If you’re wondering how to surround yourself with positive people, you’ve come to the right page.
From business leaders interested in growing their companies to folks who just want to make the most of their lives, everyone can leverage a positive social network to become better and enjoy life to the fullest.
I’ll discuss why it is crucial to choose your close friends wisely and then share vital tips on how to surround yourself with positive people.
Let’s get into it!
Why You Should Be Picky About Who You Spend Time With
You’ve probably heard the saying, “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Another version commonly attributed to Jim Rohn reads, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
These aren’t mere nice sayings – they are science-backed facts. In fact, a study spanning over 20 years shows that you are likely to be happy if you have happier friends, and if a friend of your friend is happy, it also influences your chances of being happy (whether or not you know your friend’s friend.
A similar influence exists with people living with obesity, as shown by this research, which spanned over 32 years.
Here’s my point.
Those we spend most of our time with influence our lives more than many of us realize.
Think about this from the angle of parenting for a minute.
Even when parents raise kids in an emotionally healthy atmosphere, they always want to be sure that their children don’t fall in with the wrong crowd. That’s because parents understand that bad company will likely negatively influence the good character they’ve worked so hard to build in their kids.
But just because we are adults doesn’t mean we can’t be directly or indirectly influenced by those we surround ourselves with.
Those closest to you can influence almost every aspect of your life, including your standards, views about the world, goals, aspirations, and even moods.
Surrounding yourself with negative, narrow-minded people can hurt your relationship, make your business suffer, damage your work ethic, and ruin your physical and mental health.
On the other hand, having a positive social network allows you to tap into a wealth of empowering ideas to create a better version of yourself.
How to Surround Yourself With Positive People
1. Be a Positive Person
First, you must be positive to be compatible with other positive people. Your relationship with like-minded individuals in your circle has to be symbiotic, meaning the relationship has to be mutually beneficial.
How would you influence the people you plan to hang out with? What will you bring to the table, so to speak?
It will be difficult to establish any real connection with positive people if you are a negative person because you will drain their energies. That means you may have to raise your standards if you haven’t been a very positive person before now.
How do you become a more positive person?
Stop focusing on the negatives, for starters. Here are other ways to stop being negative and be more positive:
- Deliberately choose what to dwell on and try to look for the good in every situation
- Make gratitude a regular practice and compliment people as often as possible
- Learn from setbacks and bounce back as quickly as possible
- Cultivate compassion both for others and yourself
- Practice mindfulness
2. Let Go of Negative Relationships
Make room for new, healthy connections by cutting off unproductive, negative, or toxic relationships.
If you can, stop calling, texting, or visiting those you want to remove from your social circle. Remove yourself from situations that will lead to frequent interactions with them.
While it may not be possible to cut off some people from your life in one fell swoop, you can reduce your interactions with them little by little until they are completely out of your life.
One way to do this is to use the successive-approximations method, which is a psychological technique that initially encourages responses similar to a preferred outcome or behavior and later reinforces only the desired behavior.
In this case, take longer to reply to texts, respond to emails, or return calls. Be unavailable when they need to meet up with you. Keep this attitude up, and they’ll eventually get tired of the one-sided relationship or get the message. Either way, the relationship will end.
3. Identify Positive People
Of course, you already know that you need to find people with positive traits and associate with them. But how do you identify these individuals with positive energy?
Positive people are open-minded, honest, trustworthy, humble, and optimistic. Keep an eye out for these qualities when choosing those to hang out with.
Choose people who are hard-working, smart, positive thinkers, and visionaries. But most importantly, you want to make friends with authentic individuals who aren’t trying to be what they are not.
In addition to positive qualities, looking for people who can encourage growth, respect your individuality, and help you flourish in specific areas of your life is crucial.
Look for go-getters and optimistic people if you want to grow your business. Spend more time with people who have enviable romantic relationships if you want a better love life. Hang out with positive fitness enthusiasts if you want to improve your exercise habit. You get the gist, right?
By the way, positive people are usually warm and welcoming, so you don’t have to worry about getting snubbed, even if you consider yourself an introvert.
4. Make the First Move
When you find someone that inspires you, don’t sit back and wait for them to come to you. Instead, initiate a connection with them in the most appropriate way.
Remember that you are actively looking for positive people to improve your life, so you have to make an effort to connect with those you’ve identified.
Invite them to hang out on the weekend or for coffee. Connect with them on social media. Walk up to them and have a quick one-on-one conversation to let them know that they inspire you and you’ll like to get closer with them.
Do whatever is appropriate, depending on the person you’re hoping to interact more with. The goal is to take the initiative and make the first move rather than wait for them to reach out to you.
5. Participate in Mastermind Groups
Find and join a mastermind mind group around an aspect of your life you want to improve. You can attend group meetings virtually or in person if you find one in your area. And even if you can’t find one, you can create your own mastermind group!
Mastermind groups allow you to meet like-minded individuals who use peer mentoring to achieve your goals. A mastermind group can be based on occupation or focused on a particular industry. Many of these groups offer a paid membership, but you can find free mastermind groups if you’re on a shoestring budget or prefer to join a free group.
Either way, a mastermind group is an excellent way to spend time with people who share similar goals and have a progressive mindset.
6. Share Your Interests and Goals With Others
While humans can feel the emotions of others, we can’t literally read others’ minds. Even your closest buddy can’t tell exactly what’s on your mind unless you share your thoughts.
Develop the habit of talking about your goals and interests if you want others to support you and share useful ideas relating to your goals and interests.
When you identify the people you’ll like to spend more time with, don’t be afraid to talk about your true goals. They can only challenge you to grow if they clearly understand what you are trying to reach for.
But this means you must develop the skills to start up conversations. The good news is that you don’t have to be extroverted to strike up conversations with strangers. I share a few useful tips for being more conversational in this post. You might want to check it out if that’s something you struggle with.
7. Prune Your Social Network From Time to Time
Choosing to surround yourself with positive people isn’t a one-off event. You want to spend most of your time with like-minded, constantly growing individuals, not stagnant people.
One of the primary reasons for hanging out with positive people is continuous growth. For this reason, I recommend regularly auditing your social network to prune off “dead” or unproductive individuals.
Anyone who has a negative impact on you or keeps you the same needs to go. If removing them from your circle is not possible for whatever reason, significantly cut back your interactions with them using the successive-approximations method discussed earlier.
Always Remember That Like Attracts Like
As I mentioned, you have to be a positive person to surround yourself with positive people. You can’t constantly give off negative vibes and expect to attract people with predominantly positive vibes.
Positive people will attract those like them, and negative people will do the same. Fill your thoughts with positivity if you want to give off positive vibes and draw similar people, situations, and experiences into your life.
To surround yourself with upbeat, forward-thinking people means to be the type of person who attracts such individuals.
Here are two important tips to help you be that person who attracts positive people:
1. Develop a Positive Self-Image
You know that dogs can smell fear from a distance, right? It turns out that people can also sense low self-esteem and poor self-image from a mile away!
Yes, it is good to want to be positive, but don’t look down on what you are because you are not as positive as you would prefer.
Believe in yourself! Acknowledge your gifts, talents, and skills. Talk to yourself like you would a dear friend, follow your heart, and honor your truth.
Accept who you currently are, work to improve yourself, and trust that you’ll be better with time. If you don’t completely love yourself despite your real or perceived flaws, you will end up attracting people who struggle with their self-image.
2. Let Go of Past Mistakes
There’s only one way to prevent mistakes completely: don’t do anything. And to be alive and attempt to never do anything is not only impossible but also a huge mistake itself!
That’s my way of saying that we all make mistakes, and it is okay because it shows that we are trying to make progress.
Beating yourself up for mistakes will leave you in a negative state of mind. You’ll walk around with grudges and bitterness against yourself, which are not healthy and can’t make you radiate positivity.
Learn to forgive yourself easily and quickly, no matter how grievous your mistake is. You simply can’t enjoy success without failures, so it is okay to falter and fall – sometimes flat on your face!
Don’t let guilt hold you captive, even if you’ve messed up big time in the past. Make amends, learn from your mistakes, and move.
I understand that moving on from guilt is easier said than done, but it is doable if you know how. Check out this post to learn how.
One of the best things you can do for yourself in a world where negativity tends to spread very quickly is to surround yourself with positive people. They can offer moral and emotional support to help you navigate different situations.
Besides supporting you, positive people in your social circle can challenge you to be better and never settle for less.
And just in case you want to learn more about teaching yourself to never settle for less, I recommend reading my no-nonsense guide on the topic.