How and Why you NEED to Surround Yourself with Positive People

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“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

One of my spiritual teachers shared this with me many years back, and its so relevant to this topic ->

“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.”

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

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.

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17 thoughts on “How and Why you NEED to Surround Yourself with Positive People

  1. I love your idea of making a list of those around us who encourage and lift us up, and also those who bring us down. Especially when you are trying to make a change, positive people at your side can make all the difference!

  2. Great idea Zeenat, although i do surround myself with people that lift me up and help me excel. Sometimes it is hard to let go of friendships that no longer serve you, thank you xxoo

  3. Nilima Gavane

    Wowww amazing it was very nice article zeenat mam, Thanks a lot sharing such a nice things.

    Thanks & Regards,

  4. Ellen Bard

    I think this is a good idea, though it can be hard to let go of people who have been around us for a long time. We can also try – try! – and influence those around us and uplift them before we dump them entirely, but this is HARD to do. I started with a cull of my social media – I’ve unfollowed almost everyone so my actual feed is only from people I really enjoy seeing updates from. It’s definitely made my life more positive!

  5. Had to giggle when I read about the “friend-ectomy.” I call it dumping toxic vampires! All the same. My challenge is to FIND FIVE as I suggest to clients as I have waaaaay to many friends harbored at my marina–and so I am distracted and not following up on my goals and dreams. And I will figure it out with some help of friends and angels.

  6. Thank you for this article. I am at a place in life where I am starting over with friendships. This is a good reminder to be mindful of who I spend my time with.

  7. yamilets72

    Zeenat as always you express feelings in a way where one can understand their own feelings. I’ve been so confused about friendships for so long and had to take a look at who I was surrounding myself with. I felt very cold for wanting to rid myself of certain people, but now I realize it was my soul finally listening to my gut instincts. I’ve been on such a high surrounding myself with positive people again. Now when that toxic energy tries to come into my positive circle I’m more aware and do not let it affect me the same as it used to. I thank God for helping me find your site and changing my life with your wise words…

  8. You are so right, Zeenat. In the past, I was not too careful about choosing my friends, surrounding myself with way too many “toxic” people. Now I realize there are more important things in life than being popular and the life of the party. It’s far more fulfilling to be a part of a group that can share ideas without judgement, without only taking.
    I remember seeing an animation of the monkey story, and what’s really sad about it, it’s that it is actually a reflection of society today. But, I think, we are not totally lost – after all, we are here, unafraid, talking about positive change.

  9. I’m so glad you made a point of saying we don’t have to eliminate the down people from our life, just increase the up people. Those down people need love too, but of course it’s all about balance and making sure we’re not going downhill at the same time. Love your new word too!

  10. heraldmarty

    I couldn’t agree more – both with the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive people and about not having to completely eliminate the grouches from our life. On one extreme I had the unpleasant task of blessing a friend on her way in life when her perpetual negativity began to affect me so much that I actually felt physically ill after spending time with her. Then there’s grumpy uncle George, a real pain at times, but my uncle nonetheless and not a bad guy at heart. I choose to accept him for who he is and while I do intentionally manage my time with him, he is still a valued part of my life.

  11. Rose M. Lichter

    That is so true about negative people not really helpful to be with all the time if possible. I try and keep positive mostly and keep distance from the negative but it is hard at times. My boyfriend is negative and gets to me sometimes thinking one doesnt feel so alone my new friend just braught up positive counceling today and it was amazing to hear her say that and so reassuring for me as a woman. I look forward to the day with great love and positive friends.

  12. You are right Zeenat, we have the power to choose the people we want to spend most of our time with. I love the exercise about putting an arrow up or down next to the names of our friends according to how their energies affect us. This should really help those that don’t have any idea where to begin assessing relationships. Love it!

  13. The monkey story is a dramatic example of how one person can influence the whole. I’ve heard a similar story relating to crabs in a bucket. Sometimes we don’t even realize that some of the people around us are “pulling us down”, and I like your idea of becoming more conscious of the people in our lives and then eliminating the negative and accentuating the positive! Thanks for the ideas in this post, Zeenat.

  14. Love this quote:
    “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 so important and sometimes not always easy to let go of. Once we acknowledge we have a choice life changes Love Suzie xx

  15. This theory also relates to what you read and the mentors (real life or in books and other media) you choose. I spend a vast majority of my day either at home with family or at work with little time for friendships. During my long commutes to work and back, I’m very intentional about the books and podcasts I listen to so I’m always learning and inspired.

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