Venerable Thubten Chodron teaches Verse 5 of “The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas,” which covers “bad friends.” People are not viewed as bad from their own side, but are viewed as bad in that when someone is around them, one’s confusion (ignoranace), anger, and attachment increases. Essentially, when we’re around them, they don’t increase the virtuous sides of ourselves.
The talk goes over the qualities of people we should try to be around, and the disadvantages of not being aware of which conditions can hinder spiritual practice.
Advice from Dilgo Kheyntse Rinpoche
One quote of interest that relates to this topic is one provided by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He states:
Mind, like a crystal, is colored by its surroundings. You are bound to reflect the qualities and shortcomings of the good or bad friends whose company you keep. If you associate with the malevolent, the selfish, the rancorous, the intolerant, and the arrogant, their faults will affect you. You would do better to keep your distance