I had this person once ask me how she can change herself to be more quiet and calm. She said she was quiet and reserved when she was younger, but became wild and out of control when she started to hang around with some new, outgoing friends. Now she wants to be quieter, relaxed, level-headed, and less impulsive. She asked how she can achieve this.
There are two ways that people change. The first is obviously by hanging around people in general. The saying that “friends make up half of who you are” has some truth in it. As for the person mentioned earlier, she was affected by the contagious energy that her new friends exuded so she eventually resonated with it. If you hang around impulsive, erratic, and loud people, then chances are you will likely reciprocate that behavior. If you hang around chill, laid-back folks long enough, then you will likely be chilled and laid-back.
If you change to fit in with a crowd, then that is called being fake. There are people out there who fake it for their selfish agendas, and they do it very well. Most of the time, you can spot these imposters right away. It takes a lot of energy to fake it rather than to be genuine. Your true self will eventually reveal itself. Losing trust will have detrimental effects on your relationships. Therefore, learn to embrace and love yourself. Others will respect that.
The second way that people change is through self-improvement. Change through personal growth is not as common because you first have to be able to realise that you are facing a problem, and then be committed to changing your ways to fix it. An example would be a reserved individual who (realizes that he needs to speak up) steps out of his comfort zone by talking in front of a crowd (commitment for action). That takes realization, action, and courage. By finding his voice, he builds confidence in the process. That is a good step forward. These seemingly easy steps for some people can feel like moving mountains for others. The key is to take one step at a time.
“I am convinced that different people bring out different beasts in you.”
We all get influenced by others either directly or indirectly. Surrounding yourself with different people is good at times because you will learn more about yourself in the process. You will be more in tune with your core values and beliefs.
Wait…doesn’t this contradict with what was stated earlier, that hanging around certain people will make you be more like them?
Yes you will likely act more like how everyone in the group acts. However, when you are put to the test, usually in uncomfortable situations, you will likely fall back to your safety zone and act according to your core values and beliefs. Uncomfortable situations test the integrity of your character. It is during these times that your awareness usually kicks in and you decide if change is necessary to better yourself.
Love yourself so you won’t lose yourself in the process of bettering yourself.
Author Bio – James Ng is a health coach and creator of naturalignment.com, a website aimed to promote health and wellness through knowledge and conscious living. He shares his experiences and takeaway messages in his posts. When he is writing, he enjoys doing calisthenics outdoor, playing basketball, reading, and cooking.