Friends: They Can Make You or They Can Break You!

I have managed lots of people in my life, spent many hours combing through resumes’ and conducting interviews.  If you have 50 job candidates you will read 50 resumes’ touting the greatness of all the interviewees.   Reality tells you that if you can find 1 qualified out of the 50, you are fortunate.

Most employees do what is required to maintain employment with a small percentage serving as a daily headache and an even smaller percentage wanting to be productive.  One of my biggest challenges was to keep the “headaches” from influencing the “producers” negatively with their “can’t do” attitude!

There will always be negative people, but we must be very careful in allowing them to have influence in our lives.

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I want to give you my thoughts on life to try to pass on habits I know and believe will help advance your position and more importantly help you to help yourself.  Successful people are careful in how they construct their support group and you should be very careful in how you construct yours as well.  I want you to think about your friend group, not people you associate with, but friends.  Think about how they conduct their lives.  Are they supportive?  Encouraging?  Responsible?  Steadily employed?  Driven?  Open-minded?

Or….do they bring their drama into your life?  Is the friendship an emotional burden?  Do they constantly ask for drama advice, yet never heed good advice?  Are they constantly complaining?  Are they inherently negative?  Do they steal your energy constantly?  Do they party too much?


I received a message this week and promised I would give my opinion on friends that just seem to always need propping up.  What do you do with people in your life that fit the latter description listed above?

I will say this, in golf you will usually play to the skill level of your playing partners.  If you play with someone of a lower skill set, you will usually perform below your ability.  You will spend your day waiting on them to hit, looking for lost balls, trying to find lost clubs, giving swing tips, etc.  Performing at a high level at any activity is difficult on its own, but throw in a constant energy drain and drama distraction and you have the perfect formula for under-performance.

You must decide which is more important: propping up someone that doesn’t really want to change or improving your life?

Here are the friend qualities I say avoid at all cost:

  1. Friends that refuse to forgive you, but hold you emotionally hostage with your failures.  There are few things that will kill you inside more than a friend that is constantly reminding you of how you’ve failed them and then using that to get you to do something for them.
  2. Friends that are impossible to please. 
    These people are the ones that you hate going to restaurants with.  Because they cannot be pleased, they complain about everything!  And their complaining and negativity is also directed at you and your life!
  3. Friends that dump on your dreams.
    This is the person that is so unhappy with their own failures that they want to convince you that you are not capable either.  Misery needs company and they can’t have you acheiving success because they might be left alone.  Therefore, their mission is to keep you anchored down right beside them.
  4. Friends that are manipulators.
    This is the most venomous of traits.  Manipulators are constantly directing the traffic, usually stirring up controversy.  Manipulators don’t live life, they plan it!  And their planning involves using their negativity to intimidate you to direct your thoughts and actions.  ELIMINATE THESE PEOPLE FROM YOUR LIFE IMMEDIATELY!!!  They are better at their game than you are at yours.  You will always lose with a manipulator in your life.
  5. Friends that are drama queens.
    These friends always have some problem cooking in the pot.  They always seem to have someone causing them strife, accepting no responsibility for their contribution to the drama.  It’s always someone elses fault.  They are incapable to see that they are the common denominator.  And if there is no natural drama going on they will stir some up!

I thought long and hard about whether or not to give advice or lay out the facts and let you take your own action.  After all, I am not sure I want to be the catalyst for someone ending a friendship.  But life is hard sometimes and making tough decisions is necessary.  So here is my advice: if you have a friend in your life that you know is contributing to your mediocrity, that fits into any of these 5 descriptions, and you continue to allow them to have influence in your life….your life will not change.  Now, how you choose to deal with these types of “friends” is up to you.  I am not offering up that type of advice.

You cannot fix some people, as much as you want to, and if you want to reach the stars you will not do so dragging an anchor.  Negative, manipulating, angry, theatrical, unforgiving people have one mission in their life: to keep you from progressing.  You must distance yourself from these people.

Be very careful with the types of people you allow to have influence in your life.  You need to choose a positive, encouraging, ambitious, supportive, happy, open-minded and responsible group with which to surround yourself!



60 thoughts on “Friends: They Can Make You or They Can Break You!

    1. I originally wrote this having a specific person in mind. Kind of a way to say to my friend what I needed to say, disarming them of the oportunity to respond. The unexpected side effect was an overwhelming amount of emails saying thank you. It makes my heart smile knowing you enjoyed and appreciated!

  1. Thank you for sharing this… We get many people you says they are our friends, then back stab us!! However, I think they teach us too, though in a different way 😉

  2. So glad I stumbled upon this! Dealing with someone who falls into several of these categories now, but definitely understanding what I neednto do or not do. Thanks for these timely reminders.

      1. I hope they quickly get to the point where the only option it to let that person go; cutting offmthe ‘food source’ usually kills the serpent…

      2. So are we Danny…and its taken its toll on all of us. Most of all, the littlest almost 5 year old. It’s very hard to prove manipulation let alone in court. Im having trouble which is why I’m writing do much…writing to heal. Thank you for your post. Jx

  3. Wow! This is so on point, I did a similar post a week or so back.

    I relocated little over a year ago to Scotland from The Bahamas, met a nice lady who moved here about 8yrs ago, at first I was like great! Finally someone from the outside who can share tips on integrating here. She also has a business, that has seen some bad days and just now getting back on track, I’ve given her countless advice on what she can do to reinvent herself as a business woman and get her business back on track. One was looking at what she did perviously that made her business go under in the first place and to try NOT to make those mistakes again. But I find that people rarely take advice from anyone UNLESS they’re some expert or they are paying for the advice. She never took my advice, but constantly complained about everything under the sun, including two kids she recently adopted! On top of that, she was constantly guiding me to rubbish jobs which I was over qualified for, saying that I should start from the bottom then work my way up. Now I have no problem working at any legal profession that would allow me to put food on the table, but she NEVER encouraged me to be ambitious in any of my pursuits. She always saying, ‘Oh you’re not ready for that!’ or ‘People here won’t pay you for the work you can do.’

    I have since loosen ties with her and my life had took a drastic turn around after that. Within a few weeks I started a new job, I’m one chapter away from writing my book, and my blog seem to be doing pretty good as well-the blog she said was a waste of time because it’s not making me any money, well it wasn’t my idea in the first instance to make money from my blog. It was to connect with like minded people and to be an inspiration to others. I think I was so trapped in her negativity, nothing was moving for me!

    So I can say YES to all you mentioned above: do they bring their drama into your life? Is the friendship an emotional burden? Do they constantly ask for drama advice, yet never heed good advice? Are they constantly complaining? Are they inherently negative? Do they steal your energy constantly? Do they party too much?

  4. This comes a lot easier with self esteem. So many hang on to toxic people while trying to figure out who they are. It takes most of us a few decades to come to a good place. Life is short…no need to waste time on those who don’t deserve us. ☺☺ Great post.

    1. Absolutely great point. Maturity and time do make for having a clearer perspective. Young, immature people are still trying to find their way and may not have the experience to see the relationship for what it is. But they will learn!

  5. Reblogged this on res2ume and commented:
    Friends that always need to be right. They can’t see your point of views because they don’t want to. Simple put they could care less. Claim them, as confidante but not everyone will be calling you amigo secrets are told about you by these true friends. Maybe call them acquaintance a great difference!

  6. You share some good advice Danny. I think this is also a problem some people (like myself) have when dealing with relatives. For example, I have someone who I’m very close with who is never satisfied and who never seems willing to try to understand what I go through. I know she cares, but sometimes she goes about it the wrong way. Also, I thing manipulation is a big problem. It’s funny because this person also says that I’m manipulating her when I think it’s the other way around.

    I think it’s important to note that sometimes you can’t cut these people out of your life (and shouldn’t), but that as you mentioned, you still have to be careful as to how much you let them affect it. You shouldn’t let them bring you down.

    1. You are correct. But I want to point out I never mentioned family, I only mentioned friends. Family is a whole different ballgame. Only saying this to clarity. And as “friends” go, if they carry the traits I listed in the article, I am not so sure how good of a “friend” they really are. But i do agree with you as family goes, it is tough to just drop them.

      1. I totally agree with you on the friend situation. True friends don’t act that way and I agree that if they do, they should be “dropped”. I only mentioned family because I know it’s an issue for some people. Thanks for listening.

      2. The family issue is tough. I mentioned in one comment earlier that one of my blog friends pretends like she wears ear muffs around some of her family: in one ear, out the other.

  7. Great advice and great list.

    I would like to add one more “friend”. The one that always have lame excuses for not showing up when you ask them to join something. I once experienced to be less worth than weeding. The person just had to do the weeding thing in the garden that particular day instead if join a fun event that I had suggested. Vacuuming is another priority another person thought was more important than to meet friends. “Friends” like that is not worth the energy either.

    You’ve written a great post!

      1. No biggie, thanks for a great post. It reminds me of just how precious time is. It isn’t worth spending on toxic “friends”.

  8. Good list. Although with the drama queen, I think people need to oay extra attention, although you usually already have a feeling if it’s true or not. Sometimes it’s possible that you think the person is a drama queen, but it might be that the person is in a lot of problems (maybe abuse, losing house, no support but yours). But then I think you could talk about it with that person and find out more. Sometimes it’s not the person’s fault, although usually it is two sides. And I agree that sadly there are a lot of drama queens and you shouldn’t ‘allow’ them. Usually the drama queen is also very self-centered. But there might be people who are judged too quickly on that, but who need some support for finding the right help.

  9. Thank you for writing this. A few years ago I had to change my friendship patterns because the same negative types of people you mentioned above were recycling in my life. It’s nice to know I am not alone!

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