A few months ago I came across a quote from a successful, well-respected business leader who spoke about the importance of the quality of our friendships. His words made perfect sense and struck a chord within my heart and psyche.
In essence, the quote reflects my beliefs as an energy worker and empathic healer. This is what he said:
”The five closest people we spend time with will average out to who we become.”
I have found this statement to be true for myself and the premise is supported by a viable scientific explanation. We have a natural tendency to match the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and energetic state of the people in our lives. Scientists call this tendency ‘unconscious entrainment’, whereby we synchronize or align with an external rhythm which includes the confluence of thoughts, movements, emotions, and gestural representations of those around us.
Simply put, we are energetic beings and we unconsciously match energy with the people with whom we spend our time. Those who are closest to us have a tremendous impact on our lives on every level: mentally, energetically, emotionally, and physically.
If the five people nearest to us literally shape who we become, it is vitally important to be discerning about who we share our precious time and energy with each day.
Before we consider the quality of our closest friendships, we must first reflect upon our own life so that we are clear about who we are and what values we uphold. We may then ask ourselves: Are we living up to our highest potential and ultimate happiness?
If we are falling short of our potential, we may want to to take a closer look at who are friends are and examine the nature of our relationships. One of the quickest ways to upgrade our lives is to adjust and refine our social connections.
We can begin this process by asking: Do my friends embody the qualities I value and aspire to? Are the people around me those who I admire and wish to emulate?
Our closest relationships develop over many years and we mature as result of our life experiences. Some friends grow at a similar pace and trajectory, while others may veer in different directions. It is healthy and valuable to occasionally take inventory of how and with whom we spend our time.
We may need to make adjustments to stay in alignment with the dreams, goals and aspirations that represent our chosen path. Our choice of friends can accelerate our growth towards the best version of our self that we can imagine.
In the process of taking inventory on myself and my relationships, I came up with a list of questions for evaluating my friendships. These criterion reflect the values I currently prioritize and the direction I am choosing at this time in my life. The characteristics I have defined provide clarity about who I wish to include in my inner circle of friends.
While everyone is different, this list may offer a general guideline for you to determine the people you wish to surround yourself with, whose qualities will ‘average out’ to help you become the person you want to be. If inspired, you may wish to comprise your own list.
When thinking about a particular friend, I ask myself:
1. Do I feel energized when I am around this person? One of my biggest considerations for friendship is whether a person adds to or depletes my energetic vitality. To include a person as a close friend, I must feel energetically elevated or neutral in their presence.
2. Is this person trustworthy? At the most basic level, trust is a necessity within any authentic relationship. For me, trust includes being truthful in words and actions, and living up to our shared commitments. My definition of trust extends to knowing that I can rely upon a friend when I truly need them.
3. Is my friend comfortable in their own skin? We are able to love, accept, and embrace others only as much as we love and accept ourselves. The more ‘at home’ a person is within themselves, the easier they are to be around and the more they allow me to be who I truly am, without censorship of any kind.
4. Does my friend encourage me to embrace and follow my dreams? When we express our heartfelt dreams, we expose our vulnerability. It is imperative that my friends are able to encourage and support me in an authentic, positive manner without infecting my dreams with fear and negativity.
5. Is this the first person I want to call to celebrate my successes? People who are secure within themselves are able to genuinely celebrate the success of others. My closest friends are excited and proud to share my wins.
6. Is my friend generous, and are they able give and receive in equal measure? Generosity is an infectious quality among those who believe in abundance. I gravitate towards people who are eager to share and are generous by nature. Together we enjoy a fluid exchange of energy in an abundant Universe.
7. Are we growing together and learning from each other? We develop deeper connections by sharing our life experiences and the insights we learn along the way. My best friends push me beyond my comfort zone to explore new experiences, consider different perspectives, and contemplate fresh ideas.
8. Does this person inspire me to contribute my best talents, skills, and essence to the world around me? We are here on the planet to fulfill our life purpose. My friends inspire me through their contributions and encourage me to express the full capacity of my inner light.
9. Do we challenge each other to up-level in every area of our lives (including our health, happiness, career, love life, intellectual acumen, creative expression, pursuit of adventure, etc)? I like to be challenged to expand and evolve in positive ways, and am attracted to people who strive to do and be their best.
10. Is my friend courageous? Courage takes shape in many forms, and I admire those who are not only physically brave in terms of seeking adventure, but are also emotionally courageous. A genuinely courageous person is willing to fully engage in all aspects of their life. They are able to embrace the people they love and their life experiences with an open, loving heart.
11. Is this person fun and do we laugh together? A sense of humor is a high priority among my closest circle of friends. Light-hearted joy resonates at the highest frequencies- laughter stimulates the flow of fresh, vibrant energy. I choose to live in this elevated state of flow among people who share this vibration.
As I contemplate my closest relationships, it’s important to recognize that to earn a friendship I have to live up to my own criterion. I have a responsibility as a friend to be the kind of person who elevates, supports, and brings out the best in others.
May we all choose our friends wisely as together we shape ourselves to become the people we want to be!