The other day I was talking with my co-worker when I had one of those “Holy sh*t” moments. If I were a cartoon character, a big ole lightbulb would have gone off over my head. My co-worker was telling me about his friend’s girlfriend. Girlfriend hates all of her man’s friends and doesn’t want him to spend time with them. I said I couldn’t imagine dating someone if I hated their friends. It would make the relationship uncomfortable and it would make it hard for my significant other. Also, what does it say about your guy if you truly believe that he hangs out with terrible people?
My co-worker agreed. He then told me that he had once heard the idea that everyone is a combination of the five people they spend the most time with. This is where I had my lightbulb moment. At the heart of it, I probably always knew this concept. Why else would your parents be so concerned with who you hung out with in high school? But actually thinking about this concept is fascinating.
Take your three best friends, your boyfriend, and your roommate. You’re a combination of their personalities. How do you feel about that? If you mashed the five of them into one person, what would that person be like? Because that type of person is slowly shaping you, even if it’s in a subtle way. If we truly are a reflection of the five people we hang out with the most, it’s important to consider who we are allowing into our lives. Are you being influenced by a Debbie Downer? Are you influenced by a drama queen? Hopefully you’re being influenced by someone who is driven and compassionate.
This concept is also really interesting when it comes to relationships. As individuals, we are a product of our relationship as much as our relationship is a product of our own personality. If your partner is always working towards big goals then that will rub off on you. He will push you to be better whether you realize it or not. It’s hard to come home and sit on the couch for five hours when the person you’d be sitting on the couch with is talking about big ideas, accomplishments, and dreams. That attitude is contagious. On the other hand, if your partner gets mad over small issues and has a fiery temper, this will find its way into the relationship and your own reactions too. This is also probably not the best choice in a partner. As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” The same goes for negative traits. They quickly become habits. You can make an effort to avoid behaving the way the people around you do, but when you are repeatedly exposed to something it becomes easy to act that way too. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people whose behavior you admire.
Do you believe that you are a reflection of the people you hang out with the most? Tweet me @lifewithlauren1 or find me at Life with Lauren.