Leadership

Psychologist says to cut these friends from your 'inner circle' if you want to be successful

Beloved boss Leslie Knope, character on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" played by Amy Poehler, high-fives employee Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari.
NBC | Getty Images
Beloved boss Leslie Knope, character on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" played by Amy Poehler, high-fives employee Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari.

Friends can either boost or hinder success. That's why it's so important to review and refine your group of friends as you move up in our career, says psychologist Cicely Horsham-Brathwaite.

"If a relationship is requiring more energy than it provides you back, cut them off," Horsham-Brathwaite tells CNBC Make It.

However, the psychologist says friends are necessary for emotional well-being, which leads to increased productivity and "betters your work."

Horsham-Brathwaite says that you can spot a relationship that's draining you by looking out for key features. For example, people who "clearly are not supportive of you" create these draining relationships, she says.

The psychologist notes, however, that in life and in work you need people to tell you the truth and challenge you. But they must do so "with an intention behind it of caring and love for your greater good."

Horsham-Brathwaite advises you to also remove friends from your inner circle who are "overly reliant on your for emotional, financial and intellectual resources."

On the flip side, the psychologist says that making time for supportive and solid relationships is crucial. These types of friendships help you grow both in and out of the workplace, she says.

Yet as we grow older and move higher up the career ladder, our relationships begin to fall apart due to "benign neglect," according to the psychologist.

"It's not intentional," she says, "but it happens, especially with friends."

The psychologist says that the biggest reason for relationship neglect is lack of time. But she argues that it's important to find the time to "nurture and cultivate" close friendships.

"It may seem like you can't expend the energy to do that but you should because the payoff, in the end, is far worth it," says Horsham-Brathwaite.

But that doesn't mean holding on to every friend you have. Horsham-Brathwaite says that if you have friends who possess any of the aforementioned traits, they are not meant to be in your inner circle. "Maybe the outer circle or even no circle," she says.

The psychologist adds that cutting out friends who aren't supportive of your success is a normal part of the professional cycle.

"We need to normalize that as you become more successful, you change who you have in your life and what they bring to it," she says.

"As you advance, your circle becomes smaller and smaller," says Horsham-Brathwaite. "So refine what your circle looks like and look for people who will bring you nurturance."

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook

See also:

3 ways success can drive you apart from your friends

The crucial business lesson Mark Cuban taught this CEO about success

Richard Branson took his kids to Las Vegas to teach this crucial money lesson