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How To Deal With Frenemies Or Bad Friends Who Put You Down

Want to know how to deal with negative people?
Maybe a family member, work colleague or frenemy?
...who secretely tries to block you from being successful?

Here's something you first need to understand...

When you believe that a goal is possible believe in your ability to achieve it. If the goal is out of reach at the moment, then you feel it is reasonable to take steps towards achieving it. Before long you are learning, developing, and moving forward in a positive and upward cycle.

On the other hand...

When you believe that a goal is impossible lack faith in ever achieving it. From the outset you feel that it is pointless to set goals, learn new skills, or aim higher. In the end this negative cycle create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So if this negative cycle of self motivation is internal then what does this have to do with frenemies? Unfortunately, a large number of things we consider as possibilities, and aspire towards, are in some part or another defined by our friends, family, and colleagues ...and consequently frenemies too.

And its frenemies who can have the most  can negative affect on you in reaching your goals.

How Frenemies Can Negativity Program Us For Failure

Many times I have discussed the power of repetition on a person’s mental and emotional outlook. Many of our seemingly strongest relationships are simply formed by the repetitive act of seeing someone in a positive context on a daily basis. This is how friendships are formed.

In the marketing world, the continuous stream of value affirming advertisements for brand name products slowly build connections in our mind between the product and the values it wants to represent such as freedom or luxury.

Its all about REPETITION! 

BUT there's something else too...

For this repetitive programming to succeed, it is imperative that the source of the idea is trustworthy to you. This is where the opinions of negative friends and peers can become problematic.

While you may not like your frenemy, because your circle of friends may like them you can subconsciously find yourself trusting their opinion even though you may not necessarily like them as a person. When you see your genuine friends agreeing with your frenemy, it can cause you to subconsciously value their opinion even though you don't like them as a person.

As a result, if you are not aware of whats' happening, your frenemy can end up defining possibilities and limits that you may internalize subconsciously.

Tell me more...

For example:

  • A frenemy may indirectly limit your employment aspirations by telling a negative story about the job market.

  • A frenemies impossibly high and unrealistic standards may lead you to believe that you shouldn’t marry the one you love

  • A frenemies negativity may instill a fear of taking risks in you.

And here's the kicker... These people often never lecture directly about their values and beliefs. Instead, through true life story-telling and prescriptive warnings - they are able to garner your trust. 

So, to limit the negative effects that these people have in your life, first you must identify them and then respond using these steps below:

  • Point Out Their Negativity: Many people’s outlook on life is simply depressing. They continually put everyone and everything around them down ...sometimes without even realizing they are doing it. Point out to your frenemy their negativity and explain that you see things differently. This will put them on the back foot as they begin to realize that you are not so easily fooled but that you have a working mind of your own.

  • Avoid Over-Generalization Reasoning: Frequently people will look at a negative event in their own life and treat it as a larger truth about the world in general. This protects their ego by pointing to a larger life principle rather than themselves as the source of their problem. If a man is rejected by a woman who comes from a wealthier background than he does he might say all rich people are snobs and no other men like him stand a chance. Avoid this line of thinking and always treat individual life experiences as just that, individual experiences that don’t limit your future possibilities.

  • Provide Them With An Alternative Viewpoint: Rather than simply accepting the negative stories and explanations they provide - challenge their perception of events! Offer alternative possibilities and arguments. Doing this will weaken the negative viewpoint your frenemy is trying to put across. Create options in your worldview that allow for something more than a negative explanation.

When you adopt these ways of thinking into your life, not only will you be able to avoid frenemies (and negative people in general) from affecting you ...but you'll also be able to prevent these negative thinking patterns from entering your mindset of their own accord.