Making friends is an important part of life. Outside of the bond we form with our parents and guardians, forming companionship with others teaches us valuable life lessons and socialization skills. Strong and supportive friendships can make weathering difficult times easier and navigating through the journey of life more enjoyable and fun. As we spend more time around others, their influence tends to rub off on us and we naturally emulate their behavior, speech, and other mannerisms. When you become wedged in a friendship that is less than ideal, this becomes an issue.
Morals are not all-encompassing for everyone. Our moral compass is molded from our parents’ teachings,personal life experiences, and our own preferences. This influences how we perceive various situations and behaviors and whether we deem them to be right or wrong. Your parent’s approval may matter immensely to you and undoubtedly plays a key role in shaping your moral compass, but only you truly hold discretion when it comes to picking and choosing your friends. Plus,you might not exactly share your parents’ opinions. Though you should heed your parents’ advice and consider their viewpoints, you have the ultimate control when it comes to deciding who you want in your life.
Now, you’re never going to be in complete agreement with everything your friends choose to do either. It might not be your style to drink alcohol, smoke, or party to excess and that’s perfectly acceptable. Many of these behaviors may stem from underlying issues that can be difficult to disclose, so being supportive to your friends when necessary is super important. Your free will enables you to refuse participation in such activities and likewise your friends need to support your choice. After all, they are still perfectly capable of being an amazing friend to you despite the vices they hold close. It is only when these activities give way to toxic behavior or when the key tenets of good friendship are neglected that it may become necessary to cut ties with someone you once considered a friend. Only you can draw the line and determine whatever it is that you absolutely will not tolerate.
The people we surround ourselves with often reflect who we are. That’s why it’s crucial to be cautious about who we bring into our lives and never forget that our only obligation lies with ourselves. So if a friendship is mentally draining, toxic, or lacks sustenance for you any longer-- then it’s time to cut loose and save yourself from the added burden.