Surround Yourself With Positivity – Part One

“In your day, surround yourself with people who love you, motivate you, encourage you and just make you feel good about being You.”~ Bridgette Nicole

Have you heard or read this saying_>’You become the average of your closest friends’?  Because of the impact your friends have on your success, it is important to analyze whom you are surrounding yourself with. Do your friends uplift you or drag you down? Are they positive or negative? Are they constructive or destructive? Do they encourage or discourage your growth and success?

We are always influenced by those with whom we associate

If a man keeps company with those who curse and complain, he will soon find curses and complaints flowing like a river from his own mouth. If he spends his days with the lazy- those seeking handouts – he will soon find his finances in shambles. Many of our sorrows can be traced to relationships with the wrong people.

Anytime you tolerate the average in your friends, you become more comfortable with the average in your own life. If laziness isn’t an irritation to you, it is a sign that you have accepted it as a way of life.

Its easier to think that your friends don’t have a major influence on you and that you still make your own reality, but you have to recognize that they are part of that reality. As hard as it may seem, sometimes you need a friend-ectomy(Process of removing a friend, who has become too agonizing, from your friends list).

You need to start to surround yourself with the type of positive people you would want to become, and you will begin this transformation.

To illustrate this point further, let me tell you about an interesting study. A few friends, Gary Hamel(Management Expert) and C.K. Prahalad(corporate strategist) wrote about a study conducted with a group of monkeys:

Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas. One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a bucket of cold water. Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself. Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water. After making several attempts, they finally gave up.

Then the researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room and replaced him with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground. After trying to climb the pole several times and being dragged down by the others, he finally gave up and never attempted to climb again.

The researchers replaced the original monkeys one by one, and each time a new monkey was brought in he would be dragged down by the other before he could reach the bananas. In time, the room was filled with monkey who had never received a cold shower. however, None of them would climb the pole, but not one of them knew why.

Unfortunately, this same thing happens in our lives. We surround ourselves with people who for whatever reason pull us down when we try to climb to new heights. Don’t let others stifle your success. Surround yourself with people who will help you grow and excel.

A simple way to surround yourself with positive people:

Take out a sheet of paper and make a list of the people you associate with regularly. Next to their name put an arrow going↑ up if they are people who encourage and lift you – people who are positive, optimistic, and solution-oriented. If they are negative people who whine and complain then put an arrow going↓ down. The people with the up↑ arrow are the group that will fuel your success. Those that have a down↓ arrow are stifling your progress.

Choose whom you surround yourself with wisely. Probably more than any other influence, your friends will impact the results you desire.

If there are friends that bring you down, then YOU try to lift them up. I’m in no way saying, that you stop friendship with these people…all I’m saying is be very careful as to how they are influencing you. Try to add more to the going up list, which will eventually balance out the going down list.

We really do become the average of our friends.

Do you agree? Have you ever noticed the influence, the right or wrong kind of people can make in your lives? Share your insight and experiences in the comments below.

Please note: This is the first part in the Surround Yourself with Positivity Series of articles where we went deep into the kind of people you need around you to be positive. In the next part we will talk about how and what you can do to actually add positivity to your life…yup, from closet/home/office positivity to heart and mind positivity…all will be happily revealed in this series. 

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath
Holistic Healer/Writer

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20 thoughts on “Surround Yourself With Positivity – Part One

  1. Zeenat,

    That’s a fascinating study! It really proves the point, doesn’t it? I definitely chose to have positive influences in my life. At the same time, I’m glad you suggest that we try to life up our friends who have a tendency to bring others down. I wouldn’t want to abandon them altogether!

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I know what you mean….our friends are usually ones who stay with us through thick and thin, why then should we just abandon them? Rather life them up too 🙂 A strong positive attitude usually is contagious.
      Glad you liked this post!
      Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts here.
      Much love~

  2. Love this Zeenat. The monkeys were a great illustration – I could just picture it. I absolutely agree with you and Sandra that as we see our friends being the happiest people they can be we are raising them up, plus it feels good!

    Love Elle

    1. Dear Elle,
      I am thinking of ‘you raise me up’ by Josh Groban..just as I read your comment. May we all be positive influences on all our friends lives.
      Youre such a loving soul.
      Thank you for your loving comment here.
      Much Love~

  3. Hi Zeenat,

    I love this it makes so much sense and I try to do it and it has worked out so well. What I am looking for right now is ways to deal with the people who aren’t positive who we still have to hang out with for one reason or another! I can’t understand why some people are negative but many are. How do we deal with them whilst remaining shiny and happy?!

    1. Hi Annabel,
      Ahh…now thats a question to be tackled in a special post 🙂 Infact that was going to be my third part of this Surround Yourself with Positivity Series.
      I’ll tweet you when I publish the post for sure.
      Somehow experiments like these get me thinking of the sheer ridiculousness of our auto-pilot way of living.
      May we all be shiny and happy…no matter what.
      Thank you for your awesome comment here.
      Much Love~

  4. Thanks Zeenat,

    To monkeys everywhere,keep reaching for your bananas! I like your reminder that we be mindful & try to raise others up rather than simply avoid challenging people. That pop advice is handed out too often.

    1. Hi Brad,
      Ahhh…we all need our bananas 😉
      Like I said before, why ignore friends…might as well raise them up with us. Its more fun that way too na.
      Thank you for your fun comment here.
      Much Love~

  5. Absolutely Zeenat!

    We see such kind of people in our daily lives, and some of the time they are even related to us or might be some of our close friends who are hidden in disguise. I guess what really works well with such people is to keep them at bay. Yes, we really can’t disconnect with them but keeping them at arms distance seems the answer.

    I liked your story of the monkey, which explained things well. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,
      Related are the most difficult to handle for sure. But yes, its not impossible to have to add a dash of positivity to their lives too. And if all else fails…then a loving arms length it is.
      Glad you liked this post. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts here.
      Much Love~

  6. 🙂 So true that we become the company we keep. I’ve read that monkey experiment before – so sad, isn’t it?

    That exercise you suggested is very useful. I especially liked the line “We are the average of our friends”.

    Thanks for an inspiring read. Someone I know once mentioned this in a post “Make friends with someone who is better than you” – what do you think of that, Zeenat?

    Love, Vidya

    1. Hi Vidya,
      Its sad and weird..that we are all so ‘follow the leader’ types…without even knowing it.
      I agree to that sage advice you got there Vidya….Become friends with people who are better than you…simply means…we become open to learning and growing with every positive interaction. The right people, nudge us in the right direction always.
      Thank you for your awesome comment here.
      Much Love~

    1. Hi David,
      I kinda have a thing for the funny monkeys 🙂 They keep us entertained and well in this experimental case taught us something too.
      They are super cute and cuddly too.
      Thank you for your comment here.
      Much Love~

  7. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree 🙂
    I remember my first ballet teacher saying, be careful with who and what your surround yourself. No matter how strong you think you are, the ambiance will change you. He meant your technique would get sloppy if you danced a sloppy studios and with sloppy dancers – but he also meant your values, ethics, and core being will shift base on who and what surrounds you. In order to be true to ourselves we sometimes have to move away form certain people and situations – but we can always find the right people and environments to be in and around if we are open to the adventure of moving forward along this road.

    1. Hi sweetie!
      I can just imagine you being this cutey ballet dancer in your super pink outfit 🙂 You have to share those pics girl!
      I certainly agree with the lesson you learnt from your ballet teacher. People are usually afraid to let go of negative patterns for fear of either being lonely or left out…but in reality, all those who you are meant to be with eventually turn up. The key though as you said, is being Open to new.
      Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience here.
      So much Love~

  8. A big wow Ms. Zeenat. I am a chimpanzee lover but also know how aggressive and violent they can be. The study made perfect sense to me. I had never read about it – so thank you for sharing. And yes- you are so on target about surrounding yourself by positive individuals. I had 2 phone calls in less than 24 hours with 2 old friends. Both of them lacked optimism and positive energy. I got off the calls feeling – not drained- but certainly not in a conversation where I could be ‘seen’ or ‘heard’. Thank goodness, the individuals in my inner-trusted group (beyond family members) swim in the deep waters of life – we support, guide, and love each other. The disparity between the 2 types of relationships is huge. Thanks for a fine post. With love -Fran

  9. This is so true. And if we do surround ourselves with people like this, then we are more resilient and less vulnerable to the people we inevitably encounter in our lives who are negative and hurtful.

  10. Sheilicha Strayhorn

    Good Morning! To your Positive Food for Thought, this is what and how I see it as for me. I’ve recognized early in my life what or whom I needed to associate myself with. Growing up from a child, I was always given responsibilities not of the average child. My mother had me at a very young age, so of course her parents being my Grandparents stepped in and raised me as if I were there own. I’d hang around older people throughout my childhood, I’d hear the old wise Men and Women always say “people are in our lives for Seasons”, some stay and some dissipate. I never understood certain references or phrases but I knew it was going to help me on my Journey. I’d always find myself reading/thinking, thinking/reading, and alot of my so called friends wanted to other things, I started noticing myself changing gears, dating the wrong guys, being out at clubs feeling so lost but these were my Friends alledgly. Until I totally started going nowhere but in a Pit Of Darkness around this circle. I never was able to see things clearly. My Grandmother would always say too me ” Man don’t look for trouble, trouble looks for Man”. I was so confused always needing translation being that she is of Island decent. It was confusing not knowing where these passages would take me in life. I’m still learning everyday how to make my bed after lying in it. Thank you for this positive book ok knowledge, I do share phrases and forward the email to Family, and friends. Please continue filling us with nothing but good Food. Smiling!

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