Choosing Your Relationships - You Become Who You Associate With
Have you ever noticed that when you hang out with someone for a few hours, and then you get away from them, you still feel the presence of that person?
Sometimes it can almost be as if you are wearing the person as an overly on your own body. Maybe for a while, you even identify with their laugh, gestures, or their emotional state.
This phenomenon is similar to what happens when someone moves to another country. After a while, most people tend to start picking up the accent of their new foreign home. Have you ever noticed this in someone that has moved away for a while and then moved back, even to just another area of the country? When they came back, did you notice any changes, even subtle ones?
There is a common understanding shared among many of the great teachers throughout time - you are who you associate with. If this is true, we all might want to really consider making an assessment of who and what environments we associate with, and then consider how this factor might be affecting us in our lives.
I really believe that this transference that we are questioning here really occurs on many levels, not just the verbal, gesture, and emotional levels. Having spent a great deal of time with people who are highly sensitive to this type of thing, I have heard countless stories of this type of thing.
Some people, including myself, have been known to even pick up physical pains off of people in the vicinity, not to mention emotions, mental states, attitudes, thoughts, pictures, memories, and future events. This energetic transfer is a skill that can often be used in certain types of healing. I think we all do at least on some level.
The flip side is that if you are associating with people who are not in alignment with your goals, beliefs, attitudes, emotional states, and values, you may find yourself picking up residue that is damaging to what you are all about. If you're sensitive, this is probably more of an issue. This reality could very well be a strong factor in any difficulties that you may be encountering in creating the life that you desire.
Choosing Your Relationships Wisely
A dear friend of mine always tells me, "Surround yourself with people that are as conscious or more conscious than you are." This is a strong point to consider. We have to honestly look at all of the possibilities. Many great thinkers have agreed that it's the people that are often closest to us that try to hold us back the most. The old saying goes, "misery loves company."
Now, no one is suggesting that you start cutting your friends and family out of your life like the dead limbs on a tree and no one is suggesting that you stop taking risks in your relationships. At the same time, you might want to consider how even some minor changes might make a difference in your life. We're not talking about being arrogant either, just taking better care of yourself.
Here are some steps you can take with the people you associate with in your life:
Make a list of your main goals and your values, if you haven't already, and ask yourself honestly how much the people you normally associate with line up with those goals and values. If there is a lot of in-congruence, you might want to consider making some changes.
If you realize that some of the people in your life probably aren't the best thing for you, show some tolerance. Do what you can to communicate your needs with them. Encourage them to make positive changes in their own lives.
After a while if you don't see changes, you may need to distance yourself some. Again, this doesn't mean that you have to abandon or dispose of those close to you. Maybe just work on creating a balance between associating with people who are healthier for you and the people who aren't so healthy, but that you still care about and want to continue sharing time with on some level.
These association considerations also apply to environments. For example, if you're interested in creating a meaningful, lasting, balanced, healthy relationships - hanging out in seedy bars and clubs every chance you get might not be the best choice to get you towards your goals. Consider more places like cafes, metaphysical groups, health expos, nature parks, and volunteer organizations.