I had a chance to catch the article Is Happiness Catching from the New York Times Magazine over the weekend. It definitely prompts one's mind to think about who is in your close circle of friends and what effect they have on you and what affect you have on them.
The article leans toward the fact that positive people have a bit more influence on negative people than the other way around. It also points out that there is always a common denominator in any group -- something that has drawn them together -- and that it is difficult to sustain outside of that common denominator for any length of time. Say, for example, that there is a group of friends who have known one another for quite some time because they walk at the mall every single day of their lives. Within this group, it would be difficult to be a part of it and not enjoy walking and good health. Your time within that group would be limited. It goes on to say that smokers have a tough time hanging with non-smokers over the long term. And that overweight people typically don't tend to migrate toward a group of gym rats and folks to try to take care of themselves -- and that happy people don't hang with negative for very long.
It's interesting food for thought on what ties us to our friends. We certainly have differences but there has to have been some common ground to bring us together and then keep us together. Differences? Commonality? What is it that has brought you to reside within the group of people you spend the majority of your lives with? Are you the influence on them or are they the ones influencing you? Interesting.