I had (yes past tense) a good friend, and I had to fire him. Unfortunately, things just did not work out. It wasn’t about downsizing and it wasn’t an economic decision. This happened about eight years ago, and I have never looked back.


You may be wondering how to tell if it’s time to fire your friend. Well, let me ask you a question: Do you have a friend, co-worker, or dare I say… a family member that is so negative and unfocused that when you get around them you just lose it?


That is why I fired this person.


Now to be fair, I did talk with him first. I gave him a chance to turn things around; however, he was unable to even see that there was a problem. He called himself a “realist.” He would say things like, “That is just life.” And I would respond, “No, life is not that negative. Maybe that happened to you, and I know students and other friends where things are going good!”


He would have nothing of it. To him the sky was always about to fall, and the universe was out to get him.


My friend George Fokas has a few amazing sayings to summarize this. First is, “If you hang out with 9 negative friends, guess who is number 10?” And the other is, “Don’t let other’s opinions become your reality.”


And that is what I am talking about here. While I have a fair amount of control over my thinking, that does not mean I want to be around someone that is so negative that it takes extra time and energy to hold my focus.


I want to have fun and enjoy life. Do bad things happen? Yes! Of course. And, you can find the positive or negative in every situation. The choice is yours.


So, do you have a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or even a client that takes so much of your time and energy that you are not getting anything in return? Ask yourself if it is time to let them go.


Imagine yourself 10 years in the future hanging out with this person versus hanging out with a positive person. I have great friends now that I didn’t have 10 years ago. Sometimes you just need to clean out your closet to make room for new clothes.


Dr. Matt