I'm embarking on a number of personal changes in my life and need full support from my friends. They tend to be negative about everything and not very supportive of me. Why are they like that and what should I do?
Simply put: They're fear-mongers. They could win the lottery and find something wrong with it, have the day off from work and whine or get promoted only to moan and groan. They complain about everything and anything, so don't personalize it.
It's important to surround yourself with positive people as you embark on change. To help you weed out those who aren't, take a look at the checklist below. Think about people in your life and ask yourself the following:
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Is the person generally negative?
Is the person unhappy in his or her career, family and/or relationships?
Do you feel exhausted after spending time with the person?
Is the person demanding or self-absorbed?
Is there a lot of drama and crisis in the person's life?
Does the person have a victim's mentality?
If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, then you know that the person isn't going to be supportive of you when you pursue your goals. Keep your distance and maintain boundaries. Now is the time to put your needs first. Don't feel obligated to remain friends -- doing so only enables the behavior and drains you. Be strong and stand up for yourself. Be proud of what you've set your sights on. Align yourself with like-minded, positive people who share your interests and goals. This will help drive you forward. Check out my new book, "BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days," to learn more about how to purge yourself of fear-mongers.
- Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His new book, "BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days," is out April 24. It will be sold at all major booksellers and Amazon. Check in with him online at www.jonathanalpert.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jonathanalpert) and on Twitter @jonathanalpert.
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