You are the sum of the people you hang out with. Frat-mentality is a real thing, and girls do things to impress other girls, such as dress trendy, and guys do things to impress other guys, such as lift weights, or challenge one another to beer chugging contests.
There are hundreds of reasons as to why one seeks approval from others, and although it might seem silly, or immature, it happens all the time, and at any age, and in both men and women.
The friendships we form have a huge impact on our lives, and can greatly affect how we act and treat others around us. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the people we hang out with can sometimes end up being absorbed by us, without us even realizing it! [Read: Choosing his friends over you is one sign of a bad boyfriend]
What if his friends are a bad influence?
If you find that your guy always hangs out with unsavory company, here are some things you can do to make sure their mentality doesn’t rub off on him.
#1 New faces. One way you can handle the energy vampires whom your boyfriend happens to call friends is by keeping him busy with activities that involve meeting new people. Ideally, you will already know the new faces you introduce him to, which means that you know they wont be negative influences on him or you.
If you introduce him to new people, and you both make new friends, then the less time he will have to spend with the friends of his that are taking him down the wrong path in life. Obviously, it’s up to him at the end of the day to hang out with new faces or old, but if he’s serious about you and values your relationship, he’ll have no problem trying new things.
#2 Express yourself. No one likes a nag. However, there are many ways you can express your thoughts and concerns to someone you care about, without sounding like their mother or coming across as a Debbie downer. If your guy has been hanging out with his friends, and you feel that they are a negative influence, one way you can handle the situation is sitting down and talking to him in a mature way.
The key to doing this is making sure you don’t come across as someone who is giving him a lecture. You don’t want to sound like you’re teaching him D.A.R.E. or talking to him as though he’s a child. He’s not. In a calm, mature way, express your concerns and give examples to show the negative influence you’ve been witnessing take place when he hangs out with certain friends of his.
If he loves you and cares about your relationship, then he will value your opinion, and realize that you care about him so much, otherwise you wouldn’t take the time to communicate and express yourself. [Read: 7 signs you’re not being heard and how to fix it]
#3 Copy. Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes in order to get your point across and make others see things from your perspective, you have to literally put yourself in the situation you’re trying to describe. If you aren’t fond of your guy’s friends because you think they are negatively impacting him, then treat him the way he’s been treating you.
What he will realize is that you’ve changed. You dress differently, maybe you started cussing more, or maybe you’ve stopped calling him to see what he’s up to when you two aren’t together.
Once again, if your relationship is important to him, he’ll definitely notice that you’ve changed, and he’ll want to know what’s going on, because he’ll want to fix it. Once you explain to him that the way he feels about you now is exactly how you are feeling, he will probably have the light bulb go off in his head.
#4 Fade away. Although this one is probably not going to be your first option, it is an option nonetheless. If you honestly don’t believe that there is any getting through to your man to help him realize that the people he’s associating with aren’t looking out for his best interests, then you can simply fade away.
Stop being there for him, and stop worrying about him. If you really want to find out if your relationship is important to your guy, then one way to know for certain is to quit holding his hand and doing everything for him.
Along with this, that also means quit trying to make him see his friendships and behavior from your perspective, and instead just stop trying and walk away. Remove yourself from the equation. He’ll notice that you’re no longer there for him during lulls, or to listen to him when he wants a shoulder to lean on. He may start to realize that your presence is more important to him than the people he calls his friends.
#5 Intervene. Interventions aren’t only for highly addicted drug users. If you really care about your man, and you feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get through to him, and get him to realize that the friends he’s hanging out with are negative influences, then one way you can handle the situation is by setting up an intervention. If you have noticed a change for the worse in his behavior, more than likely, his family has too.
Talk with them to see if they have noticed these changes, and once you are all on the same page, figure out a way to sit down with him and talk out loud. Express your concerns, and as always, give examples to help emphasize your points. He may not like that you have confided to his mom and dad, but he’ll realize you all did so because you care that much for him.
#6 Politely pretending. We are all familiar with the saying “kill them with kindness,” and no matter how hard this might be to do, it is one way to definitely handle an uncomfortable situation, especially when it involves your boyfriend and his friends. If you are always polite, and kind to his friends, even when it takes everything inside of you to be, then they will never be able to complain about you to him when you’re not around.
By being polite, it gives you the power, and it also is a way to make sure that your boyfriend thinks of you as a sweet daisy when you aren’t around him and his friends. The less ammo you give his negative friends to use when talking about you, the better. Of course, this one is hard to do, but sometimes it’s worth doing, especially when you are caught in the middle of having to share your guy with others that you want nothing to do with.
#7 Create rules. This one is not my favorite, but sometimes, desperate times call for desperate and drastic measures. No one likes feeling like they are trapped, or being told what to do, especially your boyfriend. I mean, would you really want him to tell you who you can and can’t hang out with? Probably not.
But you would respect his opinion, and probably consider abiding by some guidelines when it comes to hanging out with certain people, especially if he expressed his concern to you about why he does or doesn’t like certain friends of yours.
[Read: 10 types of toxic friends to avoid]
Despite the fact that your guy may have been friends with these guys since they were kids, you, as the current girlfriend, have every right to let him know when his friends aren’t good for his wellbeing. Sure, at first he may think you’re just jealous of his friends. But when he realizes that you’re just looking out for him, it won’t be long before he realizes you’re right.
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