Proverbs says that wise man is careful about who he has as his friends:
The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
A man of too many friends comes to ruin,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Leave the presence of a fool,
Or you will not discern words of knowledge.
Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,
Or you will become as foolish as they are.
A while ago, I significantly minimized my Facebook friends.
I went from 650 plus Facebook friends to less than 150.
While I still care about the people who I unfriended, I believe that this was a prudent act on my part.
Best choice I have made in ages!
Contrary to popular belief, you can still be friends in real life even if you are not friends on Facebook.
Facebook does not define reality.
After observing interactions on social media, I have to wonder why some people keep the friends they do.
Even if you care about those people, you don’t have to keep them close to you allowing them to continue to hurt you.
That is the exact opposite of a wise action.
The internet is the paradigm of foolish behavior in my observation —and Facebook is no exception.
Healthy boundaries seem to be a concept lost on many people.
Healthy boundaries are just that –healthy.
If you want healthy relationships, you need to have healthy boundaries.
Even more so on Facebook and social media where there are exactly zero social expectations.
Social expectations are the unspoken rules that keep most people in check in their everyday real life interaction.
The internet removes all of that unless people choose to regulate themselves.
I endorse regulating yourself and you can read more about that in these articles here on the blog: Your Character Is Showing: Maintaining a Testimony Online and Social Expectations and the Internet.
So, here are some questions to help you determine if you need to find better friends and if you need to separate yourself from the ones you’ve got.
Do your friends criticize you?
Do your friends mock you?
Do your friends treat you in a condescending manner?
Do your friends treat you with a lack of compassion?
Do your friends enjoy arguments?
Do they think they are smarter than you?
Do they always think you should make the same choices they made?
Do they fail to give grace when there is a misunderstanding?
Do they always assume the worst about you?
Do they gossip about you?
Do they expect you to be perfect?
Do they drag you into their drama or arguments?
Do they criticize your beliefs on your wall?
Do they act like they know your heart and motivation?
Do they act like they are perfect and have it all together?
Do they give bad, unsolicited advice and then get upset when you don’t take it?
Do they act like they have a right to make choices for you?
Do they post their very private information online for everyone to see?
Do they post your private things (that you said in confidence) online?
Do they have the inability to see that not everyone can or should live the exact same way and make the exact same choices?
Do they criticize you for not being more like them?
Do they make you feel shamed?
Do they make you feel unaccepted?
Do they make you feel unloved?
Do they make you feel worse and not better by being around them?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then, in my opinion, it lacks wisdom to stay friends with those people.
I have never regretted making wiser, more considered choices for my life.
Especially regarding my online choices.
As I have mentioned before, even the people that I unfriended, I still care about.
But, I don’t have their negativity or their criticism coming into my heart and mind on a regular basis.
The things that we allow to come into our minds, those things settle in our hearts and become part of who we are.
If we repeatedly allowed people to say and do negative things to us, then we will start to believe that those things are true.
This happens in every area of our lives.
If you have friends in real life who are unkind to you I would again recommend minimum contact for your own mental health.
Look for better friends.
They are out there, I promise.
It took me a couple of years of looking to change out the critical friends I had 7 years ago for new, more supportive friends.
Everyone needs a support system, not just people who are chronically ill.
You need to know that these people will be beside you and ready to help if heaven forbid something terrible happens.
Keep looking until you find people who support you and don’t criticize.
Please note, I am not talking about actual sin issues. For that, I recommend this chart to see if what the person is saying is a sin issue. If it is not, then they are out of line. If they are right, you might need to reconsider your position and align it with scripture.
Some people might get upset when you unfriend them. I found that this revealed people’s character. This post about true friendship might be helpful if you find yourself in that situation.
Also, if you are guilty of any of these bad friend practices, you should alter your behavior.