There’s a quote from Jim Rohn that goes, “You are the average of the five people closest to you.” Think about this for a few moments. Are you happy with the results? Are you surrounded by people who have a positive influence on you? I consider myself as someone who is easily influenced. I’m influenced by my friends, my classes, my family, and the stories I see on media platforms. I would say that at this moment in my life, the media platforms and my friends are the biggest influencers in my life. My family also has a big influence on me, but I don’t see them everyday so I think at this point in life my friends and the media influence me a lot more. I think a large part of why I’m so easily influenced is because of my personality type. I tend to just go with the flow to try to maintain the peaceful atmosphere around me. My huge fear of conflict makes me afraid to share my opinions and views if there is even the slightest risk of someone getting upset or disagreeing. This fear allows my actions to be easily influenced. I like to think that I maintain my own opinions without letting other people’s opinions influence me too much, but I don’t know how truly accurate that is.

If we are really the average of the five people closest to us, shouldn’t the people we choose to let in be people who have a positive influence on us? This article from Medium talks about how to maintain the friendships around you while staying true to yourself. The article addresses picking your “squad” and carefully choosing the members that make it up. The article says, “You can’t hangout with negative people and expect a positive life.” Doesn’t that feel like a slap in the face? It makes perfect sense reading it, but when it comes to actually cutting the negative influencers out of your life, it’s incredibly hard. The article also suggests that you define which attitudes, opinions, and philosophies you want to be surrounded with. Whether these things challenge your opinions or coincide with them is up to you, but either way the people voicing those opinions should be positive influences. Below is a video that briefly sums up the contents of the previously talked about article.

The Lowe family on Easter.

Social media is another big influence in my life. There are people who I follow on Instagram who are social media influencers. I’m choosing to be influenced by what they post because I chose to follow them. My favorite influencers on Instagram are a married couple that used to be on the Bachelor. Their names are Sean and Catherine Lowe and they are amazing. They use their influential powers for good and I absolutely love them. They have two sons and the are literally the cutest babies every. Anyways, Sean and Catherine post funny, warm-hearted pictures on Instagram that remind us that they are regular people, too. Sean and Catherine occasionally throw in a post that serves as an ad for a company they partner with, but the posts usually consist of funny kid stories. A lot of the people from the Bachelor appear to have a perfect life, but Sean and Catherine do a good job of reminding us that even social media influencers make mistakes, too.

While we may never be able to escape from being influenced, we can learn to manage what influences us and how we deal with it. We need to be careful of what our influences are, but we also need to be careful about who we influence. We cannot expect people to be good influences on us if we are not good influences on them.