The company you keep REALLY matters. Truth is…you will only ever grow to become like the people you spend most of your time with. Get around those who are small-minded, negative, cynical, sarcastic & mean spirited – and it’s inevitable that this will have a profound influence on your life. Alternatively, keep company with people who are positive, go-getting, encouraging, uplifting & passionate – and this too will impact how you live.
One of the most important things to recognise is that there are basically three types of people in your life. They are:
1) The Cautious, 2) The Critical, 3) The Committed.
So let’s take a look at these types of people:
1) The Cautious
They make up around 80% of the people in your world. It’s not that they’re bad. They’re just cautious of you. Why? Because they don’t really understand you. They haven’t caught your heart. They don’t ‘get you’. Sure they’re generally nice enough to you. But just because someone is polite to you doesn’t mean you have their heart.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that everybody in their life understands them. So this false expectation unwittingly sets them up for huge disappointment. What’s 100% certain is that at least 80% don’t really comprehend you! This harsh realisation often leads to feelings of deflation, disappointment & even bitterness.
The challenge with ‘The Cautious’ is that they are fickle. One minute they’ll be with you. Then the next, they won’t. They’ll jump on the bandwagon of your success and then abandon the wagon once you hit tougher times.
Wise people never root their expectation in the crowd. They can turn very quickly. Jesus knew all about this. One day the crowd declared him to be the greatest. Yet within 1 week, those very same people cried ‘crucify him!’. Crowds are fickle.
So it’s never wise to root your expectation in ‘The Cautious’.
2) The Critical
They make up around 10% of those you interact with in life. These people don’t like you very much. There, I said it. That’s right…some people in your life are not your biggest fans. Shocking stuff, hey?
There are a billion reasons why ‘The Critical’ dislike you. It might be jealousy? Could be envy? Perhaps they perceive you as a threat? Maybe it’s a personality clash or a lack of chemistry? It might even be some obscure reason that has never even crossed your mind? But wise people settle in their hearts that not everyone will like you.
So how do you handle these people? The worst response is to react with counter-criticism. By responding like this, you are giving them the very attention they crave. People in this category often have profound internal issues that they can’t really handle very well – so they manage them by deflecting attention on to others who they perceive are more successful in life.
Another mistake is to try to please these people. This will be particularly challenging for people pleasers (you know who you are!!). The problem is that even if you compromise who you are to try and appease ‘The Critical’, they will still find reasons not to like you. Generally, you’re not really the problem. They are.
So how do you handle ‘The Critical’? Well, wise people pray for their critics. Love them. Pray blessing on them. Choose to believe the best for them. If they don’t receive your blessing, it will come bouncing right back in your direction. Keep a sweet spirit but don’t ever be intimidated by your critics.
3) The Committed
They make up around 10% of the people in your life. They are more valuable than pure gold. Their track record is one of persistence, faithfulness and encouragement. These people know the worst about you – yet keep believing the best of you.
Thank God for the people in your life who are ‘committed’ to you. They keep encouraging you. They stick with you through thick and thin. They don’t wait for you be be successful. They just champion you through every failure, disappointment and triumph.
I am personally grateful for the people in my life who are ‘The Committed’. They choose to keep believing in me. Sometimes, they’ve believed in me far more than I’ve believed in myself.
We all need to find these people in our lives. Don’t rush it though, otherwise you set yourself up for disappointment. The best way to attract ‘committed’ people into your life is to be a committed, faithful, loyal person yourself. Like will always attract like.