How to Become The MVP Of Your Friend Group

Coach Mike
Post by Coach Mike
How to Become The MVP Of Your Friend Group
"We all begin to mirror and mimic people we spend the most time with – and that’s something we can control."- Michael Hauge

Have you ever noticed that when one of your friends or family members learns a new word and starts using it regularly, all of a sudden, your entire friend group adopts that word? This isn’t your imagination. This is science!

There’s an old adage that says...

 ‘We become the average of the five people we spend the most time with.’ While I’m not exactly sure how the math works out, I do know through my own personal experience that I pick up certain habits from those I spend the most time with, be it verbal cues, certain words of vocabulary, actions and behaviors, and even all the way to core values.

Humans are mimetic creatures. What does this mean? Humans copy and replicate behaviors of other people. That’s how we learn! We learn to talk my listening to our parents or other loved ones and trying to replicate the sounds they make. We learn to play sports or activities by watching coaches or professionals. We learn the way to address others, act with good manners, and conduct ourselves by examining what behaviors get rewarded or punished in society.

And how does this translate to our beliefs? When it comes to our beliefs, no matter how strongly we may hold them, we are more than likely influenced by others constantly. This can be through conversations, discussions, media, etc. We often view these conversations as a chance to discuss and debate, but it becomes more of a battle of beliefs.

At the end of the day, we are often influenced by others’ beliefs, values, and opinions due to our need to be accepted and validated by those around us. We often want to be liked and seen as a part of a group, and so we mirror and adopt similar beliefs as those who are around us. This is why it’s so important to choose your peers, mentors, and influences carefully!

So… don’t worry if you are influenced by others. That’s normal, healthy, and in fact, you can’t really fight it even if you try.

What you can do, and what is within your control, is who you spend those precious hours and precious time with.

Here’s a quick exercise you can conduct that will bring all of this into focus. It’s called the Delight and Inspiration Test.

How to use the 'Delight and Inspiration Test'?

Draw a 2×2 box, or matrix. In the upper left, write, “I am delighted spending time with people who…” In the upper right, write, “I am not delighted spending time with people who… In the lower left, write, “I am inspired spending time with people who…” and finally in the lower right, write, “I am not inspired spending time with people who…

The box should look something like this:

Your paragraph text

Then, simply fill in the boxes with specific people’s names. Yes, it might feel uncomfortable at first, but the more specific you can get in the early stages, the more helpful and productive this exercise will be for you. Get granular and be honest. It may hurt to write the names of someone who is close to you in a ‘not’ box. But guess what? You may not be inspired by someone who you are delighted by, or vice versa. That’s very normal.

The next step is to look for commonalities within the traits of who you’ve written in each box! What qualities or characteristics do they share?

Take time to complete this section, as the majority of the value comes from searching for patterns, rather than thinking of the specific individuals.

This exercise has been extremely insightful for me in helping me realize my core values and goals in life, as well as discovering which groups, individuals, and activities I should invest more time in and which I should distance myself from

Ok, but why and how do others influence my beliefs?

It is quite simple! We influence each other. Through mimicking behaviors and values, and suggesting different perspectives to one another, we have the power to shape the beliefs of those around us. Through time and critical analysis of our friends and associates, we can make conscious decisions to be surrounded by those who lift us up and choices that align with our core values.

Now you have a clear list staring you back in the face describing in detail what characteristics you may want to search for in people you spend time with and what types of characteristics you want to avoid.

Everyone in your life will grant you energy and excitement and positivity or they may take it away. As difficult or brutal as it may sound, it is only healthy and in your best interest to spend more time with people of the former and less time with the latter.

I suggest you take the time to practice this as often as needed and remember, it’s up to you who you spend your valuable time with and how that will influence your beliefs!

In summary, other people influence my beliefs through mimicking and mirroring behaviors, reinforcing core values, and gently suggesting different perspectives. In order to discover my own beliefs and values, I should practice the Delight and Inspiration Test and take the time to analyze the patterns that emerge from my relationships. By making conscious choices about who I surround myself with and what conversations I participate in, I can better understand who I am and what I believe.

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Coach Mike
Post by Coach Mike