The company we keep can boost us up or keep us down – they are a reflection of our own values and expectations. Surrounding yourself with the right people; those who are ambitious, inspiring, caring, compassionate, open-minded, and energetic, can be hugely rewarding and beneficial. Conversely, keeping negative relationships in your life just because they are your old friend, you grew up together, or share a history, is not doing you any favors; it might be time for new friends.
The people we surround ourselves with greatly impact our thinking and perception of the world. Social psychologists who conduct research on social circles show that our social networks influence our values and understanding of the self (1.) Simply put, if you hang around underachievers or emotionally destructive people, you are increasing the chances of being one yourself. Likewise, if your network consists of high performing, unique, and inspired people, you too will begin to act in a similar fashion.
So what now? Maybe you are feeling like some new friends might not be a bad idea. To get some more clarity on this, check out our free Self Assessment Tool for Social Circle Health (inbound link to ChiChi). If new friends are on your agenda but you are feeling a bit apprehensive, don’t worry! Here are a few suggestions on how to find new friends and fill your social circle with the right people.
Define Your Standards – Know What You Want
Two elements are going to be essential in ensuring you attract the right people. The first is chemistry: the connection, vibe, or energy someone gives off. Words cannot explain much beyond that, you know when you know. But what we can explain is the second part, and that is your standard. What key features or traits do you want in a friend? What do you value? Be specific on what is important to you in a friendship, including how you want them to make you feel.
Be Disciplined – Separate the Cream from the Crop
Once you define your standard, never settle for anything less. Ensure those around you subscribe to the same standards. Holding yourself and others to your standard is essential to building a network of friends and peers who share or exceed your level of expectation when it comes to living. Be brutally honest with yourself and determine if those in your network are in someway contributing positively to you and the relationship. If not, you must find the discipline to remove toxicity from your social circle.
Accept Quality Over Quantity
You might be on your own for a little while, but don’t bend your rules because you are lonely, and most importantly, don’t let others influence you otherwise! The quality of your soon to be new network exponentially outweighs sheer size. Recognize acquaintances for what they are and only invest your energy in to those who truly meet your standard.
It may take time to build your new network, but perseverance is key. And don’t worry, meeting new friends online, awkward social mixers, and forced conversations are not required. For more insight on meeting new friends, keep reading.
In the meantime, take the opportunity to invest more in yourself – hit the gym, start applying for new jobs, engage with the world in some new way. In doing so, you are likely to encounter others who are on a similar path and share similar values.