For better or worse, our inner world is shaped by the people we spend the most time with. We’re relational to our core and cannot help but to influence each other. As such, the company we keep matters.
It’s true we gravitate toward others similar to ourselves. Birds of a feather flock together.
But it’s also true we become more like those we spend time with. It doesn’t take us long to start adapting to local customs – whether socially, geographically, or emotionally.
For instance, when we hang around people who are negative we’re more likely to become negative ourselves. And when we surround ourselves with people who are hopeful we’re more likely to become hopeful as well.
This is not to suggest that we’re mere victims of our surroundings. In fact, as we grow in our inner strength we can hold on to our integrity and influence those around us for good.
At the same time, it’s still wise to consider the company we keep. We’re often not aware of the many ways we influence and are being influenced by each other.
And this is not limited to those we spend time with in person. The media and news we consume will also shape our inner world.
If we spend all day seeing the worse of humanity or hearing the panic of one crisis after another, this fear and anxiety will soon infect us as well. And like a virus, it’s hard to resist when there’s community spread.
We must regularly step back and consider who we spend time with and where we consume our information.
A tree is known by its fruit. Is the company we keep producing the fruit we want to see?
Consider the results of who you spend time with and adjust accordingly.