Friends Can Drag You Down

by | 34 comments

What I want to share with you here has a lot to do with your friends. Please keep reading!

If you live in a home, I’m certain you have an idea what the houses are going for in your neighborhood. Depending on how long you have been living in your home, you might even know how much your house has appreciated over the years.

Although sometimes, depending on the location or the economy, your house may depreciate. If that’s the case, you need to move. Find yourself a better neighborhood.

I am sure you have heard that your network determines your net worth? Now, my question to you is how is your net worth? Okay, le’s get back to the real estate concept.

How do you think appraisers come up with the value of a home? Most likely they research your area to find out what prices houses have been selling for. Based on their findings, they put a price tag on yours.

Of course, there are other factors to it. The condition of your home is one of them. But I guarantee you that what other houses around the block are selling for have a huge factor. Basically, the value of your home is directly related to the value of the homes within the area.

Consider your friends. Just like your home, your value is directly related to the value of your friends. So, if you have a bunch of friends who are struggling and making low income, it will have a direct reflection on your personal value. It’s all about your network!

Like the old adage says, “Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell who you are.” Well, in this case, it’s “I’ll tell you what you have.” Take a moment to let this sink in. You may agree or disagree. But it’s really true! There’s a good reason why birds of a feather flock together.

The rule of thumb is to always surround yourself with people who will help increase your net worth–your value. Does that make sense? It should.

Let’s see, take a good inventory of your friends. How productive are they? Do they have a great monthly income? Do they spend their money foolishly? Do they invest in personal development? Do they talk about negative and petty things? Do they have mentors? Do they have a solid plan for the future? Are they focused and committed?

I can go on and on with those questions. But my point is very simple. Do not surround yourself with people who will depreciate your value. Make a mental note of this: You become who you hang with.

The reality is, even your language will change depending on the friends you spend time with. Personally, I start using certain words in my conversations based on who I spend my days with. You might think that you are not easily influenced. But no man or woman is exempt from falling under the influence of another.

Listen, I don’t know you. Well, maybe I do. But whether I do or not, your entire life and situation at the moment is a direct reflection of the people whom you surround yourself with. Period. If you want more or a better life, eliminate your present cabinet. Act as if there’s a new president in office.

I really do hope that I’m making sense to you. Many years ago, I had some friends who were up to no good. At the time, I didn’t know it. I’m sure you might not be aware of it either. But, over time, as I began to change my mindset and have better focus on exactly where I want to be in the future, my network automatically began to shift.

That’s amazing! Some of the people who were my friends slowly began to evaporate from my life. And you know what? It wasn’t my doing. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “Go away!” No. Somehow, we just lost touch. Even when we meet, the conversation is always short. Why? Again, it’s not intentional. We simply don’t have too much in common anymore.

That’s not to say because I have achieved some level of success, I’m dumping my friends. Of course not. Many of the people I knew long ago are still friends. But you can bet they, too, are moving upward. They are progressing just like I am. Everything on this earth is either contracting or expanding. I want to expand! Don’t you?

By the way, I do try very hard to bring friends with me where I’m heading. But many refuse. And I find no need to drag myself down with them while trying to save them. I hope you feel the same way, too.

My advice to you is to never let friends drag you down and depreciate your value. Lovingly zap them out of your life. Simply put, love them, be there if they need you, but guard your mind diligently so that they don’t depreciate your value.

Finally, if the quality of your life is not appreciating, it’s depreciating. Maybe your neighborhood is going down. I am talking about your friends and environment. Then you need to move! Find yourself a better and more valuable neighborhood.

To your success,


  1. Diego

    You are right from the beginning to the end. The bible says bad company can corrupt your good habit.

    God Bless

    • Emeka Nkem Otti

      Dear Rene,

      You are indeed an inspiration, not only to me but to this generation.

      People are not just an end picture of who they hang with, but a product of
      success or failure.

      God bless your thinking.

      Pastor Emeka

      • Rene Godefroy

        Thank you very Pastor Emeka! I appreciate your comment.

      • Vaughn

        Dear Rene

        I have never failed to read your letters since my subscription and every one of your writings has an impacted on my life for the better. Friends can make you and break you in a split of time, but I am thankful for your encouragement.

        Continue to do good.

        God Bless.


  2. Eric

    Hi Rene,

    How did you get ride of your accent as it is very faint-almost gone.

    I am from French-speaking Africa and people always complain about my accent and it seems to be a liability.

    Thanks for giving me some ideas.

    • Rene Godefroy

      Hi Eric,

      I still have my accent. I don’t think I want to lose it. However, I want people to hear an accent yet understand me.

      1- Your best bet is to buy a tongue twister book. I don’t have a title in mind. But if you do a search on for tongue twisters, several will pop up. In fact, go to Google and do a search. You’ll find lots of tongue twisters without having to buy a book.

      2- Read aloud so that you can hear yourself. You’ll know when you are not pronouncing the word right. It’s like learning how to dance. You know when you have the step right. But it requires practice.

      3- When you are reading, read in slow motion. It may sound ridiculous. But it works. Depending on where you are from, your language probably requires that your tongue moves fast. And so, when your tongue is speaking English, it assumes you are speaking your language.

      4- Practice, practice, practice. Yes, follow the instructions above. That’s exactly what I had to do to improve my thick accent.

  3. Lylia Stevenson

    Dear Rene,

    You’re are right; absolutely right.Just a few minutes before I read your e-mail I removed myself from a website where I realized that my values were not appreciated by the owner of the site. I meant to help but their values are corrupt and I could not stay there.

    He twice removed some of the good advises that I was giving to the young people who are from my country and he really disrespected me a third time. I should have read the writing on the wall the first time but I gave him a chance twice.

    I am older and knows all these things about negative people and how they can try to put one down if they perceive that you are going upwards. I have encountered a few of them in my life but through it all I managed to escape them.My latest experience at that Haitian website was an eye opener.

    One can be hurt while trying to help too. Often people bite the hand that feeds them.From such people one has to learn to move on unscathed by hurt and disappointment

    As I said before, its a little bit late in my life to let people extinguish my zest for a better life in every aspect of my life.

    You were so right to write this great advise because I remember one guy who was very successful but he stayed in his old neighborhood to hang out with his old friends; they murdered him last year. He was a fine young man; I knew him too.

    Thank you a lot for your good advise; one more time I salute you.

    • Rene Godefroy

      Thank you Lydia!

      Of course there are always going to be some people who are unappreciative. They really close the doors for others. They bite the hands that feed them.

      But don’t let that discourage you from reaching out and make a difference. You are too upbeat and fired up to let anyone deter you.

      Keep making a difference! That’s who you are!

      • Lylia Stevenson

        Dearest Rene
        Thank you for all the great and good things that you are doing.My associates are in awe ;they all marvel about your wisdom and great courage.
        Best regards




    • Rene Godefroy

      I just love it when my readers write in French. Twenty years ago, je parlais beaucoup the Francais.

      I kind of lost of my French. Just like anything else, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

      Anyway, great to hear from you Myrka.

  5. Ivey Pritchett


    You are on point!!!

    There comes a time when some people need to be in the front row of your life and others need to be some where up in the balcony just looking on and others should change their membership all together.

    I have been following you for a while and have notice the elevation in your life. I may not be in your inner circle but I am following closely and taking action.

    I will never forget the first time I spoke with you and you asked me
    ” Ivey what is your story”, with out going into details things have not been the same since. From all that is within me I thank you.

    Ivey Pritchett

    • Rene Godefroy

      Wow! You remember that?

      Yes, we all have a story. And that story needs to be told. Whether you have a business or work for someone, the story is very important.

      If you think about it, everyone is selling the same things. It’s the story behind it that makes one product more appealing than the other.

      Take a good look at the multilevel marketing industry. It’s basically a few manufactures creating the same products for different companies claiming they have the best thing on the market.

      Usually, you’ll find the packaging and story are the only true differentiation. Everything else is the same. Trust me on this. I know.

      Anyway, great to hear from you.

  6. Sherry

    So very true. Thank you for your encouraging words. I had friends that brought me down and until recently I thought I had to be there for them. Then I woke up and realized, they have to be there for themselves before I can be there for them. They would keep me so busy with their problems that I couldn’t even focus on my dreams. I am learning to give them an encouraging word, lift them up in pray for their higher good and move forward with my life.

    • Rene Godefroy

      You are absolutely right!

      Friends will dump their problems on you as if you are responsible for their choices.

      There’s a big difference between being there for a true friend and allowing everyone to bring their baggage to you in addition to your own.

      You have to know how to draw the line in the sand.

  7. Pat

    Thanks for the reminder. It came at a very appropriate time in my life.

  8. Isperkens Mesidor

    Dear Rene,

    I want to think you for those wonderful advises. You are so wise and right from the beginning to the end. This is the first thing I read so far for the and I feel that my journey will be different. Please, allow me to share this to all my family and friends, cause I like to share good stuff to people in need. May the almighty God bless you!

    My greetings,

  9. Lorna Holmes-Jacobson


    As always, your words are an inspiration. I have had to change my “neighborhoods” several times in life. Although I have not reached the top of my mountain, it is a steady and hard-working journey up, and just like heavy backpacks, the wrong people can weigh you down from achieving your goals.

    This is a great message, and lesson to those who are not aware of it. To me, it serves as a reminder and validation that I am on the right track to achieving my dreams.

    Thank you.

    Lorna Holmes-Jacobson

  10. Jean Altenor

    Dear Rene,

    You are right from the top to the bottom! I’m a witness of it all and I like the real estate term that you use about finding the home value.

    This is my story: a few years ago, I was lost and confused, I found myself surrounded in a neighborhood of friends that are depreciated in value. I’ve always had this dream to open my own business one day, but anytime I’ve tried to make a few steps forward, I let myself get influenced by some negative ideas they were trying to insert into my mind.

    Then I read your book, it motivated me into finding my net worth. I entered into the real estate business and a couple years later I opened my own real estate company. I thought I couldn’t do it but I realized that I was surrounded by some bad friends, bad advisers and surely some of the people who were my friends slowly began to evaporate from my life.

    Your words of inspiration came to me as a savior and rescued me from them. By the way, like you said, I do try very hard to bring some of them with me where I’m heading, but many refuse.

    Now, I form a new circle of friendship and my old ones we simply don’t have too much in common anymore. You are so right about every words you speak, you are a true motivational speaker, you were born to do this, to change lives, to help people move forward.

    May God continue pouring his blessings onto you!

    Jean Altenor

    • Rene Godefroy

      Hi Jean,

      I am soooooo proud of you! You are a winner! I can tell that your future is unlimited. And I know you will not let others rain on your parade.

      Way to go my friend!

  11. Nezianya-daniels

    After reading this one, i decided to write a feedback. You are so great, with words and you have a way of empathizing with your audience.
    I have made up my mind not to let friends pull me back. You have just refreshed that strong will. Thank you,This came in so handy.

    A toast to your dreams come true.

    • Rene Godefroy

      You are so welcome!

      Great to hear from you.

  12. Brad Szollose


    Your insight is right on track. I grew up in a small town where no one believed they could escape. I refused to believe this and started hanging out with people who supported my dream, (those people are still my friends after 35 years).

    To some, this ability to gravitate towards those who think differently is intuitive. To some, this is not and they continue in the same cycles. Fear is more of what motivates them than change.

    This natural intuition brought me to New York City, helped me start a business, (which I took public) and allowed me, through the grace of God, to find a wonderful woman to share my life.

    It is powerful, yet simple and I thank you for sharing it.

  13. Therese Letang

    Hi Rene,

    How are you? Thank you very much for your beautiful article. What you wrote is very true and we always need somebody to keep us on the right track.

    May the good Lord bless you and give you strength to continue this wonderful job.



  14. Olawale Jiboku

    Dear Rene,

    You are doing a wonderful job, I quite appreciate you.

    I have read your book “kick your excuses good bye”, and I am on your mailing list. In fact, I just finished reading your article “Friends can drag you down”. Every time I draw a lot of inspirations from your writings.

    It is the motivation from you and a number of other frontline speakers like you, that have motivated me into writing a book myself. However, I find it difficult to publish the book online because of where I am. I wouldn’t mind sending the manuscript to someone who can help with the online publishing for a deal.

    Please advise.


  15. Ephenia

    Because of your words each day I am getting to a better person.
    I believe that God uses many people to speak to us and you are also the tool.

    Thank u!

  16. John Christian

    Dear RENE,

    What you said is absolutely true, you know sometimes we compromise on our friendship and environment because of one reason or the other and that put us in a very difficult situation that we never expected. We never even pause to consider our friends and environment as the contributing factors. But after reading your article, it re-awakings my mind and mode of thinking. I thank God for giving us YOU.

    I am already feeling like a new president and I am going to eliminate those around me that have no value to add to my life.
    This is a good lesson for some of us who may have not been seriously thinking in that direction.

    God bless you abundantly.

    John Christian.

  17. Nerlie Alexandre

    Hey Rene,


    Martine m’a parle de ton site et axactement, tu es une source d’inspiration. Je te souhaite bonne continuite et que le tres haut t’accompagne toujours.


  18. Yves Regis

    Hi Rene,

    This is a wonderful article. I believe that this is generally true. But my comment to this article is that people need to differentiate between Friends and Colleagues. When you have someone in your life that you call a friend, you must expect and must be willing to deal with the positive and the negative behaviors exhibiting by this individual just because of the fact that this individual is your friend.

    You can not expect your friends to be good and supportive all the time. Because believe me you are running for big disappointments. A friend is someone that you attend a level of comfort with. From that comfort will breed some positive and some negative behaviors and one must be willing to deal with them all.

    On the other hand people need to surround themselves with good and positive colleagues and mentors. You see, your colleague will know and understand where you are at and where you want to be.

    And they will have no shame in supporting you. Anybody who is 25 years old or older needs to have good colleagues and mentors to support him/her to attend his/her goals. But friendship must be kept on a very basic an personal level. Otherwise one will run the risks of major disappointments.

    Yves Regis
    Hartford, CT

    • Rene Godefroy

      Hi Yves,

      Brilliant feedback! Thanks for participating.

      It’s good to remind us that we have to be aware that there are up and down moments in a relationship. That’s for any relationship. Fortunately some are more aware and tolerant and others are not. I certainly can do a better job at it.

      But we must be very careful not to let friends destroy or devalue us as they are doing it to themselves. For sure we need to do our best to bring them up.

      However, the good old advice is very simple. When you are trying to save a person who is drowning and the person is pulling you down to die with him or her, save your life!

      There are times when you can help and try every ounce of your energy to do so. But there are times when you must simply walk away and stop feeling guilty.

      Take care Yves.

  19. Kojo Bode-Williams


    I wish to tell everyone that you are ma inspiration. I speak about you and your Haiti background, journey to America, etc when I get booked to speak. I know you are great. Ever thought about coming to Africa? Think Ghana or Nigeria, I gat u covered!

  20. Herm Allen

    You are right on point. As a student affairs professional and academic coach, something I share with my students is the story “Chickens Can’t Fly.” In short it says, if you are an eagle don’t hang around chickens because chickens can’t fly.

    It is difficult to advance in life if more “friends” are pulling you down versus pushing you up.

    If this is the case then its time to take inventory of whom you associate.


    Herm Allen, The People’s Coach

    • Rene Godefroy

      Thanks for the feedback Herm

  21. oloruntola micheal

    Rene my mentor,
    I really appreciate your mentoring with an e hand.I am happy with your journey to your home-town and your contributions to your community.You are really great indeed,very few people do this kind of things.God bless you.
    I am really happy to see your letter today and i believe God is using this to change my mind-set and others.I know about friends and people who will not contribute positively to ones`future pursuits.Thanks.
    God bless.

Business Coaching