Don’t get us wrong, we love our gal pals. But when it comes to your career growth, certain friends may not be the best influences.
That’s not to say they wouldn’t throw you a killer bachelorette party or be there when you need a shoulder to cry on, but being aware of your friends’ priorities can help you look out for ways their behaviors are influencing your career.
We’re not telling you to ditch them because they don’t want to climb the corporate ladder as fast as you or don’t understand your startup life, but in order to reach your goals you may need to keep an eye on certain friendships.
Mark Manson, author, blogger, and entrepreneur, warns against friendships with emotional vampires. Emotional what? According to Manson, emotional vampires “have a tendency to drain the emotional energy out of everyone they come in contact with. They’re exhausting. They need constant attention. They always have some crisis or major life event. They’re experts at eliciting emotional reactions out of others and then feeding off those emotions, regardless of whether they’re positive emotions or negative emotions.”
Still not sure if any of your friends fit the bill? Manson says these three traits are the biggest giveaways for emotional vampires:
- An excessive need for validation/attention from others,
- The belief that little to nothing that occurs is their fault, and
- The lack of self-awareness to recognize their self-defeating patterns.
It’s hard to spot an emotional vampire, so we’re profiling three of the most common ones you may find in your friend group.
*featured image by ban.do
There’s no one you’d rather go out with when you want to let your hair down. You’ve been each other’s date to every party since you were undergrads. But lately you’ve been feeling less like mimosa brunches and more like meal prepping—you know one will make you feel really good on Monday and one won’t. You’re less about living for the weekend and more about living your best life all week long. And sometimes that means skipping that late movie or ditching that group mani-pedi session in favor of a little extra shut eye or saving some money.
If you have a friend who is always in party mode and needs a pal by her side at all times, you may have to keep a little distance. She can still be your go-to gal when you need a night out, but you might have to ask someone else to listen to you practice tomorrow’s sales pitch.
When she’s in, she’s in…until she’s not. When it’s time to catch up she passionately fills you in on her latest obsession. Whether that be a side hustle, hobby, or new love interest. Her enthusiasm is contagious and you’re pretty psyched for her. Until she changes her mind. Again. Why is this a problem for you? She can make her own decisions, right? Yep! But, if she can’t commit to anything, can you really expect her to understand and support your passions fully? Not to mention you’ve spent a lot of time and energy supporting her, only to have to start over when she moves on to something new.
The Big Spender
When you get a raise or land a higher-paying job, it’s not uncommon for your friends to encourage you to treat yourself. You totally should! But if your wallet is feeling a lot lighter every time you come home from an outing with a friend, there may be a problem there. Her number one priority? Convincing pals to splurge on trips, spa days, and other luxuries with her. She drops large amounts of money more spontaneously than most, which is what makes her friendship financially dangerous. Being financially stable is a huge benefit to your career, after all you don’t want to have to make your career decisions based off money alone. So spending your time and money with her could be getting you farther and farther away from your financial and career goals.
“Social vampires” may have a big presence in your life. These friends can drain you emotionally and fiscally which means less resources to work on side projects, learn new skills, or push for that promotion. Which isn’t fair to you. So take some time to seriously consider which friendships make you stronger and which take their toll on your well-being and career. Do any of your friendships affect your career?