Controlling the People You Surround Yourself With – Funmi Adebanjo (3/11/2015)


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By now, you must have heard the saying ‘you are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with’. Basically, if you hang with losers and troublemakers, you’ll be up no good, but if you spend time with high achievers and big dreamers, you’re more likely to go further in life. You don’t need to be a social scientist to see this happening, everyone knows of – or has been – that person who got mixed in with the ‘cool crowd’, and quickly found themselves doing things they wouldn’t usually do, getting into trouble more, and sneaking around all the time. In the best-case scenarios, this person soon realises the negative impact their new social group has had on their life, and quickly leaves this group, or attempts to steer the group in a more positive direction.

What many of us fail to acknowledge is just how much control we have over the people we have in our lives. If you feel someone in your life holds a predominantly negative impact, you should first assess whether this person is trying to be constructive and help you grow, or whether they are just purely toxic. You may be mistaking someone’s ‘tough love’ for negativity, when in actual fact they are just doing it with good intent. If this is the case, maybe it’s best to explain to them how you don’t appreciate the way in which they go about criticizing you, and they could still express the same constructive message in a nicer way. However, if it is evident that their presence in your life is purely toxic and is stunting your growth as a person, before seeking ways to cut them off, see if you can help them first, starting by understanding what has brought them to a place in their life that has resulted in them projecting so much negativity.

For all you know this person could be going through a troubling time at home and just needs someone to talk to, or even if this person just seems to have a bad attitude with no real root cause, you could attempt to spread your positivity into their life. If, after all this, this person doesn’t want to be helped, or is too much of a burden on your well-being, then cutting them off is not the only option. Some people in life are very hard to cut out, such as family, housemates, or colleagues, and with toxic people in these categories it may be best for you to just reduce your exposure to them and seek out more supportive peer groups. This could be done by as easily as volunteering or joining a local club.

What you should really attempt to do is have a healthy balance of these three different types of people in your life: people who you can learn from, people who you can relate to, and people who can learn from you. If everyone had this balanced network in their lives, there would be much more personal progress within the world. You would constantly be learning from those who are more competent and ‘further’ than you in life, you would be able to relate to and share with those who are on the same level as you in life, and you would be able to pass on your knowledge and wisdom to those who are ‘behind’ you in life. Not only this, but if you want to attract a positive community of people in your life then you must project this out into the world. By ensuring you keep radiating positivity and vibrating higher, you will notice that you’ll start to attract those with a vibrational match.

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