You may be aware of this saying. In others words, choose your friends wisely. Choose who you work with wisely. Choose who you look up to wisely. Choose who you learn from wisely. Whoever you may be spending a good amount of your time with, choose wisely. Why? Because like the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Now, is it exactly five people? No. But it is in that ball park. How many people do we really spend a lot of time with? This number could be five, or it could be ten, or it could be three. What really matters is that those closest to you support your goals and make you a better person.
Choosing your friends wisely can be tough. Do we really have control over who is our friend and who isn’t? In some ways, it’s out of our control. Maybe you met someone in college and hit it off. Or maybe you were partnered up with someone from work and you had to spend a lot of time with each other. There’s a bunch of ways you can be forced into spending time with someone. So what do we do about that if we are spending a lot of time with that person? For a lot of us, there are some friends of ours that are only our friends because that’s the way things have always been. As tough as it may seem, a person like this is not a true friend and you should reconsider how much time you are spending with that person.
Some relationships like for work, the people we spend the most time with may be out of our hands. The only thing you can do is be a team player sometimes. If the situation is bad, then you may need to reconsider your employment with that company. Not getting along with coworkers is a totally valid reason to leave a company. Ideally you want to land at a company that shares your beliefs and characteristics. This is very similar to how we pick our friend groups. That’s why company culture is perhaps the most important aspect of a job. You can’t truly be happy with what you do if you don’t enjoy who you are around.
The next type of people you will spend a lot of time with is your friends. Choosing the right friends isn’t always in our control either. Sometimes we are given our friends by joining other friend groups and they’re all a package deal. Whether these friends of yours were by choice or not, it’s important not to affiliate with the people you don’t agree with. Maybe it’s time to get some new friends. There’s nothing wrong with that. It may be difficult or embarrassing to a degree, but if your friends are not supportive and similar minded to you, then you need some better friends. One of my biggest red flags when looking for friends is when others take your kindness for weakness. Here’s what I mean. When you do something nice to someone, do they see that as you backing down to them? Or do they see that gesture as you being nice out of the kindness of your heart? If it is the former, then stay away. Find those people who bring out the best in you and appreciate your kindness. Instead of using it to make you think or do certain things.
The typical last type of people you may spend a lot of time with is your family. Now, we can’t choose our family. But we can choose how much time and communication we have with our family. If you and your family get along then that’s great. Spend as much time with them as you can take. However, if you and your family do not see eye to eye, then you may want to limit how much time you spend with each other or how much communication you have with them. Doing this is tough with our friends, but it’s even tougher with our own family. If they are bringing you down, you need to let them go. They may resent you for it, but this is your life and you are allowed to be selfish in this area. Being honest is always helpful, but if they don’t get the point you are trying to make, then maybe it’s time to limit your interactions with them.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Give or take. But it’s important to see who is in your circle and how they are effecting your life. Do they bring positivity to your life or are they bringing you down and causing you stress? It’s also important to note that people change. Some people may be good for you in your teens but as you mature and choose the life path you want to be on, you may need to re-evaluate how you spend your time with certain people. Find people who build you up. Look for these types of people to spend most of your time around.