Friendships are a crucial part of life. Friends make you laugh, they are who you create memories with and they make life more enjoyable. But what happens when you have unsupportive friends?
Unsupportive friends or unsupportive people can sometimes lead you away from your financial goals. This is often because everyone has their own relationship with money. Those with difficult or negative relationships with money tend to be less supportive of our financial goals.
If this is the case, you can navigate those friendships by expanding your circle of friends to include people with similar goals. You can also not take it personally when friends are unsupportive of your goals.
And ultimately you can be selective of what you share with friends, and sometimes not share your goals at all.
Unsupportive friends and how they affect your finances
You might be thinking, how does having unsupportive friends affect your finances? They can do so in direct and indirect ways.
Negativity from unsupportive friends
They can directly affect you by stating negative comments when you share your goals. Telling you things such as it’s pointless to save money or encouraging you to buy a new pair of shoes by putting it on a credit card.
Unsupportive friends' behavior
Unsupportive friends can indirectly affect you through destructive and expensive behaviors. This can look like inviting you to events that require you to spend a lot of money. Or ordering more food than you at a restaurant and asking you to split the bill.
Mindset of unsupportive friends
And it doesn’t stop there. Unsupportive people can also affect your money mindset. When you’re constantly spending time with a friend who always complains about money, sooner or later you’ll start repeating similar statements.
Saying things such as money is evil, or you never have enough money, etc. These are some examples of conversations that can put you in a lack mindset.
Unsupportive friends can cause doubt
And the most detrimental effect of having unsupportive friends is that they can make you doubt yourself and your financial decisions.
For instance, if you’re the only one in your friend group budgeting or saving money it can make you feel isolated. And to avoid those feelings of loneliness, you become tempted to spend money so that you feel accepted and connected.
Fortunately, there are some ways to get out of the cycle of negativity and create relationships that are more supportive.
Steps to stay focused when you have unsupportive friends
Navigating your finances is already challenging sometimes, but with friends who don't exactly encourage you? Much tougher. Here are some tips to remember.
Don’t take it personally
We all value the opinions and advice of our loved ones. That’s why it can feel like a stab to the heart when a friend disregards your goals and dreams. It can feel like a personal attack.
However many times when people make hurtful comments it’s not a reflection of you, but of themselves. Depending on their past experiences or personal trauma it can cause them to lash out at you because they feel triggered by something you said.
Instead of taking offense try looking at the behavior of unsupportive people, through the lens of compassion. By doing so, you start to understand that a negative response may be directed toward you but is not about you.
An article in Psychology Today offers advice on how to not take things personally. In the article, professionals recommend giving people a second chance. Often times unsupportive people say things they didn’t mean or say things without thinking because they are reacting to the situation.
On the contrary, the article states that sometimes it’s okay to take things personally. If you are offended by what someone says it may be because you care deeply about something. The trick is finding the balance between overcaring and caring too little.
Accept that some friends may not be in the place to support you
It’s important to keep in mind that unsupportive friends may not be in the emotional or financial place to support you. Unsupportive people who are struggling in life tend to focus on their own problems and challenges.
Imagine you slammed your hand in the car door and in that exact moment when your hand is throbbing in pain, you’re friend tells you they just got engaged.
Although you may be happy for them, you’re probably not going to start picking wedding destinations with them because you’re too focused on your own pain. This applies to emotional pain as well.
So before sharing your financial goals, check in with your friend to see if they are ready to listen.
Ask them how they're doing. See where they are at emotionally before your share your news. And if now isn’t the right time, have some patience and wait for the right moment.
Expand your friendship circle
Let’s be honest, if you aren’t receiving support from your friends it might be time to make new friends. You don’t have to ignore your current friends, just reach out to others who share your similar goals. It's all about shifting your circle of influence.
If you aren't sure where to find new friends, the online space is a great place to start. There are communities on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube including our amazing Clever Girl Finance community!
There are also Facebook groups such as Your Money Your Life that was created by NPR and covers a large range of financial topics. In addition to these groups, you can even join financial literacy groups with seminars and meet-ups.
Your new financially savvy friends are waiting to meet you.
Be selective in what you share
The great thing about creating your financial goals is you can choose what to share and what not to share. For instance, you can share that you are building your savings but you don’t have to share how much you're saving.
You can tell your friends how your goal is to be debt-free by the end of the year, but you don’t have to share how much debt you’ll be paying off.
The key is to share the what and not the how. And later down the line, you can always decide to share a little bit more.
For now, you can save the importance of your goal for yourself and supportive friends while giving the unsupportive friends the lighter details.
Don’t share your goals
If you have friends that are often over-critical or a bit negative, sometimes the best thing to do is not share your goals. This helps you to avoid awkward situations, criticism, and a possible rupture in the friendship.
Yet, if you feel like your goal is too good not to share, then there is one person who may be the best person to share your goal with.
Studies have shown that telling your goal to someone you consider a high-status individual can increase your chances of fulfilling your goal.
A high-status individual is someone in your life that you look up to. Someone you admire such as a coach, a mentor, or even a community member.
Because these people are often who you want to impress or someone you look up to, then you’ll most likely work hard to achieve your goal so that you don’t look foolish.
Words of encouragement when dealing with unsupportive friends
Quotes can be super helpful by offering messages of encouragement and helping to remind you that you are not alone in your experience. Take a look at these "unsupportive friends quotes" and their interpretations. Find one that’s most helpful for you in your current situation.
Unsupportive family quotes to remember
"Never let the lack of support deter your mission.”– Unknown
This one line says so much in very few words. Lack of encouragement or support is no reason to not fulfill your goal.
“It’s okay to cut toxic family members out of your life. Blood ain’t thicker than peace of mind.”– Unknown
A brutally honest quote that reminds you that peace of mind is always a top priority.
“You can love them, forgive them, want good things for them, but still move on without them.” – Mandy Hale
Hale’s quote is a gentle reminder that you don’t have to keep negative people in your life and it doesn't make you a bad person if you choose to live a life where they aren’t involved.
Unsupportive friends quotes to remember
Here is some extra encouragement in the form of unsupportive friends quotes. These will help you to stay focused on your goals.
“We have three types of friends in life: Friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime. “-Unknown
This is a great reminder that some friendships don’t have to last your entire lifetime. Some will and some won’t and it’s okay to let go of the friends that don’t work out.
“ Friends are nice to have, but don't let friends slow up your progression. Follow your dreams, not your friends. Real ones understand.” Unknown
This quote can easily be applied to your money goals. Instead of following the spending behaviors of your friends, follow your goals and dreams.
“It's not how many friends you have it's the quality of friends you have. “- Unknown.
Having a large number of friends can seem appealing but it’s better to have a few good friends than a big group of fake friends.
Don’t let unsupportive people keep you from achieving your financial goals
Navigating relationships with unsupportive friends and family is not always an easy task. However, by practicing acceptance, not taking things personally, and expanding your friend group you can start creating new bonds.
By setting financial boundaries you can start to build the foundation for stronger relationships with your friends and family.