Choose your friends wisely–make sure they build you up!
I’ve always heard sayings like “choose your friends wisely” or “your friends are a reflection of you.” For the most part, I never really thought about them, but the other day, I saw a situation that helped me realize how important it is to choose friends who help you become a better person rather than friends who drag you down or get you into trouble.
I remember when I was in high-school, I was a goody two-shoes–very quiet and a hard worker, and I never got into trouble. My best friend was a bit of the opposite. At times, when she would get in trouble at school or work, people who didn’t know me would assume maybe I was like her. It almost ruined an after school job for me when she got fired and I was still working for the same company. Our boss assumed I might be a trouble maker as well and started treating me like I was.
Recently, I was friendly with a group of people who shared a common interest in one area, but were very different people in other areas. A couple of them I was really starting to like and was becoming friends with. A couple of them I did not like at all because I found them to be mean. I had a pretty good opinion of one woman in particular because she seemed smart, tactful, and reasonable. Over time, I saw her behaving more and more like one of the meanies in the group as she started joining in their increasing bullying of other members of the group. My opinion of her plummeted and I decided this was not the type of person I wanted to be friends with. I want my life to improve and I don’t think that can happen if I’m hanging out with an adult bully!
Now this lady is probably normally a very nice lady just as I had originally thought, but she was taking on the mean behaviors of another person and sliding backwards in life. As I watched this, (and heard others express similar disappointment in her change,) I realized just how much it matters who you choose as your friends. Not only might you look bad when people associate you with them, but you might starting following their bad influence. These weren’t kids–they were middle-aged adults! Let’s strive to be better people and beware of those who would drag us down. Positive influences only!