You're only as good as the company you keep
As also often said, “Birds of the same feather flock together.” If you are really serious about improving the quality of your life and your future prospects, you may indeed have to reassess what those people around you mean to you. It may be high time you limited your interaction with some or stopped seeing them altogether. It could even mean a change of home or company. A university professor of mine had worked in a government office before shifting to teaching saying that the corruption in the office was just too much for him to bear. It was all bound to take a firm hold on him too. If he had stayed, he might have ended corrupt too. He opted out, and his life was never as light, he said. That has stuck with me.
A former co-teacher posted a quote on his Facebook wall once, his way of saying that it was something he believed in that time. I have forgotten the exact lines of the quote but it somehow talked about how surrounding ourselves with people who are better than us can do us a lot of good. He, himself, is one of those people I consider to be much better than me and I have always looked up to him.
Know who make or break you
Lest we be called snobs or too high-hat, it does not mean that we have to totally discard those we think are not better than us. Rather, it means that we have to discriminate who to emulate or who to give power to influence us. Now, this is going to sound contradictory but usually, as our human nature is wont to do, we tend to get rubbed off more easily by those near us than by those far from us. So, by extension, the “friends,” the co-workers or even the family members we spend the most time with every day are actually the very same people who can make or break us.
This is going to be hard – discriminating among the people around us. But if we ever have to move even a bit forward in our self-improvement goal, it is necessary that we give their relationship to us a major rethink.
You deserve better
We deserve a better kind of treatment, a better place, a better life, a better us, and we should go for it by all means. If we honestly think that the people we are with have not made us any better but have instead brought out the worst in us, we should run as fast as we can to be as far away from those people.
Run away before it's too late
I also remember a taxi driver telling me about his when-to-run-away rule before. It is at the very first instance or hint of ill dealings, bad influence or mistreatment, he said. No work, relationship or place is ever worth so much trouble and pain. You need not go through all of that. You have to learn how to protect yourself. You have to learn when to run away even from your so-called “friends” sometimes.
You need to remember that at the end of the day, you will only have your very own self to suffer everything with; hence, it is just important that you learn how to tell if the people around you are going to make you a better person or lead you astray and down to a mucky place. You have to know whether the people are building you up or are tearing you apart.
Take courage to leave or sever ties and go somewhere else where you can be around people you can learn a lot of positive things from and those who can make you feel better about yourself, those who can help you make your life better.