You Are the Company You Keep: Why Fostering Meaningful Relationships is Key to Living a Fulfilled Life

It is said that you become the sum total of the five people that you spend most of your time with.

It’s simple enough… Who you spend your valuable time with has a direct impact on how you react to the outer world, what you spend your time doing, and how you cope with life’s ups and downs.

I myself am fortunate enough to be surrounded by a diverse community of creative, driven and fun-loving individuals who tend to bring out the best in me. My friendships, however, have developed over time, in different places, and amongst a variety of different groups.

Knowing what it is that you want out of your relationships, however, involves first figuring out what it is that bogs you down. I most definitely am no stranger to those gritty alliances that tend to drain positive energy and encourage you to lose touch with the better parts of yourself. It can take years of dealing with another persons baggage before finally gathering the personal strength to move on and forge new bonds. It also takes years of exposure to be able to recognize which friendships are enlightening and to learn how to sense red flags in defeatists.

Now, my dearest Juicy Geniuses, I have a quick activity to help you gain perspective on your closest relationships…

Grab a pen and pad of paper, if possible. Before we start, create two small columns at the top of your page and write what it is that you appreciate in others, and which characteristics you wish to develop or continue to foster on your own. Separately, take note of the qualities that you want to disassociate from and which you have the potential to appropriate.

Now, carefully reflect upon who it is that you spend the most time with. For many, partners and potentially even children will quickly top the list, but also be sure to include the relationships which you actively pursue individually. If there are more than five people that come to mind, feel free to jot down their names as well. Leave some space underneath each name. Now, take the time to reflect upon each relationship- what it is that you take from them, what it may take from you, and what you are both able to offer each other. Do any of the names on the page jump out at you, bringing about overwhelming feelings of security, happiness, or even disdain?

For the relationships, if any, that you feel resentful towards, take a moment to reflect upon why you may be still engaging in them. Are there feelings of obligation? Guilt?

If so, identify these feelings and take a few minutes to identify why you’re feeling obligated and guilty. Be honest with yourself when you assess these relationships. Is this a relationship that serves your best interest as you continue to learn and grow? If not, then it’s time to start restructuring who you spend your time with. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to “call-off” the friendship, but it does mean that you should make a conscious effort to spend more time with people who keep you fired-up and excited to pursue your passions and future.

The most important thing is to get clear on what you value and how you want to live your life. Then, make a conscious effort to live your life according to your values.

Keep us updated on your journey as you transition to surrounding yourself with your “Top 5” and if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below and we’ll be happy to help ya out!

XO & Juicy Love!

Juicy Geniuses Chief Blogger