Become the sum of those you are around

Cut loose of those negative people in your life, and surround yourself with true friends

More stories from Bri Hageman



Here is staff writer Bri Hageman with her best friend Rya Wait, knowing that true friends can really make you this happy.

Author Jim Rohn said you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.

My best friend Rya always told me this whenever someone wasn’t treating me right. I highly encourage everyone to take a step back and evaluate who those five people are to you.

We are fiercely independent college students who love to think we are exactly that: fiercely independent and not affected by those around us. We are our own person.

Most of the time, this is true. We are all one of a kind. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact we are still influenced partially by those we spend the most time with. The people around you really do matter, so it should start being essential to pick those five people wisely.

In high school I spent most of my time with a girl who thought looks mattered more than any other attribute about yourself. Naturally, this had a huge impact on my self esteem.

We all have had that friend who loved to be the center of attention. However, this friend went to the extreme of taking her pants off when we were at a music festival to gain the attention from the boys around her because looks mattered so much to her.

Doesn’t that sound crazy? Side word of advice: don’t take your pants off to attract attention from people. That kind of attention is not what anyone truly needs.

This friend put me, and others around her, down to make herself feel better, as well as look superior. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t pretty, nice or smart enough and a huge factor was me surrounding myself with a friend who relished on my faults.

My family eventually noticed my change in personality as I became a more negative person and overall not happy. One day I woke up looked at my life and realized this wasn’t who I wanted to be anymore. I looked at the friends who made me ecstatically happy to be around versus the ones who made me insanely sad.

You shouldn’t feel angry when you spend time with people. You shouldn’t leave a friend’s house feeling awful about yourself. I came to the realization I could no longer surround myself with this toxic friendship I held onto for so long. I started to distance myself from people who constantly brought me down, and that was one of the best things I could have ever done.

Sometimes it is hard to do what you know is good for you. It can be really hard to distance yourself from a friend you had a lot of good times with. Yet if anyone ever makes you feel like less of a person, they aren’t worth it.

Take the time to evaluate who those five people you spend the most time with are and understand how a real friend should treat you. As much as we hate to admit it, people do have an influence on us.

Surround yourself with people who hold you up and enthuse your day. It’ll make you the best possible person you can be.