You Are the Sum of the 5 People Closest to You: Choose Carefully

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Because at an elemental level we are all energy, who we choose to interact with most will affect our energy – it will influence who we become and change the trajectory of our life.

Who we befriend, and who we choose to form relationships with, will have a profound affect on our mental health, wellbeing, sense of self, confidence and “map of the world”. We will be influenced by those around us, particularly those closest to us, with regard to what we consider possible in our own lives and how to deal with challenges. Therefore, it’s important to choose those who inspire you, those who make you feel good about yourself, and those who bring out the best in you.

See life as a bus

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It can be helpful to think of life as a bus – people get on, and off.  Some stay for a short ride, you have fun with them or they offer you insights into life that are valuable – then they choose a different route to you, and get off. You may meet them down the track, and they may get on your bus again. Others stay for a long ride, and add great long-term value to your life, as you do to theirs. You both choose the same route, and compliment one another’s journey. Then, you have the very few special people who stay on your bus a lifetime – and they are true treasures but very rare.

It’s important to let people go their own way with love, metaphorically waving them goodbye and wishing them well. If they are taking a path that differs to yours, it’s their life choice and we all have individual life lessons to learn.

Teach people how to treat you  

puppy kitten love

You teach people how to treat you – by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.
Tony Gaskins

People who get on your bus will not know your value system. It’s important to let them know, so they can ascertain whether or not they are going in the same direction as you. What this also means is you teach people how to treat you – and they either get it, or they get off. Either way, there need be no hard feelings. If people treat you with disrespect or contempt, for example, it’s important to be clear with them – that is unacceptable to you, if they want to treat others that way that’s fine but you don’t have relationships with anyone unless they are mutually respectful, considerate and caring.

Many of us have trouble standing up for ourselves, and avoid confrontation. Reframing it in your own mind as teaching people how to treat you is a much more empowering way to think of it – after all, how will people know how to treat us if we never teach them our boundaries or expectations? And in fact it’s not even about expectations, it’s about what’s acceptable to you, and your wellbeing, and what’s not. There is no need to take offence if people behave in ways you consider offensive. They are simply reflecting themselves, and that’s either acceptable to you, or not. Keep in mind also, if we allow people to mistreat us then we are teaching them that that’s what’s acceptable to us. We are then allowing them to stay on our bus, and derail it.

“Closest people to you” checklist

The simple checklist below will help you select those who inspire you and grow you. Especially the 5 closest people to you need to tick each one of these boxes.

  • Do you make one another happy?
  • Do you feel good when you’ve spoken to them at length, or been in their company?
  • Do you feel like they bring out an empowered, positive version of yourself?
  • Do they encourage you to engage in healthy, happy pursuits (rather than influencing you to do things you consider to be destructive to yourself, such as excessive drinking or smoking)?
  • Do they notably see the good in you, and express their admiration for you?
  • Do you see the good in them, and express your admiration for them?
  • Are they protective of you? Have they got your back?
  • Can you trust them?
  • Are they honest and open with you?
  • Are they congruent – do their words and actions (behaviour) match?
  • Do their life choices inspire you?
  • Does their attitude to life excite, drive and inspire you?
  • Are they kind and considerate to you consistently and predictably?
  • If they upset you, or behave in ways that make you feel bad, are you able to discuss this with them – and do they respond apologetically, in a concerned manner, and ensure they do not repeat the behaviour?
  • When they are with you, do you feel connected to them and engaged with them (rather than them being distracted from being present with you, on social media, watching television, or on their phone for instance)?
  • Are they consistent in their treatment of you, regardless of who is around (in other words, whether it be other friends, colleagues, bosses, mates, strangers, family)?
  • Are they careful to be sensitive and protect your feelings?
  • Do they avoid the guilt trips and blame games with you?
  • Are they there for you, and you for them, through the good times, and the bad?

Remember, we don’t need to have the same interests as those closest to us. In fact, it can be hugely beneficial to have people in our lives who challenge our thinking, or expand our mind, kindly and respectfully.

Also, it’s better to have only 1, 2 or 3 people who are good for you close to you than to have 1, 2 or 3 people who are destructive to you.

It’s incredible how once people understand this concept, they can change only one of their closest 5 people to help generate wonderful change in their lives.

Harmony Hypnotherapy
Harmony Hypnotherapy


2 Responses


October 09, 2017

Thanks Gillian, so glad you found it helpful. Lyn x

Gillian French
Gillian French

September 21, 2017

Wonderful advice on how to live a brave and authentic life. Thank you so much Lyn!!

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