People are social creatures, so they need to be around people. But making friends is complex, and sometimes people make the wrong friends. This outcome happens, in particular, when people are younger. But that doesn’t mean you’ll learn from your mistakes as you get older. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with some genuinely toxic people for the rest of your life.
Some people don’t realize how important it is to analyze potential friends. They just become friends with whomever they can. This acceptance happens because people think that more is more in social situations. But having more friends doesn’t mean you’ll be happier. More friends could indicate a higher likelihood of having bad friends. Just like in most other cases, less is more.
You need to aim for quality even in friendships. You want to be surrounded by people who will bring something to the table. But you’ll see that the wrong friends do more harm than good. They are the ones who suck the life out of you and hang you up to dry when it suits them. Toxic people don’t bring any value to your life. But why do you keep attracting those kinds of people? Psychology can easily explain why you keep making the wrong friends and can show you how to fix it.
3 Reasons Why You Make the Wrong Friends
Why do you befriend harmful people? Psychology explains.
1 – You Don’t Know How to Be Alone, So You Welcome the Wrong Friends Into Your Life.
Loneliness is no minor issue. It’s one of the leading causes of mental health issues. In this day and age, people are lonelier than ever. But that doesn’t mean you need to make friends at all costs. Still, the fear of having no one to rely on will make you take what you can get. You’ll still be friends even if you know that person is terrible for you.
But you’ll inevitably get attached to that friend because you view them as the reason you’re not alone. Even if, later on, you want to cut them loose, you won’t be able to. When you’re feeling lonely, that’s not the time to get close to anyone else. It’s better to reach out to the people you already know and connect with. Otherwise, you’ll allow bad people in your life when you are the most vulnerable.
These people will take advantage of you and steer you in the wrong direction. They know you don’t have anyone else to hang out with, so that gives them a reason to believe you’ll do anything they want. You could end up in toxic and dangerous circles and situations through them. Even if they seem friendly initially, it’s better to avoid slightly shady people. If you have to choose between becoming their friend and being alone, always choose the latter.
2 – You Give Toxic People Too Many Chances.
In justice, all people are innocent until proven guilty. This principle is highly moral, which is why it adapts well to social life. Most people know this principle as “giving people a second chance.” You can allow someone to prove they have changed or that you misunderstood them. But if they disappoint you again, that should be the end of the road.
Many people fall into the trap of giving someone too many chances. That’s how you end up having the wrong friends. If the right people surround you, you won’t need to keep giving them opportunities. They won’t do you dirty time and time again. Instead, they’ll prove they are worthy of your friendship by owning up to their mistakes and respecting your boundaries. But the wrong people will constantly step on your toes.
Even if they know they are crossing a boundary, they won’t care. They know that you’ll forgive them because you’ve done so in the past. So, if you keep being too forgiving, you’ll attract all the wrong people.
3 – You Have a Bad Opinion of Yourself.
The people who are most likely to attract the wrong friends are the ones who believe that’s what they deserve. In most cases, these people have been disrespected their whole lives by their peers. They have probably heard that they are delinquent and won’t amount to anything. Maybe that’s not even why they have a low opinion of themselves. No matter what the reason is, one thing is clear.
If you think you don’t deserve much, you won’t allow yourself to have nice things. And that includes your friends. In your head, you have probably convinced yourself that you don’t deserve to be surrounded by friendly and intelligent people. You feel more comfortable amongst toxic people because you believe that where you fit in. At first, you think those people are the only ones who won’t misjudge you. But that’s not the case at all. Not long after you befriend them, you’ll see that the wrong friends will always judge you.
You’ll likely end up judging each other and trying to tear each other down. You might feel superior to them at first, which might be nice. But that’s no reason to be friends with someone. If you have a poor opinion of yourself, don’t seek validation from others. The only person who can give you that boost of confidence is yourself.
3 Ways to Start Making The Right Friends
Now that you know why let’s look at how to start choosing more reliable friends.
1 – Be More Independent.
It’s always nice to have friends. But they are an addition to your life, not the entirety of it. To stop making the wrong friends, you need to become more independent. This way, you can be more selective and ensure you only allow the right people in your life.
It would be best if you learned to fill some time alone. If you have too much free time on your hands, you should consider taking a class. Maybe find a new activity that you enjoy doing. Invest more time in the hobbies you already have. This way, you’ll better yourself while learning how to be happy on your own.
Instead of waiting for friends to ask you to hang out, take yourself out. As you get older, you’ll start preferring your company much more. As soon as you become more independent, you’ll be more selective regarding who you spend your time with.
2 – Learn How to Hold Toxic People Accountable.
In any human relationship, boundaries are vital. You probably know that you need them in romantic relationships. But most people neglect them in platonic relationships. This is how you end up giving people too many chances and not holding them accountable, which is why you end up with the wrong friends.
If you learn to hold people accountable, that won’t happen anymore. When you think about befriending someone, make sure they know your boundaries. Make sure you communicate which things you’re okay with and which are deal breakers.
They’re keepers if they respect those boundaries and communicate them with you. That’s because they’ll own up to their mistake and fix it when they mess up. But it would be best if you held even your current friends accountable. If anyone in your life does wrong to you, don’t let them off the hook. If they can’t own up to their mistakes, it’s time to cut them loose.
3 – Work on Your Self-Esteem to Avoid the Wrong Friends.
If you are satisfied with how your life is going, you’ll attract positivity. But if you have a negative mindset and allow others to tear you down, you’ll probably attract negativity. No one else can help you build your self-esteem but yourself. If you wait for approval, you’ll just become dependent on others for your happiness.
And, you are more likely to allow those people to walk all over you. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you aren’t worthy of any good just because you are not perfect. Imperfection is part of the human experience, and it’s okay if you are still struggling. To some extent, everyone is. You deserve to be surrounded by amazing people even if you haven’t reached your full potential.
To work on your self-esteem, you must understand that your value does not come from your accomplishments. If you look worse than someone else, that doesn’t make you less valuable. Your value comes from how you treat yourself and others. You’re more than worthy if you are kind and don’t tear yourself or others down. The sooner you shift your perspective about yourself, the sooner you attract valuable people.
Don’t settle for the wrong friends just because you think you won’t get any better. Strive to have more, and be patient. In time, the right people will enter your life.
Final Thoughts on Some Reasons Why You Make the Wrong Friends
Making friends is no easy feat. Throughout your life, you’ll inevitably make the wrong friends. That’s just how life goes. It’s essential to keep those incidents isolated. Having one toxic friend can be a learning experience. But only being surrounded by toxic people is something no one should ever want. If you find yourself making only the wrong friends, the good thing is that you can change that.
There are many reasons why someone would make the wrong friends. For instance, you could be making bad friends because you are afraid of being alone. Or maybe it’s because you believe you’re a terrible person, and that’s all you deserve. You’ll only attract bad people if you have a low opinion of yourself. You could also give people too many chances and allow them to step on your toes.
In those cases, your friends won’t need to make an effort or be accountable for their actions. If you want to avoid that, you need to put in some work. The best thing you can do is work on your independence. It’s nice to be alone and have time for your hobbies. If you’re satisfied with your life, you will look for people who complement it.
That way, you’ll rule out the bad ones from the start. Work on your self-esteem and ensure you are satisfied with who you are. Lastly, make sure you communicate your boundaries. Let toxic people know what you need, want, and what sets you off. If they respect that, keep them in your life. If they flagrantly disregard your wishes, it’s time to cut them loose.