10 signs you’re surrounded by people who are bringing you down

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Ever feel like the people around you are holding you back? That they don’t truly care about you or want the best for you?

If so, I know how you feel. It’s a horrible situation to be in because although you still care about them, you’re starting to wonder if they’re a bad influence on you. 

Well, by the end of this article, you’ll have it clear. Here are 10 signs you’re surrounded by  people who are bringing you down: 

1) You’re constantly being criticized 

It hurts to be constantly put down. I get that, I’ve had friends like that in the past.

They knit pick at everything you do. From the way you dress to your career. 

And god forbid you ask them for advice! 

I remember going to a supposed “friend” after finding out my boyfriend cheated on me. Instead of offering sympathy or hope for the future, she went deep into how it was somehow all my fault. 

If you are surrounded by people like this, they’re not your tribe. 

Constructive criticism is good. Criticism for the sake of it, isn’t. 

2) You don’t feel supported

Let’s say you’re excited about starting a new career. You’re finally branching out and it’s a big move for you. 

Yet, when you tell people around you, rather than seeing their faces light up and enthusiastic questions roll in, you notice that they frown

They start to reel off reason after reason as to why you’ll fail.

And the same applies to anything good you’re trying to pursue in your life. They somehow manage to shit all over it, leaving you wondering why you told them in the first place. 

This is a sign that they don’t have your best interests at heart. 

3) You feel their envy and jealousy

Leading on from the previous point, if the people around you are bringing you down and refusing to support you, it usually stems from jealousy

Recently, I went home to visit my extended family after a long time. I moved to another country quite a few years ago.

I imagined that my first visit back would attract lots of questions, such as, “How’s life abroad? What do you work as? How did you meet your husband?”

In 5 days, I wasn’t asked once. Not a single question about my life. 

It was around that time that I remembered why I don’t keep in touch with my extended family – they have a toxic tendency to bring people down

And sadly, most of that is due to envy! 

4) You notice that they thrive on your failures 

This is probably one of the saddest signs that you’re surrounded by people who bring you down:

They seem to get genuine pleasure from seeing you suffer. 

It’s the friend whose face lights up when you tell them you lost your job.

Or the aunt that grins as you mention your relationship breaking down…usually followed with an, “I told you it wouldn’t work out!”

You may even find them gossiping about it behind your back, eager to spread the word. 

People who care and want the best for you will share your pain, not revel in it. Never forget that. 

5) You feel drained by their company 

Do you get home after spending time with people only to feel utterly shattered?

Does it feel like you’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster after every coffee date or dinner? 

This is another classic sign that you’re not surrounded by good people

Whether it’s their negativity (which we’ll get to later on) or their constant criticism, you find yourself dreading being around them. 

Remember, you are not obliged to keep anyone in your life. It doesn’t matter if they’re family. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been friends with them for years.

If they drag you down, you’re better off without them. 

6) You’re becoming isolated  

If you’re surrounded by people who bring you down, there’s a possibility that they’re also quite manipulative. 

And through their manipulative behavior, they may encourage you to only hang out with them. 

When you try to branch out and make friends with others, they’ll scoff and say, “What do you wanna hang out with them for?”

Every time you enter a relationship, they have something negative to say. 

Ultimately, by bringing you down and isolating you from everyone else, they’re keeping you under their control. 

My advice is to cut people like this off immediately. 

Good, genuine people wouldn’t feel threatened by you meeting a partner or making new friends. 

7) You face resistance whenever you try to change 

Over the last few years, I’ve worked hard on my personal development. I’ve moved countries. I’ve changed careers. 

Yet, there have been a few people in my life that seem to find fault with each step forward I take. 

In other words, they’re resistant to change. 

Do you resonate with this?

Maybe they feel threatened by the new and evolving “you”. 

Or perhaps they’re jealous of all the progress you’re making.

Either way, you need a good support system around you. Personal development, or any change for that matter, requires the encouragement and support of others. 

8) You can’t rely on them 

Have you noticed that the people around you are quick to ask for your help, but when you need theirs, they’re nowhere to be seen? 

In other words – they’re unreliable. 

This shows that they don’t respect or value you. And I get that this may be hard to hear. 

But if you’re constantly running around and doing things for others, yet they can’t do a simple favor for you? They’re just taking advantage of your good nature. 

And that’s not all:

By being unreliable, they avoid having to support you. They avoid having to keep their promises. 

Ultimately, this will leave you feeling alone, unsupported, and uncared for. Not a good place to be in (and a sign that you should surround yourself with better people). 

9) You’re bombarded by negativity  

Ah, negativity. Negative Nellies. Whatever you want to call it, negative people are great at bringing others down.

They suck the positive energy out of you. They’re experts at turning something beautiful into something gray and ugly. 

Every time you excitedly call them up with some good news, you regret it. Because they manage to flip things around, point out every negative angle they can, and leave you feeling down in the dumps. 

Now, you could try to explain how their negative attitude brings you down, but ultimately, you may need to distance yourself from them. 

Negative people rarely change in my experience.

Instead, look for happy, positive people. Not toxic positive, but realistic positive. 

You deserve to be around those that uplift you and bring you happiness. 

10) You’re encouraged to continue self-abuse 

Whether it’s bad habits or a cruel inner critic, another sign you’re surrounded by people who are bringing you down is if they encourage you to self-abuse or self-sabotage. 

Here’s a little example:

You remark on how much you hate your stomach rolls. You call yourself disgusting. 

People who bring you down will probably agree with you. They might even go as far as to tell you you should eat less or work out more. A step further would be to compare you with someone clinically obese (a clear exaggeration). 

On the flip side, a good, genuine, uplifting friend would say:

“It’s a shame you see yourself that way, I think you’re gorgeous as you are. But if you’d like to do something about it, I’m down for going for walks together or learning how to cook healthy meals!”

See the difference? The first is designed to make you feel even worse about yourself.

The second is to make you feel supported and loved. 

Final thoughts

It’s not easy realizing that you’re surrounded by people who aren’t good for you. 

But see this as a positive thing. The sooner you recognize the signs that you’re being pulled down, the quicker you can do something about it. 

When I left my toxic family and friendship groups, it was lonely at first. But more than lonely, it was peaceful and happy. Because I didn’t have the negative comments or draining energy around. 

And now, I’m much more selective in who I make friends with. So, as hard as it might sound, you absolutely can achieve the same.

Trust me, it’s so worth doing when you finally have that group of uplifting, kind people around you!  

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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