Mondays with Shama: Your friends are a reflection of you

12 March 2018

Mondays with Shama: Your friends are a reflection of you

Image credit: Friends © 2004 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.

I remember being told back in high school that our friends are a reflection of us. At the time, I didn’t realise exactly what that meant. But looking back, even though it may not have impacted my choice of friends, it stayed with me; and as the years have flown by, I have grown to understand how true it is.

Over the last few days it’s been popping up in my mind, and it got me thinking — what does this really mean? How much control do we really have when it comes to the relationships we make, or who we make them with? And by attracting the people we do, is it a sign of who we are, or who we are becoming?

“What are friends for? They are the ultimate reflection of yourself. Always surround yourself with people who inspire you and return the favour by giving them the best of you.” — Jenny McCarthy

I have always believed that making friends is simple — it was keeping them that was not so easy, and this had more to do with personal development than anything else. Over the years I can say that I have met wonderful people along my journey, and plenty of them have evolved in different ways and taken different paths — and others have not.

Upon reflecting on this natural process of people coming and going, I realised that those who remained in my life had similar values to me. What I find interesting is that many of the people I hold closest are linked in their beliefs of the importance of positive personal growth, and not their personalities or characteristics. We agree far more than we debate, which is great, but I can’t help but feel there may be a downside.

If we surround ourselves with people who agree with us all the time, how do we attract people with differing opinions? How do we attract people who challenge our ways of thinking so there is room for growth?

As I pondered these questions, I came across an article where I believe the author summed it up perfectly. She writes that “the desirable behaviors we see in others is also a reflection of ourselves. When we predominantly choose thoughts of love, we live in a reality of love. In other words, as we focus on our light within, we bring out the light within others”.

Perhaps we are more in control of the people we come across and the people that stay in our lives. Maybe, the choice will always be ours at the end of the day — who we choose to surround ourselves with and how we allow them to contribute to our lives. And just because we naturally bond with like-minded people, does not mean that we cannot challenge each other. The most important thing is that the people you surround yourself with want to play a positive role in your life, and vice versa.

“You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.” — Joel Osteen