Just as places shape us, calling us into particular ways of acting and relating, people we’re around do the same. Another way of saying this, using the language of my recent posts, is that people can be affordances too.
Stop and watch for a while and you’ll probably see what I mean.
Around some people we open up, bringing our troubles and difficulties and confusion into the light. And around others we close down. Nothing seems possible to say around them.
Some people bring out our hopeful optimism. Others evoke more of a sense of darkness, despair or resignation. And around some people we get to see and think clearly, perhaps in a way that isn’t possible for us when alone.
Over time, who we are with significantly shapes us, our preferences, our language and our everyday responses to the world.
Two consequences of this:
Firstly, the way other people are around you might have a lot to do with you.
Secondly, who you spend your time with matters, more than you might know.