Why you need to choose your friends wiselyDave Smith
Our interactions with other people can have a strong influence on us, even interactions that seem insignificant at this time. Something as simple as a kind word from a stranger can make you smile and feel a warm feeling; It can even cause a change in your attitude, changing the way you do the rest of your day.
Of course, the people closest to your heart influence you in a profound and powerful way. The four ways in which family and friends commonly affect your life are:
The presence of loved ones affects your mood. Emotions are often contagious, in part, because people have “mirror” neurons in their brains that “reflect” what those around you are experiencing, allowing you to empathize with them. So when someone is generally optimistic, they are more likely to feel more positive in their presence. Similarly, people who seem to travel with a rain cloud over their head can leave it in a dark and premonitory mood.
This does not mean that you should get away from someone just because he is unhappy. You can choose to support a friend who is struggling emotionally, just as you would like him to support you in difficult times. However, there is a problem when another person’s anguish becomes their predominant way of feeling.
The way loved ones see you affects how you see yourself. When people see you positively or negatively, they treat you accordingly, and this influences your self-perceptions. In 1999, a group of researchers discovered that people are more like their ideal beings when they have a partner who sees them as they would like to be. This “Michelangelo effect” is named after the legendary artist who created stone sculptures based on the images he saw in the raw material, just as the partners help shape their partner in the ideal self they carry inside. Of course, when the partners or close friends see it in a less favorable light, that perception will affect it negatively. Therefore, keep this in mind when choosing your partner and friends.
Loved ones influence your personal preferences and your lifestyle. This can be as simple as a friend who encourages you to listen to a new type of music or wear a particular brand of shoes. But it can also significantly affect his lifestyle, such as when the character of Samuel L. Jackson in the movie Pulp Fiction notes: “My girlfriend is a vegetarian, which makes me a vegetarian.”
Having a strong social network is associated with having a healthier, happier and longer life. People who have close friends and social support to turn to during difficult times tend to feel less stressed. Research has even shown that people with such social networks are often healthier physically and emotionally.
Since your relationships shape the person you are and the person you are becoming, it is important to choose your friends and loved ones wisely. While you cannot choose the family, you can choose the ways in which, and how much, you interact with them.
Then, ask yourself what qualities you value in yourself. Also consider how a loved one could influence your life for the next one, five or even ten years. Then, when making plans to meet with other people or look for someone to connect with, choose those who will support you and encourage you to have the future you want.
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