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"We are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with." -UnknownThere have been several periods of time in my life when I feel like this has come into play pretty heavily and I've had to essentially "check" my relationships. Who are the people I surround myself with? And more importantly: Why? If you have any level of self-esteem, you will probably feel like your time is valuable. If your time is valuable, you want to invest it where it will bring you the most fruition. Now I'm not saying that all of your time surrounded by scholars and saints, but perhaps it's important to evaluate what you are getting from your investments into these relationships? Maybe you have a friend who constantly asks the hard questions, thereby encouraging your brain to work harder. Maybe your best friend brings invaluable joy to your life with her laughter and easy-going spirit. Perhaps a friend is going through a tough time and you feel that your advice is needed, so you stick by their side to be a more helpful person. Although one could interpret this equation as selfish, I think that it's important to give meaning and therefore value to your relationships. You may give and you may receive from them- but either side of that coin is going to change your life in either a better or a worse way.
Are the things you're getting out of those relationships positive or negative(?), and that's the keystone to this equation. If the people you surround yourself with are selfish, cruel, impatient, or judgemental- you too will acquire some of those attitudes. And you will notice them wafting into your persona because (initially, at least) they will feel alien to you. Some new attitudes are good; understanding, love, acceptance and patience. And if they're new to you you will sense those coming into play too. But I challenge you to check the new emotions at your doorstep and decide if they are good or not. Once that is determined, decide what has influenced their arrival, and whether that influence is a necessary part of your life.
Keep in mind that people become what they surround themselves with. Not only should you surround yourself with good- but be the good surrounding others as well. You want to be one of the five people who brings some one's average up, not down.