What made you the way you are today

Why you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with and what that means for you

Do you sometimes wonder that you are somehow not getting on well in your life? That you take a few steps forward and then automatically end up back in your old routine?

This can have many causes, but one has a particularly massive impact on your life and we want to take a closer look at it today.

There's a quote from Jim Rohn that you may have heard too:

You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.

Sounds logical. And with that, you've ticked that off and don't think about it any further. But that's exactly what we want to do today, because there is so much more hidden in it than you think.

Image source: pixabay

Did you know that having a friend of your friend put on weight affects your weight?

The exciting thing is that there has been research for a number of years into how connections with other people affect our lives.

Not only the direct connections, but even those in the 2nd or 3rd row. People we don't even know, people who are friends with or are in contact with our friends and still have an influence on us.

This affects the body weight. This has an impact on addictions such as smoking and alcohol. This can also affect learning or creativity. In principle in all directions that there are.

Do I have you on the hook? Very good, then read on;)

Let's take a closer look at it. Well, so we're the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

Who are these 5 people in your life?

The first step is to think about who these people are. If you live in a partnership, that will be your partner.

Of course, your children too, if you have any, but if they are even smaller, then we take them out and keep looking for the adults in your life.

Who do you still spend a lot of time with? It doesn't necessarily have to be in person, it can also be over the phone. This question is actually about time.

Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend who is one of these 5 people? Or maybe even several? Do you count your mother or father among these people? What about colleagues or business partners?

Take your time and consciously think about who you actually spend most of your time with. Taking a closer look is particularly important here, because the influence these people have on you is absolutely immense. (The other way round too, of course)

Make your network visible

Did you find her? Well then you can record them if you like. To do this, take a piece of paper and write yourself in the middle. Draw a circle around your name. Now draw a larger circle around you and write the 5 people you have just identified in this circle.

Next, we will capture the general mood that these people feel for you. If you can remember a similar exercise we've done before.

If we want to determine this basic mood now, we look at various points. Because what we don't want is that we find out that we have a “wretched friend” with whom we can always whine and blaspheme, understand each other very well and that seems to be a seemingly positive mood.

We naturally tend to be attracted to people who tick similarly to us, as they affirm us in our self-image. And our self-image is our identity.

If we keep coming across people who have a completely different view of the world and issues than we do, then that shakes our self-image a lot and if we fail to recognize that it is just a different view of the world and nothing has to do with us as a person, we will reflexively reject these types of people.

Understandable as it feels uncomfortable. Yet again. And we often try to avoid that as much as possible. On the other hand, we stay in the niche that we have so nicely upholstered and our world remains just as small as before.

If you want that for your life, you can of course do it, but let's take a look over the fence and see what is still possible. We only have one life. Isn't it much more exciting to go beyond your own sensitivities and look at new, exciting things?

How does this connection feel?

If that's your request too, then keep following me. So we wanted to assess the basic mood. I'll give you a few help questions:

  • Do you feel richer after meeting this person than before?
  • Richer in the sense of more knowledge, more options for action, more interesting material to think about?
  • Have you grown in this sense, do you feel encouraged or comforted?

I consciously take the question: "Do you feel confirmed?" because we often take our self-image far too seriously. And it's not just about getting our opinion confirmed, it's about getting the chance to grow.

Growth is often associated with pain. A previous state no longer fits and is abandoned. Changes are associated with uncomfortable feelings, but that is by no means an indication that we shouldn't go through these changes. On the contrary, a new world awaits behind it. Because this begins outside of the comfort zone.

Well, if you look at each of these 5 people from these points of view, then I am very sure that you can make an assessment. If you can answer the above questions positively, then do a + next to this person and if you have to answer them mostly negative, then a - and if it is balanced, then make an n for neutral.

What is your result?

Take a look at the result and let it sink in. What do you think? How do you see this affecting your life? What does it make possible for you or what is prevented?

This is often a painful process. Sometimes a person accompanies half of his life, but when you draw a conclusion in this way, you realize that it is possibly a rather negative force in your own life.

Perhaps the majority of the 5 people in your life are more of a negative force. Be absolutely honest when you draw this balance sheet, fooling yourself here, only lets you get stuck in the life that you are leading now and you miss opportunities that are still open to you.

On this balance sheet, you can also note how long you have counted these people among the 5s with whom you spend most of the time. These are the people who have been influencing your life for the longest time. Perhaps that will bring one or the other aha experience to light.

How does it look in the second row?

Often you also know people in the so-called 2nd level. So people who are friends with these 5 people, but not that much to do with you.

So the 5 people your 5 people spend most of their time with. Since, according to scientific research, they also have an influence on us, it is very interesting to think about them.

Of course, you can only be certain to a certain extent that your assessment is correct. But make five more connecting lines from each of these 5 people and write down the people who you have the impression that they play the most role in the life of your direct contact.

The next step is also rather not covered by actual experience, but very often you have an impression of people even though you don't have much to do with them.

Therefore, do the same exercise that you just did with yourself with the network of your direct contacts. How do you rate the effect there?

Write again with + and - or n how you estimate the effect is.

The big picture

Now look again at the whole perspective. The whole picture. The 5 people with whom you spend most of the time are not only decisive for you and this is what feeds your basic mood, so to speak. It also applies to each of your direct contacts. Therefore, you can often see currents here that actually affect you.

So you have now created a map that shows you what influence you are exposed to. And how that affects your life. For many, that sounds like a cold assessment, but that's not what it means at all.

At least humans pretend to be a bad influence on others, there are so many different things going on in every life. But what matters is what you perceive what is happening. Because only then can you intervene.

What do you want to change?

If you notice that you have noticed a tendency to have a negative influence, then it makes sense to think about whether you would like it that way and, if not, what options you have to change it for yourself. You can also ask yourself what you do to make this connection more negative. You need two to tango. There is always an interplay.

Perhaps there are also certain topics on which you would like to move forward for yourself. A mundane example: if you want to quit smoking and most of your direct friends do smoke, then you will actually have a lot harder to pull off. It is easier for someone if they are already surrounded by more non-smokers.

You can actually change your life if you change the people in it who play the greatest role in time. As soon as you join a club, you also enter a world with people who have other issues in mind, who think differently, who may have already reached the place you dream of in their sporting achievements.

Create your circle of influence

If you now deepen your contact with these people, you will come closer to your goal simply by moving in this orb and the spirit that dominates there.

Become the influence creator in your life. Make conscious decisions about whose influence you want to reduce and spend less time with these people.

If these are siblings or parents, I hereby give you permission to do so. Just because you're part of a family doesn't mean you have to make concessions that aren't good for you.

You are primarily committed to yourself. And that's not selfishness, it's common sense. Because if you are doing well, then you can also be there for others. But if you spend yourself on others or let yourself be pumped full of negative energy, you can no longer do anything for anyone.

Think about who you would like to have more contact with and develop that. Such shifts can be very slow, but you will actually always feel an effect.

Just like you feel when it changes in a negative direction on its own without any action on your part. A change in your peer group always has an impact on you and your life.

Make conscious decisions with whom you spend time

We are social beings and how these social connections are designed also shapes our lives at the same time.

If you want to achieve certain goals in your career, it is a good idea to look for a mentor. Someone who is already where you want to be and who also supports you in achieving your goals.

This does not have to be a social relationship for eternity, but can simply accompany you on your way for a certain time. Just as you can choose to mentor someone for a period of time and make a positive impact in their life.

Finally, one last thought:

We actually change under the influence of the people we spend most of our time with. Therefore, it is also not a bad idea to give ourselves an indicator of our basic mood and our influence on others when we spend time with other people.

The question is, do you like what you see about yourself? And if not, change your way of being and change your behavior, because with that you as one of the 5 people also influence their lives. And if you act as such a positive force in other lives, you can influence people positively up to the third row without knowing each other.


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  1. Heide on May 6th, 2021 at 6:47 am
  2. Alexandra Grassler on May 6th, 2021 at 6:57 am