Who we are becoming is not completely determined yet. We never finish growing and changing for better or for worse, as long as we live. Whether we improve ourselves or regress and backslide, our spiritual, mental and physical levels are always in a state of flux.
Even if we don’t realize it, the people we are closest to and spend the most time with make a difference to our own mood and state of mind. It’s important to choose positive people in our lives who add, not detract, from our quality of life.
The friends you choose help influence who you are becoming every day.
Business Insider’s Aimee Groth says, “When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced — whether we like it or not — by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions. Of course, everyone is their own person, but research has shown that we’re more affected by our environment than we think.”
We BECOME the collective personality of those to whom we are closest. Their spiritual levels, mental levels, and interests become ours, and we in turn help shape who they become. We influence each other.
Surround yourself with people who embody the qualities you value. Choose friends whose thoughts and actions prove good character, social conscience, and integrity.
What kind of influence are we in others’ lives?
Our children, coworkers and friends are soaking up our positive or negative energy too, our cheerfulness or moroseness, kindness or disinterest. Are we helpful or hurtful to their development?
Don’t be the person bringing negative impact on someone else’s journey through life.
Surround yourself with kind, compassionate and honest people, and then be that person of good character to others around you.
Who do you find yourself spending the most time with?
Think carefully about the friends you are closest to and with whom you spend the most time in your social life, at work, and within your family. Identify them in your mind.
Do you respect and admire each of these people? Do you want to be more like them? If not, it’s time to stop giving up parts of yourself to their influence.
When we are surrounded by constant negativity, it will rub off on us, no matter how positive we try to be. Complainers and gossips insinuate their toxic thoughts into our consciousness and affect our thoughts and behavior.
It’s very hard to live in a constant barrage of negativity without it ever wearing you down and getting to you.
Of course you have a mind of your own. But unfortunately, negative emotions are contagious.
It’s like this: You might be physically healthy, but if the people you spend the most time with all have terrible colds, sneeze on you and hand you their used tissues, well, sooner or later you will catch the cold too. Bad attitudes are just as contagious as colds.
Spend less time with those who do not influence you to become a better person.
Obviously you can’t cut some people out of your life entirely, especially if they’re family members or coworkers. But you can try to cut down on your exposure to them and increase exposure to people who lift you up instead.
(Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about your friend who needs to vent because he lost his job or your sister who needs to sob on your shoulder because her spouse cheated. Being there for them is good and necessary. I am only referring to people whose personalities are habitually negative.)
Surround yourself with friends who will motivate you to keep growing and improving and succeeding.
What kind of person do you want to be? Who do you know who possesses the qualities you want to nurture? Those are the people to whom you should give your time and energy.
For example, if you want to lose weight, don’t go out to eat with the friend who doesn’t get it or doesn’t care about her own weight. Choose to go out with a friend who supports your goal and motivates you to do better!
If you want a better job, decrease the time you spend with your friend who calls in sick for any reason, complains, and works as little as possible. Increase your friendship and exposure with the ambitious coworker who is taking online classes to better herself and improve her situation in life. If you hang out with driven, successful people, their energy will affect you to feel more ambitious. Make sense?
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Think about the five people closest to you. Think about their strengths and weaknesses, their positive and negative points, good and bad personality traits.
Are they five people you would be happy to be the average of?
You are creating a piece of your future self every time you choose to spend time with an uplifting person or a slacker, a friend with integrity or a dishonest person.
We are in control over who we are, who we want to be, and who we may become. We choose whether to keep good company or bad. What does the company we keep say about us?