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Why do I often find myself befriending bad people?

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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July 1, 2014

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FriendshipQA
 “Why do I often find myself befriending those who turn out to be bad people? What can I do to stop this?”

My answer…

‘Bad people’ might include people with a vindictive and hurtful nature right through to those who burgle peoples homes and peddle hard drugs.

We all have a friendship model that has naturally developed within us. Sometimes it is flawed in one way or another. With the experiences we have we make adjustments and hopefully they’re beneficial. Sometimes, though, change eludes us. This is one of the reasons why we turn to professionals for help.

It could be because you feel like an underdog and find yourself being attracted to others like yourself not realizing they may be the underdog for negative reasons. You may have been bullied in the past and therefore you have a rapport with others who are themselves bullied even though it’s their poisonous tongue that’s causing the problem. You may even have a hero complex so you find yourself drawn to people with problems as they provide you with opportunities to be the hero. It could also simply be you lack a ‘filter’ in your life.

Rewriting your friendship model will help you put a stop to befriending bad people. You need to describe your new friendship model on paper and how you want it to work. Also draw a picture of it. If you have no idea what it might look like start with a gold sluice that has a chute at the end. Become very clear about the kind of people you want to have as friends and the qualities they have like enthusiasm, warmth, loyalty and initiative. Then think about the kind of friends you don’t want to have. Consider the past negative friendships you’ve had and the behavior they exhibited that you consider to be bad. Write them down and make a strong mental note concerning them. This is now part of your filter. Whenever someone exhibits these unwanted characteristics you should get a mental alert. Read your friendship model now and then till the unwanted pattern is gone.

Why do I often find myself befriending bad people?  What can I do to stop this?   Your answer?
 
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