Dealing with Unsupportive Friends and Family


If you are a person who sets lofty goals and is consistently trying to be better than you were yesterday, chances are you likely have experienced, or will experience, outgrowing those closest to you. The thing is you might not know how to handle it. As you've climbed that ladder of ascension, you're quickly learning that not everyone is your cheerleader. There are plenty of people out there who are just waiting for you to fail...in fact, some of them are going out of their way to make sure that it happens! (Hint: that's never gonna go away...might as well get used to it)


As you've climbed that ladder of ascension, you're quickly learning that not everyone is your cheerleader. There are plenty of people out there who are just waiting for you to fail...in fact, some of them are going out of their way to make sure that it happens! (Hint: that's never gonna go away...might as well get used to it)


What's worse is that you may be finding out that some of the people who aren't on your side are actually friends and/or family members. They make comments that minimize your efforts and question your every move. They try to talk you out of things that you know are good for you and spend more time putting you down rather than cheering you on. While it can be very difficult to face, it is now time to take an inventory of who your support system REALLY is and make the difficult decision to cut the cord with those who don't make the cut.


Cue all of the obnoxious sayings and idioms your parents tried to instill in you when you were young that you thought you had dismissed but actually got stored away to be revisited again in adulthood (when they apply more than ever).

"You can't fly with the eagles if you're hanging around the pigeons"

"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with"


And the one my father always used to say is "show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are." Man...part of me hates to admit this...but he was right!


You're struggling because:

1) You have different goals

2) You have different problems

3) You can't ask them for advice

4) You have different interests and hobbies


You need to:

1) Cut ties with those who are no longer on your side

2) Grieve the loss

3) Continue to surround yourself with people who lift you up, have your best interest in mind, and give you unbiased, nonjudgmental feedback

4) Seek out more friends and supportive people if you don't have enough of them (i.e. try new hobbies, join networking groups)

5) There's plenty of fish in the sea doesn't just apply to dating - your people are out there, you just need to find them

6) Seek nourishing relationships and end toxic ones - ask yourself "what kind of person am I becoming as a result of this relationship?"


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Blue Sage Counseling and Wellness, and the information provided by Ashley Francis, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Ashley Francis is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.

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