3 Warning Signs About the Company You Keep (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 233)
“It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.”
— George Washington
I hate to be the one to say it, but sometimes you learn the best lessons from the worst encounters with people. One bad apple really does have a tendency to spoil the entire bunch and it has the potential to push you into a situation that can ruin your emotional and mental stability, your self-esteem, and even your life. Too many people go through a phase of building and rebuilding, analyzing and evaluating who they are just to get approval and feel valued by the people around them. That job is not only tiring, it’s a waste of time. You don’t have to spend your life in bad company.
Here are three signs the people around you are bad apples and you’re better off showing them the nearest exit:
1. They lie to you multiple times.
If honesty is the best policy, then dishonesty is a dead end. People who lie to you do not love you, trust you, or care for you. To lie to someone is to show them that they are not valued enough to be told the truth. Love is an action word and real love is defined by honesty. Honesty which breeds trust must be present in all kinds of relationships in order for the relationship to work. Most relationships are broken apart because one or both parties refuse to be honest about something and one or both parties doesn’t trust the other.
If someone lies to you, they are disrespecting you and disregarding the relationship between you and them. And when you allow this to go on, you end up disrespecting yourself and disregarding the standards that you have set for your life. People who tell you anything other than the truth are doing so for their benefit alone, not yours. When you keep someone around you who is a chronic liar, giving them new opportunities to be trusted, you are contributing to the destruction of your relationship with that person.
2. They want you to become someone else.
People who really value you as a human being will not want you to be anyone else except yourself. You can quickly tell that someone around you is a very bad apple if they are always trying to imply that being who you are is not acceptable. Some people want you to be their idea of perfection which is impossible because everyone’s idea of perfection is different and there is no such thing as perfect to begin with, especially when it comes down to human beings. Other people want you to be their idea of someone else so they can live vicariously through you. That in itself is very dangerous.
If you are around a person who you are always attempting to please and satisfy, you are in a counterproductive relationship that will, over time, leave you exhausted and empty. They will make you feel as if you need their approval or affirmation to be who you were born to be in life. They know how to say things and do things that will ruin your self-esteem and leave you emotionally scarred if you don’t break free from them.
3. They only have the time when they want you to do something for them.
You can quickly define when a relationship of any kind is good for you and when it is bad for you by two things. One, you both make time for each other to communicate and interact regularly. Two, you both are committed to developing the relationship in a way that it is healthy and beneficial to both of you. This goes for relationships at school, at work, at church, at the pool table, any kind of relationship. Without mutual, regular communication and commitment, you don’t have a relationship.
Any person who calls you up or texts you when it is only convenient for them should not be in your life. A car must have four wheels. Anything less than four wheels causes the car not to be able to move. There is a balance that needs to be developed and maintained. A healthy relationship is a two-way street. An unhealthy relationship is one-sided, off balance, and eventually, won’t work. If someone only comes around when they get the notion, you need to point that person to the nearest exit and they need to stay gone unless they are willing to change.
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”