Ready for it?
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Seriously? Yeah, seriously.
First, let me say this, I am not a psychologist, however, I think mimicry is a pretty interesting, and a lot of psychologists think it’s pretty cool too. (This paper has a good summary of some of the better known studies, read the first paragraph of section 2. Social influence Effects of Mimicry). Long story short, according to psychologists, humans mimic other humans.
Why is this useful to you? I’ve found when I hang around with pedantic people, I become nit-picky. When I hang around with happy people, I become overjoyed and excited about the future. Maybe this isn’t the same for you, but the change I saw in myself when I recently moved from Chicago to Ottawa was astounding. I completely changed my social circle and that changed everything. My internal monologue, my interests, my health, all changed.
Want to change your outlook on life? Spend more time with people who have traits you idolize. You may be thinking: “Why would they want to spend time with me?”, bullshit, people aren’t that cruel. Invite them over for a dinner party or a house party, everyone loves being genuinely invited to a fun evening. Go overboard too! Read up on whatever topic you think might make interesting conversation.
I’ll end this here. You get the jist: You are who you hang out with.
Onward and upward my friend.