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Amira McLaughlin

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As adults, we all want to believe that we control our own lives and aren’t easily influenced by those around us. Often times, 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. You must 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 how we feel and behave regularly. 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. That is 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’ll 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. You must 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 have an idea which folks may be causing you discomfort. Take a moment to sit down and think about the ones who cause you problematic issues and try to determine in what ways they are most affecting you. Do some journaling or note-taking if necessary, to clarify your thoughts. Once you have some insight into how 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 others 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 may simply wish to minimize your contact with certain individuals. Sometimes it may make the most sense to remove someone from your life completely.

Each decision will need to be made on a case by case basis and making them 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.

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