You Are Who You Surround Yourself With

by Anna Christopher

‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’” – Jim Rohn

As commonplace as it may seem, this phrase holds profound truisms that resonate deeply with our day-to-day experiences. It highlights how much our surroundings – particularly those we choose to let into our lives – sculpt our thoughts, bents, and attitudes in ways we might not immediately perceive.

We often underestimate the influence others have on us and shrug off the idea that they play a role in shaping who we are. But the more I think about it and evaluate the shifts in my life, the more I see the undeniable linkage. It’s like being part of a puzzle, where each piece dramatically affects the final picture.

The Power of Social Circles

If you’ve ever heard of the proverb, “Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are,” you’ll recognize the kernel of truth nestled within those words. I have not only deepened my understanding of the role of social circles in our lives but have personally witnessed its profound impact on my journey.

The Influence Factor

Our social circles – the common environments we indulge in and the natural habitats we adapt to wield power over our thoughts and actions. As social creatures, we are hardwired to absorb influences, consciously or unconsciously, from our immediate environment. It’s similar to my experience when I began working with a group of health enthusiasts – I started becoming aware of what I eat and how much I exercise. The influence was not direct, yet the changes started revealing themselves subtly and surely.

Bridging The Empathy Gap

Our friends and acquaintances often act as mirrors, reflecting back to us who we authentically are. It is through them we find an avenue for emotional and intellectual exchanges, which contributes to a form of emotional literacy. As I became friends with individuals from different walks of life, I found my empathy widening, understanding blossoming, and my connectivity deepening. It was surprising to see how new connections could drastically change my perspectives.

Aiding Personal Growth

Just as a gardener carefully prunes her plants to stimulate growth and productivity, we should also be ready to evaluate our social circles, making adjustments when necessary. When I moved to a new city, I naturally gravitated towards people aligned with my interests and values. I realized how crucial it was to align with individuals who were not just present for fun times but those who could challenge, inspire, and motivate me towards personal growth.

Enhancing Life Experience

Most importantly, our social spheres augment our quality of life. Be it a companion’s amusement, a mentor’s guidance, or a family’s support, people enrich us in ways unparalleled. My associates brought joy, laughter, a fresh perspective, guidance, and a wealth of wisdom that added multiple layers to my life’s experiences.

His seemingly simple advice packs a remarkable punch, and throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate to realize the profound impact it can have on my life.


Shaping your thought process

Firstly, being around good people profoundly impacts our thought processes. I’ve become more optimistic, open-minded, and positive simply by spending time with individuals who embody these traits. A good company often acts as a dash of sunlight during cloudy days, instilling hope and positivity when we feel lost or low.

Affecting your actions

The old saying imitates, “Monkey sees, monkey does,” holds true in our social interactions too. The actions of the people we spend the most time with invariably influence our behaviors. As I surrounded myself with proactive, authentic, and compassionate individuals, I subconsciously started imbibing these qualities, and this affected my actions, making me more mindful, kind, and considerate.

Emotional well-being

Good people contribute significantly to our emotional well-being. They provide a secure base where we feel heard, understood, and emotionally supported. The comfort and solace I found in the company of my good friends during my most challenging days were immense. It helped me navigate through obstacles and emerge stronger, fostering an emotional resilience that I still carry today.

Personal growth

Good people offer the most conducive environment for personal growth. They challenge you, motivate you, and hold you accountable. They are the mirrors reflecting your strengths and weaknesses, helping you understand yourself better. By associating with noble and ambitious companions, I gradually became a better, more accomplished version of myself.

Fulfillment and Satisfaction

Finally, good people bring joy, laughter, and an unmatchable vibrancy to our lives, enriching our experiences with depth and fulfilment. Sharing moments, be they successes or failures, with my dependable circle has been one of the most nourishing and satisfying aspects of my life.


For most of us, the individuals in our social circles come from all walks of life, each bearing a colourful array of experiences that somehow intersect with our journey. Reflecting on my experiences with friendships and connections, I can’t deny the influence these individuals have had on my evolution. But the key question is, how can we consciously cultivate our ideal social circle?

Identify The Values That Matter To You

It’s crucial to begin your endeavor by identifying your core values. As a young adult, I remember jotting down the attributes I wanted my friends to possess. Things like honesty, loyalty, empathy, and respect topped the list. This served as a compass, guiding me towards individuals who resonated with my cherished values.

Emotional Reciprocity

In my experience, one of the most fulfilling aspects of any relationship is emotional reciprocity – the exchange of support, understanding, and empathy. Seeking out friends who are willing to share and listen in both good and challenging times adds a beautiful depth to your social network.

Look for Growth Opportunities

Often, the best friendships aren’t just about having fun and spending time together but also about pushing each other towards growth. I’ve found some of my most rewarding friendships in the people who have challenged my ideas, inspired me to think differently, and encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone.

Surround Yourself with Diverse Minds

I have always believed that the strength of a social circle lies in its diversity. As I started connecting with people from varied backgrounds, interests, and cultures, my world began to expand in ways I never imagined. Surround yourself with various minds, and you’ll continually learn and evolve.

Frequent Adjustments and Evaluations

Lastly, building your ideal social circle is not a one-time effort. As you evolve, your social circle might need to develop too. Regular evaluations and adjustments have been integral in shaping my current social circle. It’s not about discarding old friends but about consciously making space for people who align with your journey and aspirations.

Quotes on you are who you surround yourself with

  1. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
  2. “Stay away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the great ones will make you feel that you too, can become great.” – Mark Twain.
  3. “Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people — people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories.” – Jack Canfield.
  4. “If you surround yourself with the good and righteous, they can only raise you up.” – Benjamin Bayani.
  5. “Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care.” – Karl Marx
  6. “You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.” – Unknown.
  7. “Always surround yourself with people who are better than you. If you’re hanging around bad people, they will start bringing you down. But if you surround yourself with good people, they’re going to be pulling you up.” – Donny Osmond.
  8. “You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to be around.” – Unknown.
  9. “Who you surround yourself with, you become.” – Mike Skinner.

Final Thoughts

As we progress on this lifelong quest of self-discovery and personal growth, let us be mindful of those we choose to walk with us. After all, the colors of our relationships will ultimately paint the canvas of our lives. Ensure your masterpiece blends hues that inspire, uplift, and embody the person you wish to become.

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