The people we spend our time around have a significant impact on us — it could be their mannerisms we begin to pick up on, their opinions that begin to influence our own or their habits that start to make their way into our own lives.
These things aren’t inherently bad; there are a lot of people who have impacted all our lives for the better. But, there will be people who come into our lives who, as our mothers might say, are a “bad influence.”
And it’s not because these people are bad people — but when we surround ourselves with friends who partake in dangerous habits, we can quickly find ourselves slipping into these habits ourselves, whether we like it or not.
Our social circles impact us
Social circles are the friends we keep and the people we choose to have around us. They’re the people we call on a Friday evening to hang out, the ones we go out to brunch with or the ones who come over for a movie night.
The more time we spend with people, the more they begin to impact what we do in our free time; they might offer suggestions on how we should spend our time, or what activities we should do on a day off.
You might have a social circle that is incredibly uplifting and encouraging — for example, the people who are partaking in recovery support group sessions are likely to have a positive impact on your mentality and personal recovery journey. On the other hand, you might have a number of people in your life who instead drag you down and negatively influence the choices you make.
It’s challenging to confront this kind of peer pressure, but it’s crucial for your own mental health to learn the signs of when your social circle has become a toxic environment.
Signs of a negative social influence
It might be blatantly clear that the people around you are not good for your mental health and are negatively impacting the choices you make. However, it might not be as obvious. If this is the case, but you suspect something in your social circle is still not right, there are some questions you could consider asking yourself.
Where do you spend your time?
There are certain environments where drinking and drug use are more common, especially places like bars, clubs, raves and house parties. If you find yourself spending a lot of time in these places or other environments where drug and alcohol use is common thing, your social circle may be centered around a toxic environment.
How do you spend your time?
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a quick drink with a friend or offering mimosas during Sunday brunch. But, if there are certain friendships that are only defined by these kinds of activities, or you have a friend group that only drinks together or does drugs with one another, it may be indicative of a bigger problem.
Is it time to switch up your social circle?
If you are in recovery from addiction, it’s absolutely vital to the success of your sobriety to surround yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging of your journey. Or, if you are not in recovery, but find yourself engaging in dangerous habits due to the people in your life, it might be time to reassess who you spend your time with.
Signs that the people in your life are having a negative influence on you include:
- You notice you’ve picked up bad habits related to drugs or alcohol from them
- They only want to hang out when substances are involved
- You’ve gotten into legal trouble because of them
- They do not support your recovery (i.e., they think it’s pointless or still encourage you to use it)
Just because these things are occurring does not mean these people are bad — it simply means, if you’re seeking recovery, it is important to be conscious of the people who you’re spending time with and who are impacting your life.
Seeking addiction treatment options?
Whether you’re struggling with an active addiction or simply believe that the people in your life are contributing to bad habits and you need additional support, there are options for help. Contact Silvermist Recovery today to learn more about addiction treatment options.