The Student Room Group

How good is “You are the average of the 5 people you spend time with”?

Is it good advice to advise someone to ignore their less successful friends for more successful friends? I’m aware that this quote (from the title) doesn’t tell people to do exactly that. It’s a quote that just tells you to nudge your attention to more “good” friends for you (either in terms of personality, intoxication habits, life habits, ambition, and more). But it’s often use to promote the rhetoric that you should use it for success. So I’m using it as a title because it’s relevant, but mostly as a clickbait to draw you in :wink:



Doesn’t that promote loneliness, as friendships will be based on superficial external factors, instead of intrinsic factors where you spend time with each just for personality?

Furthermore, doesn’t it make you a bad friend, ditching people for others just because they’re not as successful/ambitious as you?

Moreover, it could lead to self destruction, or ‘karma’, for your actions. Say you surround yourself with people as ambitious, if not more, than you, but for a few months you get hit with depression or a debilitating illness, as examples. Those same people will leave you because you’re no longer as of use to them, just like you left your friends for that very same reason (even if they didn’t have depression or a debilitating disease). You’ll end up with people who as ambitious as you, similar to you, like you wanted…but at what cost? If they’ll leave you too once you’re also no longer as of use? Thus, if you wouldn’t want your friends to leave you once you hypothetically get depression or a debilitating disease, why should you not be the same way with your friends? Treat people how you want to be treated no?

Also, doesn’t this quote strip the meaning of loyalty? Imagine being friends for a long time with someone, only for them to ditch you, not because of something you’ve done, but because of their goals. Sure, have goals, but you could’ve achieved your goals while still keeping those friends around. Ditching them means you don’t have loyalty after spending so much time with them, even if ditching less ambitious friends makes you get more ahead in life/reach your goals faster



I can think of the good of this advice, but I can think more for the bad. I want to hear more of the good, if there is a good other than reaching your goals/achieving success faster
(edited 4 months ago)
I believe there is generally a lot of truth in that quote.
Along with the similar comment about how often an adults 5 closest friends are indicative of their future potential and the type of ambitions & lifestyle preferences they have, "birds of a feather" style.
If the sole measure is career success/ambition, then no, it's not something I subscribe to.

However if we are talking about removing or minimising contact with people who are draining or disruptive, then yes, that's something I can get behind.
Original post by Admit-One
If the sole measure is career success/ambition, then no, it's not something I subscribe to.

However if we are talking about removing or minimising contact with people who are draining or disruptive, then yes, that's something I can get behind.

I agree. As you get older, and particularly after you have children, it's very difficult to regularly keep in touch with friends. That doesn't mean those friendships necessarily aren't worthwhile, in fact the best ones are regardless of how often you see each other. I have a group of school friends and we see each other maybe once or twice a year (just saw each other yesterday as it happens), but every time we do it's like we've never been apart. Irrespective of how successful each of us has been, that's a worthwhile friendship. But another thing that people really do struggle with is letting go of friendships that are not working for whatever reason. Not spending time with people who are draining, disruptive etc is just as, if not more important than spending time with people that you do have good friendships with.

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