Are you in a circle or a cage?
I'm sure you've ll heard the saying "you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with".
Stop and take a look around. Are you ok with that?
I am actually very determined when it comes to my friendship group. When I realise that someone is influencing me in a way that I don't like or showing behaviours that I don't agree with I stop being friends with them. Its as simple as that. I quite literally cut people off. Some may call it brutal, but I call it efficient. Life is so short. You never know when your days are up. So why would you want to waste your precious time on people that drain you, or influence your decision making for the worse?
Some people do find it hard and I get that. BUT once you've spoken to someone and told them that you don't like their behaviours, or you don't like the person you become around them and following that discussion nothing changes then its time to be the CEO of your own life and fire those that are draining your assets.
I was once in a friendship group that I thought for several months was fantastic. It was like being in high school all over again, we partied, we laughed a lot and we always had plenty to talk about. Then one day I saw some behaviour that I didn't like. And it was like the veil was lifted from my eyes. Suddenly I saw that partying every weekend isn't the only thing that good friends do together, I realised that we were laughing at other people, we had plenty to talk about because we were bitching about other people. I did not like the person I was becoming. This high school mean girl, except i wasn't in high school anymore.
So what did I do? I did what I've done before and what I will do again. After trying to sort it through conversations but getting nowhere I made the cut. A weight was immediately lifted. I more consciously stopped bitching, stopped laughing at other peoples expense and went back to working on the person that I want to be. One that is thoughtful, caring, helpful, and compassionate. A great leader.
The issue with these toxic friendships is that they don't just damage you on the inside as person but in a work environment they damage your personal brand which can hold you back from getting roles that you truly are capable of.
I promise you that although hard at the time, once you restructure your friendship group and can hand on heart say "I am glad I am an average of these 5 people" then you're in the right place. If you can't say that then its time to make some changes. For you.