As adults, we want to believe that we control our own lives and aren’t easily influenced by those around us. Often times however, that’s simply not the case. We’re influenced by so many things in our lives. The media, entertainers and other powerful influencers have an impact on the ways we think and behave. On a more personal level, those closest to us may have the biggest impact of all. It’s important that you learn to recognize how other people impact what you do and how you feel if you hope to set clear boundaries for yourself. Let’s explore this topic more closely so that you can begin to understand these types of influences and how to break free of them.
The Impact of Others
Other people can truly impact the ways in which we feel and behave on a regular basis. This is especially true when the influencer is someone you respect, care about or wish to impress. What these people do and say can greatly affect your mood, which can then cause you to behave in certain ways, if you let them. The key to setting boundaries and protecting yourself from negative influences is to determine the types of behaviors and actions you will allow in your life.
Do Others Impact You?
Sometimes the people we interact with regularly have the most impact on our lives in ways we may not even realize. It’s important that you take time to think about the people who may be influencing your mental health and happiness in negative ways so that you can begin to set boundaries regarding their presence. You probably already have an idea of who the people are causing you discomfort. Take a moment to sit down and think about the ones who cause you problems and try to determine the ways they are most affecting you. Do some journaling or note taking if necessary, in order to clarify your thoughts. Once you have some insight into the ways in which people in your life are causing you to feel such things as fear, anger, jealousy, inferiority or other negative emotions, you can begin to create some boundaries to help you overcome their impact.
How to Reduce the Impact
Pay attention to how you feel around people in your life. When you notice an uncomfortable emotion or tightness in your muscles, try to identify what’s causing the feeling. Once you do, you can then make a plan for how to handle each one. Perhaps you may wish to have a heart to heart with those who impact you in negative ways, letting them know how you’re feeling and what types of behaviors you won’t accept from them. If this feels like too much to take on, you could simply minimize your contact with certain people. Sometimes it may make the most sense to remove someone from your life completely.
Make each decision on a case by case basis and which won’t always be easy. However, once you begin to identify the impact of others, you can start to take charge of how you respond. And that’s an empowering feeling.