Take out a sheet of paper and list the 3-6 people in your life whom you choose spend the most time with. This will involve your work time and free time. The one rule is, you are not allowed to use your immediate family (spouse and children) for today's blog.
In your life you choose to spend time with certain people for different reasons, I can't answer that for you, you will do that a little later. The people whom you associate with influence you in ways you can't even begin to understand. It goes as deep as body movement.
As for myself, their are two people who have had great impact on me, I watch what they do and I've started to mimic a common facial expression they do, and use 2 words they use quite a bit when speaking to others. Did I do this on purpose, absolutely not I have simply picked up on it and overtime I adopted it.
The longer you spend time with people (ps- the actions I do, are only from spending minimal time) the more they influence your beliefs, choices and actions. With that said, would you like to be influenced in a bad way? Your answer is "no", yet most people allow this on a daily or a "weekend" basis.
Think of how you feel one hour after leaving people you spend time with, do they make you feel:
Angry, have a need to gossip, guilty, sad or even a need to say "I'm never doing that again".
Inspired, motivated, happy excited to go try what you've learned.
That question can be quite sobering, and you may not have ever thought of it before.
You may also be someone who claims you choose to spend time with a certain people because you are helping them through life. Run quickly, those people only use you as a crutch and will very rarely use what you tell them to make there lives better. It's great to be there for someone in a time of need, yet if there time of need is lasting several months or even years you may not be the right person that should be helping them. Limit time with these people. If you invest more than you receive from a relationship with a friend, limit time with them.
When you mature and need to grow you must start spending time with people who are influencing you in a positive way. You start not being the most "popular" person in your new circle of friends, spend time with more successful people than you. It's uncomfortable and scary but it's very worth it for what you get out of it. These people give you ideas on positivity and success and at this point in your life you need it.
Sometimes we worry that spending less time with someone hurts them, yet if it hurts you why suffer? You must constantly be growing for if you choose not to get better, you are simply getting worse.
Determine why you choose to spend time with the people you do, and ask yourself what are you getting out of it emotionally. Are they draining you or helping you reach your potential?
At the begging I wrote family (spouse and children) do not count in this exercise. The reason behind this is this blog was about people you CHOOSE to spend time with. Your family life, is not the influence I was mentioning above. And I'm not a family counsellor :-)