Who are you without your companions?

Think about whom makes up the company around you, the closest to you are your family followed by friends followed by more distant friends, teachers and acquaintances. The group that I would like to focus on in this blog post is friends because this is the group of people you choose to be a close influential part of your life and who you trust. Friends become close because they identify things they like about one another and because they share similar interests but as each person in that friendship grows and develops their personal characteristics, both good and bad, can affect the whole group.

Think about your own friendship group; are you the leader or a follower? At some point everyone has been the follower in a group rather than a leader as it is a much easier thing to do especially if you lack confidence and self belief, but think about the cost. You may be taking on/ mirroring bad characteristics to fit in rather than focusing on how you can become a better individual.

This behaviour can be very subtle and difficult to spot but to give you an example if one member of the group decides they hate the colour pink and anyone that wears it is a chav and the rest of the group passively accept this to avoid disturbing the politics of the group over something as minor as not wearing pink then this small thing can lead to the group altering their views and principles on bigger issues and over time this will change their personality. The bad characteristics on display here are being judgemental of others and being negative.

To help avoid this make a list of your friends/influential people in your life and think about what kind of behaviours they have displayed around you. Was it positive or negative, did they encourage and support you or make you feel you could not fully be yourself. Once you have recognised the character traits of your friendship group you can see if you are keep good or bad company. The changes you may need to make depend on how much these people influence your own behaviour and what parts of yourself you wish to improve.

Sometimes you have to let go of the old to make room for the new especially if the old parts of your life were negative. This can be difficult when it comes to friendship because of the bonds of loyalty and the difficulty in breaking habits but if your friends are truly your friends and you explain to them they will support you in wanting to improve yourself and maybe even mirror your positive behaviour.

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