Circle of Friends
They say you are the combination of the 5 people you hang out with the most. So think about those people right now. Who are they? Is it your spouse? Your kids? Co-workers? Which friends do you spend the most time with? Maybe it's a sibling?
Think about the personality traits and qualities each of these people have. Which ones do you admire and want to be more like? Which ones do you not like and wish you weren't exposed to so often? Part of human nature is mirroring. We start doing it as a child and it continues into adulthood whether we realize it or not. It's why statements like 'misery loves company' are oftentimes true. Because when you are around someone who is down all the time they tend to bring you down too. When you are with someone who complains about everything in life it will lead you to looking at what is wrong with your own life. On the flip side though is mirroring goes both ways. If you hang out with people who are happy, optimistic and grateful you will likely feel those things too as you hang out with them.
As I think about the people I spend the most time with I realize I have a pretty good crew right now. It wasn't always that way but mostly I'm surrounded by kind, generous, happy people. My husband is sweet and thoughtful and he makes me more of those things. I have a life long friend that I don't see often but text with several times a week. She's one of those super loving people who will always go out of her way to point out why you are so great. Everyone needs one of these friends in their life! I have another friend from high school who I spent time with who is just fun. We get together and talk about life and have some food and drinks and laugh. We have a long history which is always nice to think back to old times. I have another friend who one of those people who goes out of her way for everyone. She tries to make everyone happy and make them feel special so I make sure to try to do the same for her and it reminds me to do it for others as well. And I have a neighbor who I love dearly. We spend a lot of time together. Our spouses get along and obviously we see each other all the time. We look out for each other and help each other out when it's needed.
What I seem to be missing right now is the older, wiser friend who has the good advice and the point of view that rarely occurs to you. I've had these several times throughout my life and they are the best. These are the people that make you think. These are the people who help you grow into a better version of you. So I'm taking applications now. Who wants to be my older, wiser friend???
It's important to have someone in your life that is not really like you as well. It gives you more of an open mind and can help you understand people who aren't really like you. I worked for a cleaning company one summer that employed a lot of workers from overseas. We had people from Russia, Turkey and the Dominican Republic. It was so cool to get to know these people and how different their lives in these other countries were. Although the real takeaway was that we are much more similar than we are different. We all want the same things. We all want to be happy and healthy. And we all want those we love to be happy and healthy. It's always good to be around people who can open up your world a bit.
So have you done an inventory of the type of friends you have and what they bring into your life? It's worth mentioning that there will always be people that try to bring drama into your world. There are those that thrive on gossip and tearing others down so they can feel superior. Stay away from these people. Because the one thing I've learned is if they are talking about others with you they are also talking about you when with others. And as much as I hate to admit it I still see clicks and drama from people even at my age. I have people who I know talk trash about me. That's fine. They can do them and I will do me. But I will try to avoid spending time with them. If they want to talk about me it's only conjecture because I don't let them get close enough to really know anything about my life. You know those people. I always thought as we got older things like this would stop happening but it doesn't seem to be. I still sometimes feel like I am in high school with some of the drama I see in certain groups of friends and that makes me sad. But limit or eliminate your time with them. There's really nothing else you can do.
I've always said that we women get together we can life each other up, empower and encourage each other to do anything we set our minds to. But we are equally as good at tearing other women down, judging them and talking about them in unkind ways. Which one do you want to be? The one who empowers others or the one who tears them down? You can only be one. So think about your behavior when around different groups of women. Process the thoughts you have about them and why. There could be jealousy. There could be a lack of empathy. Or just an understanding of all someone has been through. Let's be kind and lift each other up. That is my hope for the future.
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Now go on out there and be badass this week! I'm still here cheering you on.