The people that you hang out with determine the amount of success you have in your life. Harsh. Hard. True. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when your friends are always pulling you down. It’s hard to feel motivated to be a better person when the people you spend all your time with are gossiping, drinking excessively or making up excuses.

It’s probably true to say that over the years you have developed a few friendships. Some of them are great, and some of them are not so great. Connection and good friendships are important to all people but bad friendships are draining and can have a very negative impact.

Sometimes in order for you to live your best life, you need to clean out your friendship closet. Yup, you have to actively choose to let go those relationships which are holding you back or taking up time and energy without reward.

Most of our friendships fall into three categories:

Bad Connections

These are the friends who drop you last minute. These are the friends who tell you all about themselves and never have time to listen to what is going on in your life. These are the friends who guilt trip you, who belittle or patronize you, or who don’t trust you. They probably spread your secrets and don’t respect your boundaries.

Pseudo-good Connections

These friendships are a little more tricky to decipher. Perhaps they are shallow. These people are around when you want to hang out and have a good time but they don’t know very much about you. They like you under certain circumstances but should things get difficult then they may not be around. They may be nice, but they are empty and based on things which don’t matter.

Real Connections

The real connections are the people who are genuine and supportive through everything in your life. They have a deep investment in each other’s feelings and they are not scared of honest conversations and saying the things that need to be said.

These are people who motivate you, support you and see the best in you. They will consciously and sub-consciously drive you towards what you want in life and you’ll ultimately achieve more.

Create a good friendship circle

Think carefully about the friendships in your life. Which of these pull you down? Which of these leave you feeling lonely or drained in the long run?

Try to distance yourself from these friendships and create space to let more supportive and genuine people into your life.

Intentionally grow your real relationships

Find people you can trust and who share your core values. Someone who has your best interests at heart and can tell you something honest if it means you’ll grow from it. Find people who you can be open, real and honest with. Find people who encourage you in an authentic and caring way.

Be vulnerable and open up

If you want real and open friendships then you are going to need to be open and vulnerable with other people. This means, not pretending that you have it all together. This means respecting people’s right to privacy. This means sharing your opinions in a kind way.

Put the effort into the right place

If someone moves or their life changes then you should still continue to put the effort into a relationship. Great people are always worth the time and care to make things work. Maintaining a friendship is important and you should exchange thoughts and conversations as often as you can.

Call this person, share images, ideas and plans and tell them about your day. This will help grow your friendship all the more.

When you get rid of negative relationships then you will start to see the changes in yourself. All of a sudden you will realise you have a lot more positive energy in your life.

If you are feeling alone, pray to God and ask him to send you the right friends and to help you with situations when you feel like you don’t have the strength to deal with them.