Friends help shape your self-esteem and friends aid in good health and long life. When you are in caring relationships, you are not lonely, and the less lonely you are, the longer you live and the better you feel about yourself. Unfortunately, countless people are in “friendships” to combat loneliness only to find that the relationships are abusive, controlling, and unhealthy. These friendships are called toxic or contaminated. Friends like this infect the way you act, think, and feel. They bring poison into your life and it takes a great deal of work to cleanse yourself of the debris. To assess your friendships, follow these steps:
- Write down the names of your most significant friends.
- Under each name, write down some of your most honest and heartfelt feelings about that person. How does this person make me feel? Act? Think?
- Review what you wrote. You may discover that someone does not enrich your life and, in fact, may be a toxic or damaging influence.
Remember to keep your genuine friends close.