June 6th, 2016

Misery loves company. That is what I want to write about today. This is something that my mother always told me as I was growing up. It was one of the last things she said to me before I moved out at 18 years old. This was not advice she was giving me. It was a warning.

I, Nackers, was a miserable teenager, who enjoyed the miserable company. My mom called it.

What exactly do you mean by this phrase? Let me explain it. The phrase ‘misery loves company’ describes a person who is generally sad or down, and enjoys making other down as well so they are not alone.

Wow, that sounds kind of harsh Nackers.

Unfortunately, it is. But, the thing is – you can do it without even realizing you’re doing it. At a certain point it just becomes second nature. And then you’ll naturally gravitate towards certain people because you know they are within the same miserable realm as you. And if they aren’t as down as you are, you make an effort to bring them down to your level. Because who likes being sad alone? On top of this, especially when you are having problems that you talk about. People who need to vent will choose to vent to a person who they know is likely to be on their side, regardless of the problem. People don’t want to talk to someone who is going to tell you that you’re wrong. That’s just how it goes. But, if you’re smart, you WILL talk to those people with differentiating opinions. That means you are interested in knowing both sides and not just your own, that way you can address all the points and make an informed decision on what is right and wrong, instead of having your judgement clouded by your own one sided thinking.

This, kind of ties into another point. It’s actually a scripture from the bible. You guys know i’m not religious, but this scripture is on point. It can be found at 1st Corinthians 15:33. “Bad association spoils useful habits”.

Nackers, i’m not Moses. Please explain what the hell you’re talking about.

What this scripture is trying to say is simply that you are who you surround yourself with. Your friends, your family, your coworkers, etc. The people you are around the most will have a significant impact on your life, whether positive or negative. It will change who you are.

Let me go into an example before I tie these two together for a main point. There was a certain group of coworkers that I was spending a lot of time with. Now, I’m not one to be social with my coworkers. In my position at work, it’s best to have the most neutral relationship as possible with everyone. Making good friends and generating favorites just ends up bad for everyone. So, for the most part i keep all work friendships at bay. I don’t hang out with anyone outside of work, none of them are friends on Facebook, and I especially don’t go out drinking with them. Well, I started getting a little lenient with my guidelines, and started spending time with a certain group of people a little too often.

This group of people are ones who loved to gossip. They also loved to kind of be mean to be funny. And when you’re on the side of the people making fun, it’s all great. Just little things like making fun of you on a bad hair day. Or insulting you on an article of clothing. Or the music you listen to. Just little things over and over. But when you’re on the other side and the person getting berated by mean jokes that are supposed to be funny, it gets old really fast. It was hard to have a conversation with these people without snarky remarks being made. And even though it was all in good fun, it’s not healthy conversation. And when every conversation starts with something negative, ultimately you FEEL negative.

So, after a few months – I started to realize a change in myself. I started acting just like them. Instead of being the easy going, pleasant conversation having gentlemen I usually was, I started to give all the people around me shit for no reason. Just being snarky in conversations, and making crude jokes or tiny insults, and things along those lines. And then I started realizing that people were treating me differently. They were starting to give me shit back. Before I knew it, every conversation I was involved in I was just being mean. And snarky. And I hated it.People didn’t talk to me the same. And I was getting summed up with these others fools.

I took a look back at the past few months. It became apparent, that the group of people I was spending the most time with was a group of miserable people, who enjoyed making the people around them miserable. And I was just like them. I want nothing to do with that. In general, I like being liked. But at the same time, I care very little what people think about me. I have my thoughts, and my moral compass and I believe in what I think is right. And acting that way towards other people who don’t deserve it, is not right. I don’t want to be seen as ‘one of those people’ who do nothing but judge and berate and insult others for fun. I don’t want to be involved in that. And I don’t want friends that do that.

So, even though I enjoyed those coworkers company, I had to take a step away from them and start spending some time reevaluating myself. What kind of person do I want to be? And can I be that person when i’m constantly around people who don’t share my moral compass or standards?

These are questions that you need to ask yourself. Think of the person you are striving to be. Then look and see if that is how you act. Then look at your group of friends or coworkers and where they stand in comparison to you. Do you think they have a positive effect on you, or a negative effect? And you bet your ass when you take a step away from those people, they are going to be pissed. And you’re going to be told that you’re a ‘too good for us little bitch’ that needs to get of their high horse. Welcome those comments with open arms. Because in the end, you will be the happy one. And they will continue to be the miserable one.

So, moral of the story is that no matter how strong of a personality you have, and how strongly you feel about a certain way of life, you will ultimately become just like the ones you spend your time with the most. It is inevitable, and I have experienced this first had more than one time. So chose your friends wisely! Spend time with the people who you strive to be like. Converse with your mentors. Because if you hang with the miserable, you’ll be come one of them. I promise you. Misery loves company.