t be room for anyone positive and encouraging to come into your life because the toxic sludge is filling up every corner.
If you don’t wise up to their manipulation tactics and take action, these people will railroad all efforts in your life and you will go no where.
And be nobody.
On an indefinite basis.
This is where low self-worth, anxiety, and hopelessness take over and these people act as an IV supply for it.
You might even start to become like them.
Look — you don’t need a bunch of mindless groupies following you around and cheering your every move. You shouldn’t be that fragile. But you do need a network of people in your life who are positive, successful, and who also challenge you but not in ways that crush your spirit or make you look like a fool. The only way to keep achieving bigger and better accomplishments in your own life is to cut out immature people who try to belittle what you achieve. At the same time, you have to be mature enough to praise other people’s accomplishments and to freely help them achieve more. If you want achievement in your life, start respecting achievement no matter who it comes from.
To learn more about how fake friends cause anxiety and sabotage your success, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.