The company you keep will influence you greatly in life. Everything from careers to relationships to wealth. Which is why we try to get the best group of people around us.
Having a good tribe around you means being around like-minded people that support you and push you when you need it.
Which is great in theory, but how does it work? And more importantly, how do you find these people and attract them into your life?
Well, that’s what we are going to get to the bottom of today.
Why the company you keep matters
There is a famous saying around this theory:
“You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
And in a way, it’s true. As humans, we are constantly influencing each other by the way we act. So it makes sense that the people we spend the most time around influence our behaviour and beliefs.
For example, let’s look at the topic of careers.
Group A of friends believe that the employment system is corrupt and the only way you can get a new job is if you were born into wealth and have good connections. So it’s better not to try. This then becomes the new group consensus.
Group B of friends believe that while there are certain barriers to access to some jobs, the best chance you can give yourself is to work towards getting the job you want anyway so that you are ready should the opportunity present itself. Therefore, this group’s mentality becomes let’s try hard anyway because you never know what possibilities lie ahead.
Which of these groups do you think is more likely to push your career goals ahead? A or B?
That is why it’s essential to surround yourself with people that encourage you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
So, how do you find those people?
Five ways to surround yourself with good people
Choose to surround yourself with only those who will support and uplift you
The first step to making a big life change is to choose so. You have to be willing to make potentially uncomfortable adjustments in order to realign yourself with your goals – in this case, creating a friendship group around yourself that benefits your personal growth and that you can equally contribute to.
Sometimes it can help to spend a bit of time considering what you want in a friend? What is important to you? Is it someone that will support you? Someone that is more honest with you when you’re doing something wrong? Maybe you want friends that will encourage you to become more active or get more involved in life.
Whatever the case may be, choosing to curate your friend group and then getting specific on what that means will help you later in the process.
Re-evaluate your current friendships
Think about the friends you have right now. What do they bring to the table? Do they inspire you? Are they emotionally supportive? Can you rely on them in hard times?
Your friends don’t have to be perfect; in fact far from it. Just as you are not perfect, you cannot expect your friends to live up to unrealistic standards of what people should be.
But if your friends bring nothing to your life – happiness, support, understanding, inspiration – then it might be time to rethink whether you want to continue spending as much time with them.
It seems almost cruel to suggest cutting people out of your life, but the truth is, we all have those friends that we simply outgrow. And it doesn’t mean that the time you shared together wasn’t great or that you didn’t love and honour their friendship at the time. But if someone is keeping you down and not allowing you space to grow as a person, it’s time to say goodbye.
You’ll always be glad to get rid of a toxic friendship once you see the light and realise how much better life can be.
Be open to meeting new people
You may have an idea of what you want your new friends to be like. But you would be doing both yourself and the people you meet a disservice if you choose to enter new situations with a very narrow mindset.
There is a reason we throw the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” around so much. It’s because it is sage advice that is still just as relevant as the day it was created. And if you don’t give someone a chance, you’ll never know what they are really like.
Instead, treat everyone you meet with the same level of respect and give them the opportunity to tell you their story. Get to know them first before you evaluate whether or not you want them in your life.
Not only this but make sure you approach situations in a way that shows those around you that you are open to conversations.
After all, there’s no point going out to a lecture to talk to like-minded people only to sit in the darkest corner with your arms crossed and refuse to make eye contact with anyone.
If you want to meet like-minded people, you need to seek them out. And what better way than joining classes and workshops based on your interests where these people may convene!
We know that it’s hard to make new friends as an adult. Either we can’t find the time to go out, or we find a lot of people that are closed off to making new friends as they already have a solid group that they are fiercely protective of. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make friends. And joining new classes is undoubtedly an excellent step to take.
It doesn’t just have to be based on hobbies, either. You can find classes and workshops on finance, careers, relationships etc. In going to these, you’ll meet people working towards the same goals as you, who may prove to be a great support system.
Learn to identify positive influences
When you’ve been burned enough times, you learn to stop sticking your hand into the fire. The same goes for people.
Everyone has personality traits that directly conflict with their own, creating a toxic atmosphere or relationships. So learning to identify those traits in other people is vital to focus on whether to pursue a friendship or not.
So, if you struggle with laziness and want to become more active, recognising lazy traits in others is a good sign that perhaps this isn’t the friend for you. Likewise, if someone is highly successful but brags all the time and puts other people down, you may not want to engage.
Remember, not all personality traits are toxic to everyone. It all depends on who you are as a person and how that interacts with other personalities.
Your time is incredibly precious, so you want to spend it with the people who matter most and will encourage you to be better.
And that means being picky about who you surround yourself with. Let go of the people holding you back and embrace the people who will nurture and support you.
And remember, just because someone isn’t a good friend fit for you, it doesn’t make them a bad person!
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