How Your Social Circle Defines You

You are the product of your surroundings. Consider the depth of this notion.

Take a moment to flesh out your personal characteristics. Seriously – grab a pen and the nearest notepad or napkin. Jot down your individual qualities. Consider your personality traits, habits, and favorite foods.

Are you an active person, or do you lead a more sedentary life? Is your favorite coffee from the local café, or from your own pot? Do you socialize with your neighbors, or are you more reserved? Did you recently gain employment elsewhere? Perhaps this company is a completely new field of work for you. If so, your likelihood of imitating the attitude of a coworker is quite high.

Where you work, the type of life you lead, the neighborhood you call home – it’s all relevant. And this habit cannot be helped.

Folks naturally acclimate to their external influences.

Their mannerisms, social tendencies, various lifestyles, and personal morals eventually influence your subconscious. Eventually, you begin to develop similar tendencies without fully intending to do so.

Where Does Your Social Circle Begin?

Jim Rohn, an impressive wordsmith and motivational leader, has noted a rather intriguing thought.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

Really? Are you truly the average of the five folks you are with most often? Consider those you surround yourself with. Friends, family, acquaintances – folks you provide a large dose of attention.

How similar are you to those people? Do you share similar speech patterns? Perhaps an eerily identical fondness for specific television shows? Maybe you’ve found you share similar habits.

This is no mere coincidence – it’s a natural life process.

Who Are You With The Most?

Consider your social circle. Who composes it? Is it large or strikingly small? Is it made of close friendships or passive acquaintances?

Who do you spend the most time with? If you’re married, one of these people is likely your spouse. Perhaps one individual is your business partner. Maybe two or three of them are your children or siblings.

Now that you’ve thought about your social bonds, narrow down that list.

Think about the five people you spend the most time with. This may take time. Certain folks may be close seconds. Those five people you are with the most may surprise you. One or two may be family members. Another may be your best friend. Perhaps – unbeknownst to you until now – one is your boss or employer.

Consider your relationships with these people. How did they come into your life? Are the bonds platonic, friendly, or romantic? Do you share common personality traits with one or more of these folks?

Your Life Is Comprised of Social Behavior.

As a people, we are both impressionable and highly social. Yet, we are still individuals. Our personal goals, aspirations, and desires are relative to our personal frame of mind.

But those ambitions we place for ourselves, both long and short-term, remain forever aligned with the rest of the world.

We make decisions that are in our best interest. Or, we are capable of doing so. Yet, subconsciously, those choices are based on the actions of those around us. Specifically, those we are with the most.

This group, a mere 5 people, play the largest role in your life. Whether you realize it or not, these folks influence you more on a daily basis than you’d likely care to admit. So this notion, the thought that you as a person are “…the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” fits the majority.

You thrive on your surroundings. Your successes and behaviors and partially influenced by your peers, along with other miscellaneous external forces.

So, Is Rohn’s Idea True?


Getting beyond the influence of your social sphere isn’t a simple task. As a people, we are meant to adapt. Your perspective may differ from a forced lifestyle change. Or, it might differ purely from the relationships in which you get entangled.

With that thought in mind, it’s hard to ignore the truth behind Rohn’s idea. Why wouldn’t those you spend the most time with influence you?

You just might be the average of the five people you are with most frequently. It’s a reasonable thought.

Depending on your social tendencies, your place in this equation may differ. You may be less social than your friend. Your circle may be smaller than exuberant Bob who works the next cubicle over. Still, even for you, Rohn’s thought continues to ring true.

Sure, your social relationships may be less in quantity. But the quality of those bonds remain.

Consider Your Social Sphere.

Think about your close relationships. Compare your qualities – both personal and professional – to said people. How many similarities can you find?