You smoke? How did you pick it up? Friends, I’m guessing? Managed to quit? Again, friends helped I’m guessing. See how much your friend circle influences you?
Or what about those late nights before the exam? I’m sure you didn’t study alone all those days. There were a few who you probably don’t even talk to anymore, and yet during those days, you guys were ‘that friend circle’ that everyone wanted to be with.
Ever wondered if you started projecting their personalities onto yourself? Well, even science thinks it happens.
Birds of a feather flock together
According to the motivation speaker Jim Rohn, the law of averages work in our personal lives too. To put it in simple words, we are the average of the five people who we spend the most time with. And the more time we spend with each other, the more we pick up each other’s habits. According to a published study in the Journal of Consumer Research, it was found that people bond over moral support. So be it the hangover days when you drank till you passed out, or the time you cried your heart out to them after your breakup, them being there and lending you a shoulder you can lean on is what evolved into friendship. Because at the end of the day, you would be there for them the same way.
Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are
People see you not only as who you are, but also by the kind of people you hang out with. It is impractical to think that people would love your best friend the same way you love him/her, but keep an open eye if people are not fond of someone in particular. No, it does not make you a bad person; maintaining a safe distance harms no one. Instead be with the kind of people who make you happy and you aspire to be. You can learn a great deal from them and they can learn from you. If you lack self-confidence, be around people who are sure of themselves and they’ll teach you about the value of 20 seconds of courage. If you want self-control, be around people self-disciplined people. Subconsciously, you will start picking on their traits. And there is nothing wrong to want to improve yourself.
Meeting new people does not equal betraying old friends
While it is wise to pick the people you spend most of your time with, do not limit yourself indulging into the idea. We learn a great deal from the outside world, from other people. After birth, we learned from our parents, then the teachers, the society, and so on. Adult life is a learning process too. Go talk to the chaiwala whose eyes lights up every time he sees your gang coming up. You may be surprised to find out the harsh reality of life, and as an added bonus, find out the secret recipe of the chai that makes your day better. Do not be hung up on who should be your friend. Friendship surpasses age, religion, boundaries, caste and whatever that limits us from acknowledging another person. Just keep an eye on how it is reflecting on your behavior.
Live long and healthy
It is no surprise that healthy and happy people live long. Friends who make you happy and are there for you no matter what is not only tending to your emotional health, but unconsciously is adding years to your life as well.
A 2005 study by the Australia’s Flinders University found out that older adults with a companion are likely to live longer. Other studies also found that having a close knit circle you can count on reduces the stress level as well as blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol level. Friends also help answer some of life’s questions.
Life is short. When you get old, you do not think of how much marks you got in your exam or how much money you earned. You reminisce the best memories you made with the people who matter. So pick friends who truly matter, who add value to your life. Live long. Live unstrangered.