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#1
Do you identify with the title statement?

I came up with friends who were very self deprecating and regularly deprecating. Still hang out with them but feel like I've reached a limit. They're not particularly ambitious or take actionable steps to further their life / career / etc. I feel I'm being weighed down or stagnating being around them. Since last year or so, I've been making a conscious effort to only befriend new people who are very talented, driven, and/or accomplished and feel like it's having a positive effect on me.

They're close friends that I can joke around with like no one else, but I think it's possible some day in the not so distant future I may cut them off... purposefully or not.

Do you feel like your circle is helping you? If not, would you ever consider dropping them out of your life to find "better" people?

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#3
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They're not particularly ambitious or take actionable steps to further their life / career / etc.
I don't know what to do with my life though. The only thing I've got going in my life for me is my guitar playing and I can't do diddley with it.

OT though: I haven't been in a circle like that in years. We all just started becoming distant and eventually disappeared from one another's life. I'm still FB friends with almost all of them but I don't really talk to them and vise versa throughout everyone in the circle.

I did feel a bit guilty for one of them. To keep our friendship, he wanted more time and effort than I was willing to give. Not because I didn't care about it, but that with everything else in my life, I was just exhausted. He got mad and stopped talking to me. Yet, I can't help but feel it was for the better.

To answer your question, no. I wouldn't try to replace them for someone better because I dont really judge friendship based on the benefit they bring. Just as long as we can make a good memory or two is enough for me. Unfortunately, I know not everyone is soo easily satisfied, so it's hard to expect every friend to always be there. Whether that makes me the "average of those around me", I couldn't tell you.
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#5
To a large extent, but not entirely. I think that at the heart of who they are, everyone has a core set of beliefs, ideals, et al. unique to them that stay consistent and unchanged regardless of who they associate with. But beyond that, and for the bulk of their personality, I think the people you include in your inner circle has a massive impact on who you are and how you act and think. You're the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with, as they say.

With a handful of exceptions that I love like family, I can't say that I feel like my circle is helping me. Cutting ties with people I've felt like are holding me back probably has a lot to do with how mopey I've been feeling lately, but it's for the best in the end.
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#6
I've already done this several times throughout my life and it has only ever made my life better.

Another way I've heard this said or perhaps a related phrase is that "you are who your friends are," or you are whoever you surround yourself by. Whenever I've come to a point where I find myself disliking the people I'm associating with, I turn that dislike inward as well when I start to see reflections of those people within my own personality.

That being said I have close friends that I go way back with, and while none of them are super ambitious, they also aren't stagnating. We've all grown at our own pace and in a way that was natural, encouraging each other along the way.

Lastly, I feel only concerning yourself with being driven/accomplished is harmful, unless that desire stems from the right reasons. There's always another rung above to climb. If you always have an itch to challenge yourself and learn new things, however, edging your way into a circle of people who share that frame of mind can only be a good thing.

P.S. if friends are just super negative and a drag to be around, that kind of goes back to what I said about you being who your friends are. It's one thing for them to not be shooting for the stars, it's another for them to be the kind of people that only ever have their glass half empty.
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#7
Yea, I kind of started doing this over the last few weeks at school. Spending more time with a different group of people than I usually do because they are such downers, and it was bringing me down.
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#8
I read that if you combine your closest friends incomes and average them it would be somewhat close to your own. No idea if it's true.

And we pick up on our surroundings, hanging with successful motivated individuals should in turn make you strive for the same. As for your success though that's up to you.
#9
I don't really have a "circle". Back home, I have a few close friends from high school days, but bar a crass sense of humor and tendency to watch bad TV and drink, we are different in almost every regard. Here (my university city), the closest point of reference might be my lecturers, and the one or two students I occasionally say hello to. I might be their in-between in some regards but in many I am not.

If someone isn't worth speaking to, I generally dump them. Don't be held back by inferior mentalities, especially those which promote stagnation. There are a couple of people with similar interests to me on my course but generally speaking people like that also want to be alone and/or have awful personalities, so we keep our contact time to workplace lunch breaks.
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#10
My circle of friends barely even exists anymore. I'm still close with my best friend since I've known him most my life and we get along well. But the other two can't seem to ever get away from their girlfriends to hang out. When they do hang out they have to be "supervised" by their girlfriends too because god forbid, they can't handle being away from their boyfriends for a few hours.

I already do make up excuses to not hang out as a group. All we ever do anymore is sit in my friends loud, smokey apartment, while drinking beer and talking about all the fun stuff we used to be able to do as a group.
#11
I currently still like my circle of friends and don't feel they are doing anything like bringing me down.
#12
Exactly how are they holding you back?
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#13
no, I'd say I was the one dragging
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#14
If I'm surrounded by no one does that make me special?
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#15
My friends have all been more "successful" and drifted away from me. I'm the one kind of left in the dust.
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#17
My friends are all highly successful engineers. We've been buddies since highschool. They all have normal jobs and I'm at a pretty elite grad school (where I have no real friends). So I dunno man, I think highly ambitious people kinda tend to stick together a bit, but I think it's more just the misery loves company idea that keeps you together when things get tough. I know my best friends in undergrad were the people who would hole up in a lab on a Saturday night to stare through a microscope for 6 straight hours. But I also loved with a guy who was the total opposite, just kind of drifting through life, and he was one of my closest friends at the time.

Think it kinda just depends.
#18
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My friends are all highly successful engineers. We've been buddies since highschool. They all have normal jobs and I'm at a pretty elite grad school (where I have no real friends). So I dunno man, I think highly ambitious people kinda tend to stick together a bit, but I think it's more just the misery loves company idea that keeps you together when things get tough. I know my best friends in undergrad were the people who would hole up in a lab on a Saturday night to stare through a microscope for 6 straight hours. But I also loved with a guy who was the total opposite, just kind of drifting through life, and he was one of my closest friends at the time.

Think it kinda just depends.

These 2 things don't mesh.
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#19
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These 2 things don't mesh.


They work regular hours doing things they enjoy and making extremely good money for being 23-24. I don't see why you wouldn't consider that being highly successful. I'd be pretty pumped to be making 70k+ no more than a year out of college in a job that's challenging, yet satisfying.
#20
Quote by CrossBack7
They work regular hours doing things they enjoy and making extremely good money for being 23-24. I don't see why you wouldn't consider that being highly successful. I'd be pretty pumped to be making 70k+ no more than a year out of college in a job that's challenging, yet satisfying.

I'm not saying it's unsuccessful, I'm saying it's not a normal job. Especially for a recent graduate.
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#21
I have a several good friendships that I've had for so and so many years, but only since after leaving secondary school. Most of them aren't that much further ahead of me in terms of career, a lot of them are quite far behind in fairness. Where they are and where I am has been entirely independent of how close we are as friends.

The only real thing that would want me to end a friendship would be if their overall worldview or politics were just generally shitty.
I have this one person from secondary school on my facebook who I see the posts of and use him as a 'I do not want to be near anyone else like this person' yard stick.

So a ultra conservative, vapid 'lad'-type who works as in a very old fashioned environment (grounds keeper shooting pigeons all day) while being racist online in his spare time.

A lot of my most recent close friends come from UG of all places. I'm pretty sure most people would not describe me as average.
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#22
the older you get, the more you do this process without even thinking about it. it's not really that you think you're better then someone else, it's just that you start knowing more about who you are and what you want your life to be. peoples priorities in life change and their priorities aren't necessarily yours, as much as you may find the person as being friendly or descent.
#24
Eh. No offense but you came across very douchey here Xiaoxi.

I mean I make more and have more skills than some of my friends and some are doing better than me but career goals and accomplishments have never been the factor in deciding who I become friends with. I see it as shallow and materialistic.

I understand the benefits of networking with people who are ahead of you in goals you're pursuing and if you become friends, well that's great. But cutting off people because they are satisfied with where they are in life and don't want to do more? That's messed up.

You really have to go explain how they are holding you down
#26
Everyone has their own unique set of discipline. I've had many friends, however right now I have few. I think my progress in life is guided by my own ambition. I've learned I can't rely on my friends to want to be professional, I must rely on myself and show people how to be professional. If your friends can influence you, you can influence your friends.
#28
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#30
i kinda agree

i try to spend less time with the "losers/druggies" in my friend circle, because they have been nothing more than a bad influence on me since highschool. They're fun to be around, and we always have a good time, but I don't feel like doing anything constructive when i'm with them.

I try to spend more time with my circle of friends who have positive hobbies/lives and try to focus on goals. It definitely rubs off on me in a postive aspect, even though i couldn't care less about social status/money...

It's all about perspective
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#31
I think there are a lot of fallacies present within the statement "you are the average of those around you" but that discussion is sort of tangential from the point you are making


I have had experiences similar to your current situation, and it sounds like other users have as well. I think it is common for people going through their 20s - the superficial but consistent camaraderie that we sustained for years prior just isn't doing it for us anymore, and there are things outside of social status and boredom that we are trying to resolve - building careers, self-betterment, building new families or maintaining relationships with current family, finding our 'purpose in life', finding fulfilling hobbies, etc. I was very extroverted for most of my adolescence but have become more and more introverted and picky with my time as I've been solidifying my life plans. it's not as if I have some strict yearly schedule or anything, but I invest a lot more of my time into things that produce positive outcomes in my development rather than neutral or negative effects.

sometimes that is as simple setting alone time for myself so I can put on a face mask and condition my hair properly and not have to worry about how my skin or hair looks the rest of the week while I'm at work or class. sometimes it means realizing I can't live with my friends anymore, cutting off ties, spending time with different friends, spending a lot of time at the library, etc.
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#32
all of my friends move on to greener grass. I say that in the present tense, not the past, because it always happens and always will. Everyone who I've been really close to has left me, and I know anyone in the future I get close to will distance themselves too after a while

I don't blame them in the slightest, if I were them I'd cut me off too
#33
Quote by metaldud536
Eh. No offense but you came across very douchey here Xiaoxi.

I mean I make more and have more skills than some of my friends and some are doing better than me but career goals and accomplishments have never been the factor in deciding who I become friends with. I see it as shallow and materialistic.

I understand the benefits of networking with people who are ahead of you in goals you're pursuing and if you become friends, well that's great. But cutting off people because they are satisfied with where they are in life and don't want to do more? That's messed up.

You really have to go explain how they are holding you down

I think the key thing here is when he says these friends are "self deprecating." A little bit of modesty never hurts anyone, but I know what it's like to be surrounded by people who are just always looking at themselves and the things around them negatively.
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#34
I don't measure my relationships by how well it advances my well-being. I see some merit in that, but it'd really only be an issue in the most extreme cases- i.e., you have a very imbalanced relationship where you give way more than you take. Personally, I don't really attribute my failures to my friends. I don't deny that they have some effect on my behavior or success, but I don't think that it has such an impact that I would have to sever my ties with them. I'm friends with some bona fide assclowns, but I make a conscious effort to avoid having whatever undesirable characteristics rub off on me. Who knows? Maybe I'll be of help to that person.

Maybe you're around some proper imbeciles. I don't know. But if your only complaint is that they're not particularly ambitious, I think that's a pretty douchey reason for leaving your friends. You can be ambitious even if your friends aren't.
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#35
Statement isn't true in my case at all. I try to be self reliant most of the time and friends don't do anything to influence me in any way.
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#36
I think people are misunderstanding a bit of the concept by assuming that it's all about career advancement. I can't speak for Xiaoxi or anyone else other than myself, but for me, part of the reason I'm cutting certain people out of my life isn't career-related as much as it's based on personality and emotional growth.

A lot of the people I would hang out with back in high school, and even some of the ones I would hang out with in college, were very negative, shallow, "woe-is-me" types of people, and around them the conversation basically amounts to "Hah, that person sucks." "I know, right? I can't believe they do that thing they do." "This school is broken and the dean is a corrupt asshole." "No shit, have you seen how he treats the adjuncts?" "Humans are shit. I'm gonna go get high and masturbate." "Dude did you seriously say that?" "Well I'm not gonna lie to you guys." They were, to be blunt, losers. Not everyone I knew, but a lot of them. They're people who'll trip over a stick, then instead of getting up and brushing themselves off, they'll yell at the stick for tripping them and sulk until someone pulls them up. They always have a huge chip on their shoulder, they look down on others who they disagree with regularly, they don't think critically and just take whatever someone says to them at face value, they laugh at anyone who takes any risks or ever puts themselves out there as naive and doomed to failure, any conversations of a serious nature turn into an echo chamber where dissenting opinions are shouted down instead of acknowledged and discussed, etc., etc., etc.

They're not great people, and certainly not the kind that have a positive impact on those around them. More importantly, as I'm trying to be more of an adult, I'm realizing that I don't really have much of anything in common with them. Maybe we became friends because we both played guitar, but they haven't played in years while I still play every day, or maybe we were the only two kids in school who liked a certain subject, but as I got older I lost interest in that subject, or maybe they went way into the deep end with some political/religious/etc. ideology, and are ridiculously judgmental of anyone who's not a staunch conservative/liberal/environmentalist/feminist/christian/muslim/what-have-you, even if they agree with that person on most other things and share a lot of interests. I don't have much in common with them any more, and there's definitely much more about us that's different now than there was when we first met.

If you subscribe to the idea that who you associate with impacts who you are, then toxic people or people who you don't get along with who you're maintaining a relationship with or no reason can stunt your emotional and personal growth, and leave you wearing a mask instead of being yourself, which can be crippling. Again, I can't speak for Xiaoxi or anyone else, but for me personally, it's not as much about career advancement as much as it is cutting out toxic people in my life and replacing them with people who I can actually grow and be myself with.
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#37
I think it really depends on how much you allowed yourself to be interpellated/unconsciously manipulated by said 'losers' around you.

Yes it can be a maintained relationship where they be themselves and you be yourself in excelling at whatever, but yes it can also be toxic for you if you are that close that you get dragged into their mess. You can try and let them know that their mess is theirs to fix, and see where that takes the friendship I suppose.

Going through uni doing media/film and one thing that is always mentioned among those successful/employed is networking, so it is especially important that you let it be known that you are a serious mofo. So there is definitely truth to 'who you know' etc.
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#38
Woah... good responses here


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Exactly how are they holding you back?

I should be clear that I don't blame anyone for my own failures or weaknesses. However, I think mentally, there is a big impact in terms of who you're around.

For example, my closest circle... we have a great time, but it's been founded on years and years of insults, roasts, saying stupid shit, etc. When I first got to college, I felt very out of place because so many people were having conversations that were completely foreign to me. They could actually convey serious ideas, or talk about what they're working on / want to accomplish, and people were actually very supportive, without even a hint of snark. They were very confident in themselves and could, with a straight face, say something positive about themselves. I was bewildered by that...having grown up being an expert on self deprecation, honed with this group of people. I still don't feel fully comfortable expressing myself so openly, so that is practice in progress.

In contrast, the people who I meet now helps me improve my own confidence. For example, I have some loose business ideas and briefly described one, and my natural instinct is to downplay it / write it off with something like "ah, it's stupid I know." The guy I was talking to said very directly "Why is it stupid? This is a feasible idea. And if you do x, y, z then it could really become reality." Just these few sentences make a difference to my frame of mind. 1. it affirms that it's possible, 2. tangible actions that can help get there, 3. said by someone who has proven record of accomplishments.

Another example is that I recently finished a book on personal finance and found it very empowering and easy to follow. By the end of the book I've already set my finances to be in a much better position for growth. I mentioned this to my friends, and they all just groan and exaggerate how much they don't care. I guess thers's nothing inherently wrong about them not caring about their own finances, but again it sets up a frame of mind that maybe finance isn't that important, or just too murky and stressful to deal with right now. Or what if I had a question on what to do financially? Whereas I had a great boss who gave me some basic advice that went a long way and inspired me to get my shit together. Turns out, wasn't that hard.

I recently sought some advice to a friend that was in my college graduating class. Just a few months ago, he held a lecture at TED. Same age as me, same field of study. He told me a year ago, he cut off a friend who laughed at his goal of becoming a TED speaker.

Now while this all sounds career-y minded, I'm not necessarily talking about people who can help me directly in that way. Rather, I think that by surrounding myself with ambitious and focused people, it will help me gain the internal confidence which will naturally lend itself to things like careers, etc.


Quote by slapsymcdougal
I'm not saying it's unsuccessful, I'm saying it's not a normal job. Especially for a recent graduate.
lol sorry to pick on you, but this is another good example of what I mean. What you said is not wrong, nor is it malicious, yet because you said this, you're reinforcing the narrative that the standard isn't very high. I may think "oh, it's not that high and I'm only a year out and making 30k...but I guess that's above average so good enough." But what if I was around another group of people who fully disregard that narrative, and who are aiming for or making 70, 80, 100k? It may signal that it's not out of the question for me to aim for that as well. The "narrative" is very important.

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