Surround yourself with the right people — most other things will fall into place. For, it is the people in your life that largely define your everyday experience. And, even the harshest physical circumstances become more manageable with their fellowship. What’s more, their high personal and professional standards will cause you to raise your game. For, we cannot help but be influenced by those around us, and that is why we must find the right people in our lives. They matter much more than we realise.
First things, first
To find the right people, you must, first, distance yourself from the wrong people —those currently dragging you down. This crucial first step is necessary to free-up the mental space and energy you need to seek out the right people. It’s not just that the wrong people are toxic, it’s that our limited emotional and mental bandwidth naturally limit the number of relationships we can manage. Known as Dunbar’s number, 150 frequently comes-up as the upper limit of ‘friends’ people tend to have. This is based on analysing things like Christmas card lists and hunter-gatherer band groupings.
There is only so much time and cognitive capacity we have as humans, and this is particularly true for the closest 10-15 relationships in our lives. An inner circle that Oxford anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, has found to consist of people we meet regularly — anywhere from once a week (closest 5 people), to once a month (remaining 10). Remarkably, these nested patterns in the number of relationships humans have, with their varying degrees of intimacy, are stable across different cultures and time.
So, having the wrong people in your life is then a double whammy. They limit your ability to form new, more wholesome relationships and they drag you down at the same time. That is why we must let them go.
Don’t rely on fate to find the right people
Yet, even unhealthy relationships can feel difficult to let go of. Often, this is because we cling to the safety of the known and fear not being able to find the right people, straightaway. While all this is quite natural, we must remember that it’s far better to be alone than to live amidst toxicity. Something, is not always better than nothing! And, seeing this truth can allow you to break free of circumstances that you might otherwise decide to stay in.
What’s more, you don’t have to rely purely on fate to find the right people. Aim to actively build-up, skill-up and nurture those around you. The more you do this, the more likely it is that you will attract those right for you!