“Editing. Edit your friendships,” the 47-year-old actor and producer told NBC News at the annual INBOUND conference hosted by HubSpot in Boston.
“Everybody out there over 40 knows. If you aren’t adding to my life, get the heck outta my life. My grandma used to say people are radiators or drains. Stick with radiators,” the actor added.
Elsewhere in the interview, Witherspoon spoke about how she adapted to dealing with rejection early on in her career.
“Rejection was such an early piece of my life that I learned a long time ago that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business,” she explained.
“Other people’s opinions of you, and everyone’s gonna have an opinion, doesn’t matter.
“I really don’t care what anybody thinks. I’m gonna do my work anyway. I’m gonna date whoever I want, go hang out with a friend nobody likes. When you release that feeling of other people’s opinions crushing you or holding you down, you’re free. You’re totally free.”
Witherspoon recently split from her husband Jim Toth after 12 years of marriage.
The duo share a son, Tennessee, 10, while Witherspoon is also mother to Ava, 23, and Deacon, 19, whom she shares with her first husband, actor Ryan Phillippe.
Witherspoon went on to discuss how she founded her media and production company, Hello Sunshine, which was responsible for producing Daisy Jones & The Six in addition to The Morning Show, in which she stars.
“I was told not to put my own money in it several times by many, many advisors,” she recalled.
“I saw people who were taking money from studios, and I saw how watered down the product was. I saw that they were sitting on material that never got made.
“And I thought if you were to function and do something differently, you have to think about it differently. And you have to capitalize it differently. So probably about a year and we had two of these three Oscar nominations, we had a television show that got done. And I couldn’t keep the lights on.”
The interview comes after Witherspoon spoke out about her divorce for the first time in July.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, she explained that she is grateful she was able to share the news of the breakup herself because it felt more “authentic”.
“To be able to talk to people directly about what’s going on in my life and just share it in the way that I share great professional experiences or personal experiences, it feels much more authentic to be able to say things in my own voice and not let somebody else control what’s happening,” she said.
“Then, of course, there’s speculation, but I can’t control that. All I can do is be my most honest, forthright self and be vulnerable,” she explained, adding: “It’s a vulnerable time for me.”