When you enter a journey in recovery, you need to choose your friends with care. Everyone has an influence on others. The wrong relationships can drag you down, making it even harder for you to overcome your addiction. In contrast, befriending people who encourage, inspire or empower you can help you become the person you want to be. Most rehabs do some type of vetting and checking of people you will visit or who will be in contact with you. If you’re not in rehab or you are in a sober living house you should be very honest with the people you surround yourself with. Here are a few ways to distinguish if someone is a bad influence in your life.
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Beware of “friends” who use peer pressure to push you into making decisions or doing things you’re not comfortable with. A real friend may encourage you to branch out and try something new, but they will respect your wishes and not make you feel guilty if you refuse. If you find yourself doing things simply to please someone else, chances are you are being manipulated by someone who is a bad influence in your life. Sometimes putting distance with friends who still drink or use drugs is really needed until you can honestly decide if the friendship is worth keeping.
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True friends have your best interests at heart. They’re positive and supportive of your values and goals in life. At the same time, they want you to enjoy life to the full by socializing with others and having fun. All play and no work, however, can keep you from reaching your goals. Friends that only want to party and have fun can be a bad influence in your life as they distract you from your priorities, these are the types you must be very careful of and most likely will need to end while in early stages of your recovery. A balanced life will include both work and play in a proper perspective.
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Some people are just plain selfish. They take without giving in return. They only call or visit when it’s to their convenience. They make promises to get on your good side even though they know they won’t keep them. They say one thing to your face and another behind your back. They put themselves first and only use you to get what they want. Avoid these people at all costs. A true friend is someone who cares about you and can be trusted to be a good influence in your life.
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Friends will support you and accept you as you are. They won’t criticize or judge you. They’ll encourage you to be the best you can be by staying positive and uplifting, especially when the going gets rough.