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Surrounding Yourself with the Right People

When I look back on my life and consider my achievements thus far, to some extent, I am who I am due to the people I’ve surrounded myself with. I am where I am in life thanks to a group of individuals who have shown positivity, enthusiasm and encouragement to me over the years. They have accepted me for who I am and have bought out my best qualities. The people you choose to spend your time with can have such a significant impact on your life, both positively and negatively. The ability of one person to influence your mood and your way of thinking is enormous. If you are not surrounding yourself with the right people, it’s fair to say that your ability to recognise and reach your full potential may be compromised. It’s not, however, always possible to have complete control of who you spend your time with. You may work as part of a team or amongst a large group of people for example. It’s important, therefore, to have the right balance of people within your life.

I often find that if I’m around very loud and intense characters, I tend to feel a lot more uneasy, as if I can’t fully and comfortably be myself. Some people have a natural ability to draw out my best qualities, whilst others will merely suppress them. Think about the different people you surround yourself with in your own life. What do they offer you emotionally? Do they offer you anything at all or do they only ever take from you? Let’s discuss the different types of people we can surround ourselves with. As I discuss each type, have a think about the people you surround yourself with who fit into that category. Do you have the right balance of people in your life?

Energy Takers

There are various types of energy takers and it must be said that they are not necessarily bad people. Energy takers are the people you may want to keep at an arm’s length (i.e. to see infrequently). These are people who, for whatever reason, drain your energy. For me, they are the people who encourage me to take a long deep breath, the people who leave me feeling somewhat deflated and depleted after a conversation or meeting. It’s important not to have too many energy takers in your life, if at all.

Types of Energy Takers:

  • Most energy takers are extremely pessimistic. They will find the negative in every opportunity presented to them. Life is always doom and gloom. Sadly, they don’t always know that they are doing it.
  • Energy takers often exaggerate their own life experiences to better yours. Their scenario will always be much better or more dramatic than yours. In their minds, they will have always gone one step further than you, even if they haven’t.
  • They exist at the very top or bottom end of any spectrum. They like drama.
  • They talk a lot about themselves and never ask about your situation or how you are.
  • They are poor listeners and like the sound of their own voice
  • They will encourage you to doubt yourself and your decisions. Sometimes this can be done without knowing. Other times, it can be done out of pure jealously.
  • Energy takers can be indecisive people who leave the decision making to others. This can be due to a lack of confidence, but it can also be down to the fact that they are not prepared to risk failure or face blame.
  • They are always right, rarely admitting defeat or accepting blame.
  • They will happily allow someone else to take the blame, even when they are obviously at fault.
  • Some energy takers seek pleasure in the humiliation of others. The joke is never on them.

Of course, it’s important not be an energy taker yourself. If you feel that you are, think about the ways in which you can become more positive around other people. When in conversation with others, create a window within which they can talk about their self and their own situations. They too may be going through their own problems. Recognise how and when you may be making other people feel uncomfortable. Learn to value other people’s opinions as well as your own and accept that you will not always be right. It’s not a bad thing to make mistakes. Success often comes as a result of failure and error.


Optimists are ultra-positive people. They often give off very good vibes and can bring a great sense of energy into any given situation. Often joyful and happy, it’s always great to have an optimist in your circle of friends. That said, it’s about having the right mix of people around you. Surrounding yourself with only optimistic people could well mean that you will never get a realistic viewpoint, as an optimist will only ever expect good outcomes from any given situation. Optimists will only ever consider the pros, never the cons. You may therefore find that you struggle to have a serious conversation with a very optimistic individual. Being so positive, some optimists may struggle to know how to handle serious situations/conversations. One of my close friends is a true optimist. She is without doubt one of the loveliest people I know; full of joy and a total lover of life. For those reasons, she isn’t the first person I’d turn to in a serious situation. If I was considering investing a lot of money into a new project for instance, she wouldn’t necessarily recognise any potential rucks in the road. This is by no means a bad quality, but in some situations a more rational outlook is required.


Positive, but sensible, a realist will recognise both the pros and cons in any given scenario and address them with a level head. They are often calm and collected individuals who can reason with people in a heated discussion/argument. A realist will accept you for who you are, often without question. The realists in my life have an ability to keep me grounded. My dad is one of the most realistic people I know. Sensible and often practical people, they are the people in my life I turn to for advice or when I need a second opinion. A realist will happily admit fault when they are at fault. You don’t always hear what you want to hear from a realist, however, as they will always put forward a very honest opinion/outlook, which may differ greatly from yours. You know exactly where you stand with a realist and that is why it’s great to have a number of realists within your social circles.

Caroline Myatt
Caroline Myatt
As a Nutritional Therapist, Caroline is extremely passionate about health and wellbeing, a passion that she endeavours to reflect in her writing. As well as being a Journalist for Sentient Life, Caroline is the Retreat Director at The Nutrition Retreat Ltd, a 5-night residential nutrition retreat at Sheepdrove Organic Farm in Berkshire. She is also the nutrition columnist for the ‘Journal’ magazine. Caroline is thrilled to be writing for Sentient Life, to be able to share with you all her own knowledge and experiences.

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