You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
If you were trying to become a better basketball player and wanted to learn everything about the game you could, wouldn’t you want to hang around people that could help you get better? If you’re trying to improve at basketball, wouldn’t it make more sense to hang around Magic Johnson or Larry Bird than to spend time with Kelly Clarkson and Oprah Winfrey? I know it sounds completely obvious but that is what most of us do on a daily basis. We hang around people assuming we are different than them when all along we are becoming the average of the people we spend the most time with.
Several years ago I read The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and he gives a whole topic to this subject. It is a known fact: YOU BECOME LIKE THE PEOPLE YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME WITH!
If you become like the people you spend the most time with, it seems rather important, then, to surround yourself with the kind of people you are trying to become. Canfield has a great suggestion that might give you a hand, “Make a list of everyone you spend time with on a regular basis–your family members, coworkers, neighbors, friends, people in your civic organization, fellow members of your religious group, and so on.
When you’ve completed your list, go back and put a minus sign (-) next to those people who are negative and toxic, and a plus sign (+) next to those who are positive and nurturing. As you make a decision about each person, you might find that a pattern will begin to form. Perhaps your entire workplace is filled with toxic personalities. Or perhaps it’s your friends who naysay everything you do. Or maybe it’s your family members who constantly put you down and undermine your self-esteem and self-confidence. You have to free yourself from the negative influence of others.
Think about it. I’m sure you know people who only have to walk into the room to totally drain you of energy. I refer to these people as psychic vampires. They literally suck the life energy right out of you. Stop spending time with them.
Are there people in your life who are always complaining and blaming others for their circumstances? Are there people who are always judging others, spreading negative gossip, and talking about how bad it is? Stop spending time with them as well.
Until you reach the point in your self-development where you no longer allow people to affect you with their negativity, you need to avoid toxic people at all costs. Your better off spending time alone than spending time with people who will hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre standards.
Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people–people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealists, and visionaries.”
Sorry about the long quote but I felt like it was all so necessary. We really have to surround ourselves with people who want what’s best for us. Even if its family, try and distance yourself from the psychic vampires in your life. There is no reason to let someone completely suck the energy right out of you. I especially think of us parents; we don’t want our kids to hang out with the kids we know are bad news. Why do we think those kids are bad news?? Chances are its because we can sense they are not a positive influence on our children. If we strongly encourage our children to surround themselves with great friends and uplifting people, then why don’t we take our own advice?????
If you’re getting emotionally beat up by the same person over and over, put an end to it. If you’re getting talked down to by your family or disrespected by somebody at your work, put an end to it. I have a sticker in my office that says, “SPEAK YOUR MIND–EVEN IF YOUR VOICE SHAKES!”
Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself before the psychic and emotional vampires will put their fangs away. They need to know you’re serious about your own health, dreams, and success. Call them on their crap in front of others if their trying to bully you or make you feel less than. Better yet, maybe you should play the song, Mean, by Taylor Swift for them.
One of the best movies I saw last year, hands down, was The Help. The most touching scene in the whole movie was when the maid was leaving the house and took the little girl in her arms and repeated with her, “You is Kind! You is Smart! You is Important!” Tear jerker for sure!!
I believe you are kind, you are smart, and you are important. Kind, smart, and important enough to surround yourself with nothing but the best!
So, in conclusion, if you now know you are an average of the five people you spend the most time with, how does that impact how you move forward? What are your top five people like? Self-centered, unkind, egotistical, lazy, judgmental, or just plain mean? Or are your top five people kind, smart, important, inspiring, passionate, and uplifting?
You are the one who chooses to spend most of your time with these people, nobody else. So, if you find your energy shifted by the people you’re spending time with, change it! I had a person who every time I was around them I would get sleepy and yawn almost every minute or two. I never realized until I read this book that they were an energy zapper for me. I mean a
Finally, I realized I needed to avoid them. Nothing personal, just needed to spend more quality time with someone who would give me energy, not take it away.
Spend some time doing the exercise in the quote above. You might be surprised by what you find.
Until next time. . .
PS. I love this quote below and found it fitting for some of the vampires I’m referring to. 😉