Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

The role of your friends alongside your goals: are social networks an asset or a distraction?

Written by Deborah Kerr   Posted in:Counselling / Psychotherapy   September 29, 2019

The role of your friends alongside your goals: are social networks an asset or a distraction?

Is there a difference in the male/female networks when it comes to supporting personal goals? What ‘kicks’ are those close to us getting when they’re looking to derail your goals – is it intentional?  “Just have one drink / one cigarette / a night off from the gym”. Can we use both positive and negative responses to our plans to boost our performance overall?


As the summer season transitions into autumn, we can consider then, embracing change as a naturally occurring gift. If your senses stir a desire for something new, for significant change or a minor day to day routine, maybe it's time to set some new goals.


There are stages to goal setting if we are to be successful, and the first consideration is to ask yourself, 'do I truly want this?' Any new venture will require a level of commitment and a motivational drive. Usually, when we want something different, there is a sacrifice on your time or money, and the people around you. Friends and family may see less of you, not only in time, but your emotional free attention is likely to be eaten up too. So, consider the fact they may not like it!


Generally, people need you constellated in a particular position in their lives as they have become accustomed to the familiar ebb and flow of relatedness with you. Any whiff of change in character or behaviour can stir up a challenge in them. Their role with you is shaken and unconsciously, feeling threatened, they may not know how to meet the change and relate differently with you.


While you may want to celebrate your ideas and share your learning, to stay on track, you may need to be aware of unconscious sabotage by those closest to you. Your success can generate their projections onto you and unwittingly, their gestures of goodwill and pride can be insidious attempts to bring you down.


As you change the game, a rift is created, generating fear of being left behind. People may not want to resent you, as they may genuinely wish to celebrate your success.  But your growth can make others feel inadequate, questioning their abilities and facing unresolved pain of their past.  Questions like 'why is it others can do well when I remain trapped?' evokes feelings of envy and thoughts of 'life is not fair'.


Secretly wishing to be you, they deny their capacity to drive their own success, and instead they allow their envy to get the better of them. If this envy remains out of awareness, negative feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment along with jealousy and sadness, get acted out, and they attempt to clip your wings. They may even get a kick out of derailing your goals.


So, what are the signs to look out for when someone is trying to sabotage your road to reaching your goal? When someone is goading you to have just one more drink when they know you are trying to cut down or quit. Or a sly remark is made to ridicule you, hoping that you will doubt yourself.


They look forward to spending time with you to make you feel bad about yourself, and this is usually portrayed by being extra critical to your thoughts and actions. Some will act like they are never impressed. No matter how much you model your growth, they will try and 'one-up' you from the side-lines. And they can become defensive and angry after they have asked you for some advice.


So how will you ever succeed if you are the only stakeholder committed to your plan? Consider ways in which to protect yourself from sabotage.


        Keep quiet: People do not always need to know your plans and aspirations straight away. Only share with people you know you are genuinely happy to support you

        Don't feel guilty: Spending less time with others doesn't mean you love them any less. It's easy to feel bad when others start complaining you are not there for them in the usual way

        Set boundaries: When you are in the company of others, it's ok to hold back from what you would naturally share. You are not disloyal

        Be alert: No matter how small the jibe might be, stay acute to what is happening around you.

        Resist arguing: If you find yourself being challenged, avoid confrontation. Don't feel you should justify yourself or overly explain your reasons

        Be gentle with yourself: It's easy to take things personally, especially when you care about the person. Handle being bothered by their actions with love and compassion towards yourself

        Be compassionate: Ask yourself, could they be saying this because:

·        They feel scared and insecure?

·        If I succeed, it means they have failed?

·        They have no idea what they just said (or did)?


If the answer to any of these is "yes," then think before delving into reacting unfavourably. Remember, most people are acting out unconsciously; they legitimately believe they are supportive!

Comments powered by Disqus
// -->