After college, I got my first job at a finance company. At this office, the standard practice was to head to happy hour after work to have a few drinks and play blackjack.
Before starting this job, I could count on one hand the number of times that I had gambled. But suddenly, I found myself playing cards for money several times per week. The bets were always small, and there wasn’t ever enough money on the line to make any sort of dent in my budget, but still, I spent hundreds of hours that year hunched over a green felt half-moon.
Then, I left that job and moved to a new city. At my new job, I worked with people who left the office and went home to be with their families after work. Happy hours were rare occasions rather than the rule. Since then, and for the last decade or so, I can again count on one hand the number of times that I’ve gambled.
Jim Rohn is famous for saying that a person is the average of the five people that they spend the most time with. How much more clear of an example could I be? When I spent a bunch of time around people who gambled, so did I. When those people were no longer around me, my habits changed back.
Think about the people around you. Are they moving you closer to being the person you want to be, or taking you farther away?
Three People To Delete From Your Life
All of the people around you have some influence on how you act, and the people you spend the most time with have the most influence. While these people may affect how you act, THEY CANNOT CHANGE WHO YOU ARE.
They can, however, influence your behavior so that you are acting in a way that is not aligned with your true self. This is what happened to me when surrounded by gamblers. The actions of these people are like magnets, pulling you towards them and away from yourself. If you remove the magnet, you can easily fall back to be who you were meant to be.
The list of people to avoid could be miles long, and I’d like to hear your input on other ideas. These three people, however, are prevalent in society. I’m sure you know each of them…maybe many of them.
- The Gossip. The gossip loves to make sure that everyone knows everything about everybody. Unfortunately, I haven’t ever met a gossip who only spreads positive gossip. Once privy to juicy information about a coworker or acquaintance, it’s hard to keep to yourself. Even if you choose not to spread the gossip, you’re forced to deal with the information, true or not, in your own interactions with this other person. That’s why gossip is so insidious. Even just hearing their latest dirt makes you victim to their cruel tactics.
- The Complainer. Nothing is ever okay with the complainer, and they need to make sure that you know it. They are tired. They have a headache. Someone said something to them that they didn’t like. It is too hot, cold, humid, windy, rainy, sunny, cloudy, or dry outside. They have a pain. They don’t like their job. Or their co-workers. Or their commute. They don’t like how they look today. Or the color that their friend painted the living room. Being around the complainer is like being beaten in the head with the negativity stick. Over and over and over and over.
- The Victim. The world is out to get the victim. In their view, everything that happens, happens for a reason: to make them suffer. The victim wakes up in the morning upset at whatever caused them not to sleep well. The victim isn’t happy or successful because of you, or the weather, or the gas prices, or whatever else they choose to fall prey to.
If you’ve tried to make positive changes in your life, but haven’t been successful, consider the possibility that the people around you could be affecting your behavior in a way that is pulling you away from your goals.
But, since moving to a different city isn’t always a reasonable way to get away from these people, sometimes we need to take different approaches. In a future post, I’ll discuss strategies to do just that, so if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my future posts by entering your email address below!
Have a joyful day!
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