Stop Aligning Yourself With the Wrong People


June 6, 2016

bad-friends*From the dusty archives…

Growing up, my parents steered me away from friends who had undesirable behavior.  Now that I’m a mom, I find myself doing the same thing with my children. Why?  Today’s lesson is a simple one…  you are the company you keep.

  • If you surround yourself with people of good reputation, you will be viewed positively.
  • If you associate with accomplished professionals, you will pick up on what makes them successful.
  • If you affiliate with people who have good values, you will be perceived in the same light.

It frustrates me to see people who surround themselves with people of questionable character.  If you align yourself with people who are arrogant, rude, negative, unmotivated, or who lack a moral compass, you will be perceived similarly.  That is a FACT. 

So, take a good look in the mirror today.  Then, take a look at your contacts online and in your day-to-day life.  If there are people of questionable character, now is your chance to unfollow, unfriend, or dis-associate from them.   You don’t have to associate with negativity.  After all, you ARE the company you keep.  What do you think?


  • Before social media, I would have largely agreed with this statement, with a few exceptions. If you work alongside someone who is universally considered to be an odious creature, then rarely will you be judged for it.

    Social media connections now can be so tenuous and flimsy, that it is impossible to view a connection as an endorsement. In fact of the thousands of connections I have (and others too) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I have personally met only a few, and have not vetted any. I connect with competitors, former colleagues, friends from school when I was 5, and even those I dislike intensely so that I know what they are saying. Heck I even follow Donald Trump on Twitter!

    If I only followed 10 people, and one was Trump, then a person could read more into that than if he was one of 2,000 accounts I followed. And lets face it, most people only ever add connections, not lose them.

    As a result of this, I’d say the reverse is true. The more connections you have, the less anyone can interpret any single one as an endorsement, alignment, or even a sign of tacit approval.

    • Thanks @Stephen. I completely understand your approach to connections and don’t disagree that the more you have, it can dilute any chance of a perceived endorsement. I think when I wrote this several years ago, and even in reposting now, I am thinking more about when someone has regular interaction with people. This is both in person and online. For example, if you not only follow or friend someone online, but you consistently comment in the affirmative on what they post, or share their posts and information, that could be viewed as supporting that person’s beliefs or agenda. In that way, it would be an endorsement because you (or the person in question) would be affirming the other person’s views. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.

  • Thanks Stephen to share your great idea from here. I’re understood your approches to connections. I think someone has regular intraction with people through online.

    HR Executive at SLA Consultants India

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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