The company you keep.

At the risk of sounding like a snob, who you spend your time with is important.  The company you keep not only reflects on you, but it has a serious impact on your overall happiness and well-being.  Unfortunately, nearly everyone knows what it’s like to have a toxic friend in their midst, one rotten apple who threatens to ruin the whole bunch.

Think about your friends.  Do you truly enjoy and look forward to spending time with each and every one of them?  If the answer is yes, lucky you.  But chances are, there’s one or two in the bunch that don’t elicit the same reaction.  If, more often than not, you feel emotionally drained by someone who is never happy, is constantly complaining, who always needs to be taken care of and made to feel better, or (the worst!), someone who is unsupportive of your choices and cuts you down to make themselves feel better, you have a toxic friend.  Please run (don’t walk) in the opposite direction, as fast as you can.

In L.A., there is a particular class of toxic friend that you can find in practically every hipster coffee house in town:  the bitter buttercup.  The ‘I’m so talented, I should have made it years ago, but the world screwed me over and I’m never going to get a break because there are too many talentless hacks like (insert name of reality star here) around.’  These people (while they may be right about talentless hacks) are haters with chips on their shoulders and their attitude is so unattractive that you’d be advised to stay as far away as possible, lest some of it rub off on you.  I don’t care how gifted the bitter buttercups are, they’re never going to be successful because the truth is, they prefer failure.  They wear it like a badge of honor so they can point out to anyone who will listen how unfair life is, how screwed over they’ve been, etc.  Some people are happiest when miserable and I advise you to avoid these ‘only happy when it rains’ types like the plague.

Wouldn’t you rather surround yourself with people, who, instead of waiting for the world to give them what they deserve, have turned their dissatisfaction into action and rather than complaining, are creating?  Someone who doesn’t worry about what they don’t have, or what they didn’t get, but instead has chosen to love their personal journey and take positive steps everyday to be better, more innovative, and to live more fully?  Yeah, I not only want to have those types of people as friends, I want to be that person.  Relentlessly passionate, relentlessly creative, and relentlessly joyful.

Speaking of relentless, you’d be amazed at the power of relentless optimism in the face of cynicism.  Shuts it down every time.  So say goodbye to the haters, the toxic friends, the mean girls, the bitter buttercups, the wounded birds, and the whiners.  Embrace people who inspire you, who make you want to be a better person, and most importantly, who make you happy.    Life is short and it’s precious.  How you choose to spend your time and whom you choose to spend it with matters.

Until next time, friends.

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