How Bad Friends Can Help You Grow

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“Dont make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.”
Thomas Watson

Its true that we need to gather around positive people if we want to grow. But – as counterintuitive as it might seem – your bad friends can also help you grow. Your annoying and irritating friends can enrich your life if you treat them the right way. Looking that way, they are actually not bad. Just here I will use the term bad friends to refer to friends that are difficult to deal with.

Bad friends Bad friends can enrich your life by helping you develop the traits you need. Im sure there are good traits you want to have in life, but do you think you can just have them right away? No, the traits must be developed and you can only develop them through training. Your bad friends can provide you with the training you need.

For example, you want to be patient. You cant just suddenly be patient out of nothing. To be patient you must go through situations that make you angry. These situations train your patience muscle. If you handle such situations the right way, you will be more patient. After experiencing such situations for a few years, you will see that many situations that previously make you angry will no longer be problems.

Your bad friends can give you situations through which you can develop your character. When you look at it this way, you should actually be grateful for them because they make you a better person.

Its not easy to have this perspective, especially in the midst of difficult situations, but its necessary for your personal growth. Here are some tips to help you grow through bad friends:

1. Find people who are different from you

If you just gather with like-minded people, the chance is small that you will find those that can shape your character. They can enrich you in many ways, but they wont develop your character.

So find people who are different from you. Find people who see and do things in a different way. Move out of your comfort zone and befriend various kinds of people.

2. Dont avoid bad friends

When we befriend different kinds of people, chance is we will find some that we dont feel comfortable with. Our first reaction when we meet such people is to just avoid them. Dont. I know its not easy to do, but if you avoid them you will lose the opportunity to grow. Remind yourself of the great benefits these people can bring to you. Finding people who can develop your character is perhaps more valuable than finding people who can develop your knowledge.

3. Train your muscles

Now that you have these bad friends around you, let them train your character muscles. When they present you with challenging situations, dont try to run away from them. Face them wisely. Be patient. Be humble. Stay in your training session so that you can get the most out of it.

4. Know your limit

While you need to stay in your training session, you also need to know your limit. Doing 100 push-ups while you can only do 30 wont help your health. Train your character muscles, but know how much training you can bear. Otherwise, negative things could happen. You might no longer be able to control yourself and end up being furious. That will only make the situation worse.

So stop your training session when you know that youve reached your limit. Take rest, meet positive people, or simply avoid the bad friends for a while. Next time, train your character muscles further by being more patient.

5. Be persistent

No training will give you the results you want if you quit after only a few sessions. Be persistent in your character training. If you do that, you will eventually realize that you have developed the traits you want. It takes time, but you will come out as a better person.


Its difficult to change other people, but you can change yourself. Your bad friends can help you a lot in the process.

What do you think?

Author: Donald Latumahina

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