The influence of others…

Are you swayed by what others think and do? I’m not saying you are going to change your personality based on the opinions of others. I’m talking about how you see the attributes of others and in some way, you think, “if I could be more like…”

_DSC5868I think that most of us are (influenced) to some degree or another. You likely have a mentor, or someone that you look up to, maybe it’s someone that you hold in high regard and you attempt to model your behavior after theirs. Or to at least some degree. I’m not saying that you mimic them exactly. Well at least I hope you don’t. Otherwise that would be a form of idle worship, and probably not a good idea. Regardless you likely look at this person and see attributes/behaviors/personalities that you like and you think if that is your style and incorporate those into yours.

I know for myself, I typically look to others, try to ascertain the traits that I like in those individuals and then try to break it down as to what exactly I’m drawn towards. Why is it that I like those attributes. Is it because I’m missing those attributes or that I see a better way. Truth is it could be a bit of both. I know for some, their personalities allow them the latitude to have a certain trait. Some of these traits I like, but I’m not necessarily going to incorporate it into my personality. Sometimes these traits would just be completely incongruous with my personality. It doesn’t prevent me from liking a specific trait though.

I know that I was told this a long time ago, the line is “everyone is good at something”. Believe what you want from that one. I see this as being a mostly true statement, at least most of the time. See, over the years, I have interacted with a large number of people (ie: my work world). There are some that I see are definitely good at somethings… I may not necessarily like the things that they are good at, but that’s my opinion, I am not going to share specifics here. However, with my friends, and the reason why they are my friends is that I see something in them that I like or even love. Hence the reason why they are my friends. Of course I don’t necessarily need to mimic or even incorporate their traits into my own, but simply being around them is a pleasure into itself.

And speaking of friends…there are those times when I get the privilege of being let into one of my friend’s happiness. Whether this is by design or by fluke, its always such a privilege. Recently a friend of mine showed me what a great time they were having, and the only thing I could think of was… I would like to be a by-stander, and be witness to that. Even though I wasn’t physically there, I felt like I was included and could virtually share the good times and laugh along with them. These are times when I examine my interaction with my friends, and think, am I able to provide for those that are around me with an experience that would make them feel proud to be around me, or want them to call me their friend ? Maybe proud isn’t the right word, but more a case where my friends can share in my life and appreciate my traits and see the world through my eyes. If only for a while.

If you could, who would you like to be more like ? Do the people who influence you in your life understand the significance in which they play in your life ? I was recently told by one of my friends, how he has made an effort in his life to only associate with those that have a positive outlook on life. That statement stopped me in my tracks. I was so honored by this comment I was rendered speechless. I realize that it’s one thing to think of those that influence you. But maybe the more important question should be, do those that influence you, understand how important they are in your life ? I think to this end, I have done a poor job at letting those people know. This is going to change, as I’ve just discovered how important it is. Maybe you should tell those that help shape you, know just how important they are to you. What do you have to lose ?

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