It matters more than you might think, because so much of how we look at life is influenced by the people around us. We’ve all known people who feed off the negative energy of other people’s pain. Those are the friends who encourage you to bad-mouth your husband or your job; they complain to you, you complain to them, and it’s like eating a big, greasy meal that’s no good for either of you. Surrounding yourself with people that help you reframe negative things quickly, rather than letting you wallow in them, will help you get out of that unhappy space faster. It is time to ask yourself, “who do you spend time with”?
Too often we bond over gossip – but honestly, if you are a sophisticated, uplifted, positive mind, you’re not going to badmouth other people, because you’ve got better things to talk about. You have philosophy to talk about. You have books to talk about. You have ideas that you’re working on, and good things that you’re brewing up in your life. Do the people you spend time with have those kinds of things to talk about too, or is it all just dishing the dirt on whoever’s not at the table?
If you have friends that you’re in a rut with, change up your habits. Get together and try something new. Instead of having them over to watch Real Housewives and eat Oreos, go on a hike. Take a salsa dancing class together, or start your own book group. Whatever it is, change the circumstances under which you typically engage with them, and that will automatically changeup the patterns that you’ve gotten into. I’ve got a friend I’ve known for decades, and the only thing we really did together was to go out and eat yummy food. That all changed last year when we both decided to quit drinking wine for 30 days; suddenly the question was, what would we do instead? She came up with a great idea; “Let’s train for a half marathon.” So we started training together instead of drinking and eating, and now she’s my hiking and running buddy.
There are people that aren’t ever going to want to make those kinds of paradigm shifts, and sometimes you just have to lovingly release them and realize that your energy is spinning so far and so fast that they are either unable to keep up, or they don’t want to keep up because they’re happy where they’re at. That’s great for them, but you’re trying to build a life of health; a life where luck is something that you create, where you are happy today and every day, and where you believe something good is going to happen every day. Not everybody wants to be there, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t mean you need to pull them along on your journey, because the reality is it’s much easier to pull someone down that it is to pull somebody up.
Real friends are the people you can grow with. Hold those people close, and explore life together. Your relationships will be richer and more meaningful – and you might get really, really good at salsa dancing.
Take the Best Day Ever quiz to find out if your making the right choices towards living your best life, every day.