Are You Judged by the Company You Keep?

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. In fact, there are those who would go so far as to say that you embody the characteristics and traits of the five people with whom you spend the most time.

Now, isn’t THAT interesting?

When I first read this concept, I paused to consider where I spend the majority of my time… and which people are on my top five list. According to this theory, assuming I’m an average of these five people, I am grateful for their association!

But, if you had asked me to participate in this exercise several years ago, I might not have felt this sense of satisfaction.

I found myself in a group of friends who were intellectually brilliant, clever, and in hindsight, condescending and arrogant. We spent our social time laughing hysterically while making sarcastic quips that typically came at someone else’s expense. Part of me held these friends in high esteem because of their keen sense of humor, yet, at the end of every evening, I started to feel dull and empty.

While we sat in our place of snarky judgment, snickering at the missteps of others, my soul grew weary of the non-stop negativity. For anyone on the outside looking in, I was an integral part of the critical arrogance founded upon self-appointed academic supremacy… and somehow realized that I would be defined and categorized by the company I kept.

This bothered me.

I eventually distanced myself from the group – without any pomp or circumstance, mind you… just simply ‘vibrated’ away.

I longed to be surrounded by people who would uplift the evening, make it easier to be the best version of my self, and felt compelled to make a difference in the world. Fast forward several years, and I am, indeed surrounded by the kind of people who make me very proud to call them my friends.

The company you keep sticky

 

How about you? Do you spend your time with people who inspire you to be a better version of yourself? Do they encourage and support you? Are you free to express yourself without fear of judgment? Do you feel safe in presenting yourself with authenticity and transparency?

 

I look forward to a discussion on the company you keep. Leave a comment below!  

With mucho a latte of love and respect,

Janet Louise Stephenson signature
Your Transformation Tour Guide

Email Address First Name

5 Responses

  1. Kathleen Gick
    | Reply

    I agree you are judged by the company you keep. And you should evaluate yourself by examining the company you keep. If you are not sympatico, you should find new friends who reflect the you you wish to be.

  2. Karen Jolly
    | Reply

    I love this post Janet! When I turned 40 I started a tradition to get together once a year with my old high school girlfriends. I remember being confused after spending some time with them as everyone was a bit sarcastic and negative. I had to stop and admit that I was that way in high school…putting others down to feel more accepted. But years later to come face to face with it, wow – it was an eye opener. I very lovingly told my friends that I was uncomfortable making negative remarks about other beautiful women and that in fact I wanted to appreciate their beauty so I could better appreciate my own beauty. The “vibrating” apart happened slowly but surely. I love my old girlfriends dearly but must honor their choices and mine. Having friends that see the best in others is such a gift that I treasure now in the company I keep! :)

    Thank you for sharing this Janet! xo

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Karen!

      Kudos to you for having the courage to express yourself to your friends. I especially love that it was so clearly evident to you when you encountered it again. It reminds me of an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

  3. Kez
    | Reply

    Wow – this is what I am experiencing now. It’s like I’m going through a process of pruning & it’s not because I dislike the people but I no longer feel connected in the same sense to them. I’m finding quite challenging as it’s forcing to face being content with my own company a lot more at this moment in time until new people cross my path.

Leave a Reply