Spend time with people who’ll raise your spirits

‘Ever since you started hanging around with X, you’ve changed.’

It’s one of those allegations which may get levelled in relationships which are struggling through a rough patch, the insinuation being that the accused isn’t who he/she used to be.

The fact of the matter of course is that we do tend to take on the characteristics of the people we spend the most time with.

Socialising with optimists may give you a more half-full view of life, whilst being around those with a fundamentally pessimistic outlook might well drain your own glass.


Most of us have some around us who need to be there whatever the weather, but there’s nearly always an element of your social circle who are more discretionary – people you can choose to spend time with (or not).

I think life would quickly become bland if we opted to fill our lives entirely with ‘happy campers’. But isn’t it worth going a little out of your way to benefit from being with those who generally lift your spirits rather than dampen them?

You know who I mean. Why not arrange to catch up with them?

5 thoughts on “Spend time with people who’ll raise your spirits

  1. This is so true. I have a friend, who every time she calls me, she has to something negative to say and she complains about everyone in her lifer. Even when I try to change the subject, and out a positive spin on things, she seems to be “hooked” on being negative. She is still my friend, and I have just really learnt how to switch off from the negativity and continue to focus on the good. My motto in life ” No matter what I am going through, I will always find a reason to smile and appreciate that so long as I am alive, I have hope”.

  2. Hi Jon

    Thanks for producing Mood Nudges.

    I have suffered from depression/anxiety for over 30 years. Unfortunately, in my experience, the subject of today’s post has a flip side too. If depressed people are encouraged to seek out people with a more positive outlook (which I can see the logic in) it means that they will not seek to spend time with other depressed people. The flip side is that nobody will seek to be with depressed people (including themselves) and depressives will get ‘shunned’ (for want of a better word) by society.

    In my experience I see this a lot – people avoid you because you are depressed, making you more depressed because it adds to your sense of being unloved. I do try and feign not being depressed to avoid being shunned but I feel a fraud and this seems impossible when I am feeling low.

    I am not sure what the answer to this dilemma is, but thought I ought to mention it. If anyone reading this has any suggestions I would be grateful.


    1. I know what you are saying Tim. What I worry about is slightly different. I often feel like apologising after meeting up with friends because I feel I may have dampened their spirits if I had been particularly down and lacking in light heartedness. I almost sent an email to this effect today to a couple of friends I had met on Friday but instead wrote an email about something completely different. My reasoning was that they may not have noticed that I was down and anyway if they did, they are friends and are not going to criticise or desert me because of it. I suppose I didn’t want to draw their attention to something negative about me which they hadn’t noticed or if they had, I said to myself,tomorrow is another day, let’s move on etc. Feeling depressed much of the time, I do make an effort to come across as more cheery than I feel, like you say you do. I don’t think Jon is saying don’t mix with other depressed people but that sometimes it’s a great boost to be in the company of a positive person who may ignore your low spirits and leave you feeling chirpier. I think that constantly and exclusively being in touch with another depressed person does neither of you/us any good.

  3. i suppose it’s about getting a balance. if you know someone that is depressed or has a mental illness of sorts it’s nice to think we could all give them some of our time, it will hopefully help them. i just got a fbook message from a guy that hasn’t been too well in the past and he has been shunned by a lot of people, but i always make time to reply to him because i would hope someone would do the same if it was me. you might have to draw the line with some people though if it’s affecting your own health, that person needs help beyond what you can offer. maybe they can be given another chance after you sort yourself out.
    i know people that are happy and positive all the time and i really do try and feed of their energy and meet them and keep them as friends, but to be honest they can get to me sometimes with the super happy vibe and i can’t see them too much haha. so its about balance for me. the main thing is to stay in touch with people , stay connected. wish you all well

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