“I have friends who bring me down.”

"Reggae Dance" by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire


The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.

~Epictetus

Equally important is to bring out the best in others through compassionately looking for what’s best in them. Compassion is at the heart of meaningful relationships.

Compassion for others does not mean that we have to agree with their opinions or acquiesce to their desires. It does not mean that we have to listen to endless complaints or condone bad behavior.

Compassion means being able to give them our attention and see things from their point of view. It means speaking honestly while having empathy for their state of mind. It also means taking responsibility for our own expectations, feelings, and actions.

By having a compassionate outlook, we can look for the best in others as well as call forth their best. In other words, if a friend is excessively negative, we can point out that they are better than that, and keep the focus on what’s good and possible in their lives and ours.

If we cannot redirect the energy in a relationship, then we can adjust the people we spend time with.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “She’s just like my mother! — so weak!” “He’s just like my father — so controlling!”

Read “Compassion in Relationships.”

Read “I feel drained after hanging out with someone so negative.”

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