It’s contagious Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 July 2021 07:04
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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So says entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn.

Because we’re social beings, we take many of our cues for what is possible and what is unachievable by the company we keep. And by ‘company’ I don’t only mean living, breathing humans.

Actually, I mostly surround myself with dead people. Books, girlfriend. “Writers put their heart and their soul and their best ideas into their books. Why not meet them there, between the pages,” asks Brady Murray.

You can also find inspirational people where we find almost anything during these times of isolation – online. Even if you just have a cell phone, you have access to a virtual library of YouTube talks, webinars and live Zoom sessions that might – or might not – rock your world.

However, warns clinical social worker, psychotherapist and author, Amy Morin, when it comes to social media, “the more the merrier” may not be the best approach. A report from the University of Edinburgh Business School found that more Facebook friends mean more stress.

Amy says that researchers have linked an abundance of social media connections to increased anxiety. This effect stemmed from people’s desire to present a version of themselves that would be acceptable to all their contacts.

And that, girlfriend, is mission impossible. Just think, a certain kind of comment might be hilarious to some of your friends, while co-workers might be less than impressed and your parents could be horrified.

So, why does it matter who you surround yourself with – in person, in print or online? It’s because attitudes are contagious, says Brady. If you’re constantly bombarded with certain ideas, you’re likely to end up agreeing with them. That’s human nature. Even other people’s emotions are infectious. The big question is whether the people around you have attitudes you want to catch.

Brady says that habits are also contagious. If everyone around you thinks it is okay to always be late, guess what? It is soon going to seem normal to you too. Look at the lives of your closest friends – that’s probably going to be your life, too, in a couple of years. Is that what you want?

Tony Robbins says that identifying the people who are bringing you down is the first step in making shifts to your peer group. The best way to determine who they are is to think about how you feel after spending time with them.

“Do you feel good about yourself and ready to take on new challenges? Or do you feel upset, unsure of yourself and not in control of your emotions? Our emotions exist to tell us things – they’re a gift that lets us know what we need to change in order to feel more fulfilled. If you feel drained, fearful or agitated after spending time with someone, it’s a sign they aren’t good for you,” Tony says.

“In no way am I saying to ditch the people you love. You can love these people all you want. But, selecting them to be in your immediate peer group is another story,” says Amy Chan, relationship and lifestyle columnist for Huffpost.

Brianna Wiest, best known for her work on emotional intelligence, says that you should stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence. “I know your instinct is to do everything to earn the appreciation of those around you, but it’s a boost that steals your time, energy, mental and physical health.”

“If you are excluded, insulted, forgotten or ignored by the people you give your time to, you don’t do yourself a favour by continuing to offer your energy and your life. The truth is that you are not for everyone and not everyone is for you,” Brianna says.

Yes, sure, everyone in your life is meant to be on your journey, but not all of them are supposed to stay until the end. I once read an anonymous quote that says: “If you’re not losing friends, then you’re not growing up.”

It’s as someone only known as Emily SP says: “When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t.” Just walk away, girlfriend. Unsubscribe, delete, unfriend, sign out. “We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.”

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