The phrase "no company is better than bad company" most definitely seems true when you consider how the people close to you can significantly contribute to how you live your life, especially if you tend to be easily led. So in case you're contemplating being friends with someone just for the sake of feeling less alone, here are four significant things to be aware of before you give them your loyalty.
They Will Impact The Way You Feel
When turning to others for support, advice and another opinion, we are opening ourselves up to the thought-processes of others that may not be necessarily beneficial. If you have a dream, a passion that you want to pursue for instance, just as there are many people out there that will encourage you to reach for the stars, there are equally as many that will try to drag you down. If a person feels negative about themselves and their own abilities, chances are, they will extend that negative self-perception onto you too. Avoid all those that consistently speak negatively, so that it does not have a detrimental effect on your own emotions.
They Influence Your Decisions
To continue on from the prospect of others having an impact on the way that you feel, feelings in turn can dictate the decisions you make in life. If the people you surround yourself with make you feel good about who you are, where you are in life and the abilities you have, this will aid you in making confident strides towards your goals and dreams. Adversely, people that are perpetually negative may cause you to make negative choices, like giving up on a goal, that you could potentially regret later on in life.
They Cause You To Subconsciously Redefine Your Limits
Ever heard of the expression "you're only as good as the company you keep"? or "birds of a feather flock together"? These expressions hold truth in the sense that it's almost inevitable that the people you hang around the most, while perhaps not in appearance, will possess a self-image that will come to be, if it isn't already, reflected in your own. Have you ever noticed how, if someone in your social network, even if you aren't particularly close to them, does something extraordinary, you gain a feeling of self-empowerment? If your friends are doing great things with their life, you can do it to.
They Can Influence The Kind of Person You Become
“A mirror reflects a man's face but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses. The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate for the good and the bad.” ~ Proverbs
In the journal article 'Avoiding Bad Company: The Importance
of Moral Habitat and Moral Habits in Moral Education', Janis Ozolins affirmed, "the kind of environment in which [you are] raised will have an enormous impact on the kind of moral individual [you] become(s) and so it is clear that the practice of virtue is aided by the support of a moral community with a commitment to that practice (i.e., a moral community committed to the pursuit of virtue, that recognises that members of the community need to support one another and which strives to create a good and just society)"