We Become Like The People We Spend The Most Time With

Research proved that we become like the people we spend the most time with. 

The first major study on the depth of social influence was conducted and examined from the Framingham Heart Study, one of the largest and longest-running health studies ever (20-30 years). 

Participants were probed with all sorts of demographic questions, including questions about family members and friends. The results of the study found:

If a friend of yours becomes obese, you are 45% more likely to gain weight over the next 2-4 years.

More surprisingly, the researchers also found that if a friend of your friend becomes obese, your likelihood of gaining weight increases by about 20%, even if you dont know that friend of a friend. 

The effect continues one more person out. If a friend of a friend of your friend develops obesity, you are still 10% more likely than a random chance to gain weight as well.

Using the same social network data, the researchers also found that you are 61% more likely to be a smoker yourself if your friend smokes. 

If a friend of your friend smokes, you are still 29% more likely to smoke. And for a friend of a friend of friend, the likelihood is 11%

They also found that a friend who lives within a mile (1.6 km) and is happy with their life increases the probability that a person is happy by 25%. 

If a friend of a friend of a friend is happy with their life, then you have a 6% greater likelihood of being happy yourself. 

Consider that other studies suggest that a $10,000 / £7,400 raise only triggers about only a 2% increase in your happiness.

Since the research data is about 2-3 decades, the researchers show a real cause-and-effect relationship between individual friends (and friends of friends) and weight gains. 

That’s why we have to be so careful about the influences we allow into our life.

You’re NOT the average of the FIVE people you surround yourself with. It’s way BIGGER than that. You’re the average of ALL the people who surround you. 

So take a look around and make sure you’re in the right surroundings.

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