As children, we are introduced to love by our parents and family. We take on some of the attributes of love from what we witness but that doesn’t stop once we get older/grown. We continue to learn and be influenced by those in our circle. Our friends, co-workers, church members, etc influence how we view love. Today, Caroll,from LoveDesignLife, & I will talk about how our circle influences how we love & who we love. It is so important that we recognize this influence and ingest what is best for us as a single individual & as a married individual.
We hope you are enjoying the Love series & how we are discussing the same topic but from a married and single person point of view.
As you live and breathe, how you love and feel about love is influenced by a variety of factors, including your circle of friends. As we discussed in the post, Love is a Learned behavior, much of who you are, what you do, and what you believe in was (and is) influenced by your parents, family, friends, and any adult interactions growing up and now.
Your thoughts and actions are influenced by the circle you keep! It is so important to recognize how those in your circle are influencing your behavior toward love: whether positively or negatively they will influence you. Look at your circle of influence and access what type of influence they are depositing into your life?
Just being aware of the impact your circle has on how you love is powerful. Now don’t get me wrong, you will spend time with friends and family. They will also spend time with your spouse but make sure you have a healthy balance and respect among all.
Emotions are infectious. When you spend time with friends and family, you will display some of their emotional state unconsciously. You will internalize the conversations you have with them and become preoccupied with their situation. This preoccupation can impact your marriage and your interaction with your spouse.
It is ok to set up boundaries to protect your marriage, your spouse, and you. It is your responsibility to enforce these boundaries and make sure YOUR friends and family adhere to them. Be AWARE concerning your circle of influence and protect the love you have for yourself & your spouse.
Make a conscious choice on how influential the people you spend quality time with are affecting your mood toward love and make an educated decision on whether you will continue to allow that influence to affect your life. It is hard to think that your lifelong friend or even a family member could be toxic for your marriage and you as an individual.
LoveDesignLife: SDMS has outlined why your circle of influence is important to a marriage/partnership. However, if you are in fact single and you are on your journey of learning to love yourself, progressing on through to hopefully if you so choose, a solid, meaningful marriage/partnership, please know you must still be vigilant on whom you allow into your circle. In fact, it is even more critical that you guard against negative influences.
As I said earlier, people who otherwise love you and care about you can give you advice that is negative and not suited for you. After all they don’t know your journey intimately, only you do! The work you are putting in to learn how to give yourself that all-important self-love, can get confusing when you have people like mother, sister or best friend saying you should do this or you must do that. This is where you will have to learn the other main ingredient of self-love and that is trust of self. Trust yourself that the choices you are making in your life including who gets a say in your life or who are even allowed in your circle, is all in the process of becoming strong and capable which is a part of self-love. Till you can stand up strong and take responsibilities for what you do and not defer to using blame, you will not have all the tools you need to accomplish self-love. This will also hamper your ability to be in a relationship where you can in fact be a loving and supportive partner. They are most definitely connected to each other. Loving yourself means you accept your decisions and know you are doing the very best you can with what you know. Every day we learn and grow, so as you can see it is critical whom you keep close. Only people that help you on that journey need be involved. Do not be afraid to make the hard choices, those who truly love you WILL understand and even support you.
Whether you are married, partnered or single, your circle of influence is important. Ultimately we are responsible for ourselves, but we make decisions based on many things. Know what your goals in life are. The saying “you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with” is true. If you want to develop an attitude of excellence, you should surround yourself with such people. Remember, the LOVE you save SHOULD be your own!
To summarize: Take ownership of who you allow into your space. Everyone has a reason and a season to be in your circle. Regardless of the time they are with you, they will influence you in someway, just make sure its the influence you want. Love yourself, your spouse, your life enough to be able to cut off those that are not depositing positively into your life.
When was the last time you evaluated your circle of influence? Do you need to cut ties with some and maybe add some others to your circle?