New Year, New Chic: Getting Rid of Toxic Friends

By Kelly Leslie, Student at San Francisco State University

We've officially kicked off 2013, and it’s time for a new year and a new you. Sometimes it can be difficult to make resolutions and actually keep them, but whether or not we choose to set personal goals for ourselves, there is always something we can do to work on bettering our lives.

Have you ever sat down and really considered the people you are surrounding yourself with? Your peers are a huge factor in determining the  direction you are headed in, and it is easier than you think to become blinded by toxic friendships.

The person you consider to be your best friend may actually be feeding negative energy into your life and keeping you from growing to your fullest potential. If any of this raises red flags, you may want to consider working on your relationships this year. Here are some tips to help you out!

Step 1: Identify the toxic friend
College is huge part of our lives. The four to five years we spend at a university or college is filled with change and the opportunity for incredible growth as an individual. The last thing you need is a friend who is going to hold you back.

Do you notice your friend pressuring you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable or cause you to feel bad about yourself as a person? Does your friend belittle you or criticize areas of your life that most people would praise you for? Does she put you in unhealthy situations that are threatening to your well-being? To be frank about it, these are all signs that the friend needs to go.

Step 2: What now?
It is important to distance yourself from a friendship as soon as you realize it’s toxic, but this can be very difficult to do, especially if you spend a lot of time with the friend or you are in the same group of friends. Always remember that you made the decision to end the friendship to better your life and stick with that decision no matter what.

It may be tough if you feel like you have no one else to go to right away, but you will meet new people. It’s also important to remember that you don’t owe the friend an explanation when it comes to what is best for you. They may express hurt feelings or anger, but just keep moving forward. It will be worth it in the end.

Step 3: Meet new people
Finding positive friends is just as important as ridding your life of the toxic ones.  It may sound like a cliche, but my parents always told me that the easiest way to make friends is to be yourself and do the things you love to do. This is because you will be surrounding yourself with like-minded people who understand the direction you are going in life.

Try talking to the people who are in your same major or join a club that is important to you.  You are sure to make friends in no time, and these friends will be there to keep you motivated and congratulate you when you succeed.

Want to find ways to keep your New Year's resolutions? Check out our New Year, New Chic board on Pinterest!

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