Friends are an essential part of any person’s life. Just like family, friends are there to support you and help you during your dark periods while also hanging out with you and having fun. However, there is also the flip side of having friends: they can kill your career.
Who Are Friends?
One of the biggest reasons why your friends may be killing your career is because the people you call “friends” aren’t actually what true friends are like. Toxic friendships are, sadly, very widespread nowadays and many people will be happy to pretend to be your friend while they will be, in fact, using you for their own needs.
Logically, the first thing you should do is understand who friends are. What makes a person your friend? What a real friend would never do? What would a friend do in this or that situation? Here are some characteristics of real friends:
They Accept You
Friends are the people who accept you for who you are. They know about all of your flaws and still choose to spend time with you, care for you, and support you. Moreover, they push you to accept yourself too rather than constantly shaming you for who you are.
They Tell You When You Are Wrong
That being said, real friends will actually call you out when you are wrong. They are not the ones who lie to your face just to maintain the friendship and will point out that you are wrong when you are truly wrong. These aren’t people who just want to flatter you all the time.
These are the people who listen to you whenever you have something to say. They will be present when you need them and will support you during hard times. True friends will listen to your opinion and what you have to say rather than discard your points altogether.
They Remind You of Who You Are
Friends will help you battle stress and make you happy when you feel down. At the same time, friends keep you in check and remind you of who we are so that you don’t get starstruck. They also keep the friendship a priority and try to maintain it even when life is giving you or them a hard time.
True friends are understanding and will forgive you for the wrong that you’ve done. However, they will also inspire and motivate you to become better. They will only have a positive influence on you and you will want to become a person that they will want to be around even more.
Finding Friends Abroad
Of course, not all the people around you will fit all of those criteria. In fact, most of the time everything will be completely the opposite. The good news is that you don’t always have to look for friends in your immediate surroundings and can go online to do this.
Social media platforms are a great place to start. You can join various groups and communities dedicated to the things you like and find people who have the same interests as you. Such worldwide connections can be very beneficial both for them and for you.
If you don’t know the language, you can start learning it or find people who speak a common language with you (e.g. English is very widespread). You can also use an online service like The Word Point to translate your emails if you found a pen pal in a different country but their English is not very good.
The biggest advantage of long-distance or online friendships is that you don’t have as much responsibility as you would if they were a friend you knew face-to-face. Most of the time, the only way you will be talking with them is through text messages.
The biggest disadvantage, of course, is that they won’t be a “complete” friend. You may know each other more than you know yourselves, but that will still be a weaker friendship than the one you might have offline with someone. Nevertheless, it’s still worth giving a chance to such friendships.
Why Are Friendships Important?
As mentioned earlier, friends are an integral part of our lives just like our families. People who don’t have friends can suffer just as much as those who have bad friends. In fact, a friendship can make or break your life and even your career, so you need to choose people wisely.
Before we get into the negative aspects of friendships, let’s look at the positive ones and the kind of influence friends can have on you. Along with the qualities of good friends discussed earlier, true friends are also the ones that keep your health in check. They don’t let you overwork yourself and make sure that you care about yourself too.
Sometimes the right friends can help you achieve great things by motivating you or knowing someone who helps your career. Of course, this only works when your friends are real friends rather than toxic people in your life.
By having different groups of friends, you can also spend time with different people and develop in different directions. Friends can also come from different parts of your life such as school/university, work, neighborhood, etc. Unfortunately, all of the people you meet in these places have the potential to kill your career.
How Can Friends Kill Your Career?
There are many ways in which friends can ruin your career and the biggest reason for such a scenario playing out is that your friends are toxic people. Here are some ways in which this situation could develop:
You Spend Too Much Time on Your Friends
The most common case is when you spend too much time with your friends instead of focusing on your career. You don’t visit potential networking events because you want to hang out with friends. You start prioritizing your friendships over your job and, as a result, start failing at it.
You Get Bad Influence from Your Friends
Another thing that can happen is that you may get a bad influence from your friends. If you chose the wrong people, it is very unlikely that they will value your job. They will try to persuade you that it is not important and you don’t need to care about it as much as you do which will result in you becoming an irresponsible person.
You Get Used by Your Friends
This is especially true for when you become friends with your colleagues. If they are highly competitive, they might be using you to get a promotion or to frame you for doing something bad. But friends who you aren’t colleagues with can still be using you. If your friend keeps asking you for favors but doesn’t give anything in return, it’s very likely that this is the case. Watch out for such people and don’t let them take over your life.
In conclusion, you need to be careful while choosing your friends. Having good people around you will have a positive effect on your life and career, so try to surround yourself with hardworking people. It’s all in your hands, so don’t let toxic individuals stick around and let them go.