The Ripple Effect: How Much We Affect Others... And They Affect Us.

As much as we are in charge of our own thoughts, we cannot underestimate the impact of the people around us. They influence our beliefs and our behavior.

And we influence theirs.

So, as we make choices, and we choose our words and actions, understanding that these ripple out to the people around us, and the people around them, and, yes, even the people around them. And people we've never met, or might never meet, will influence what we believe and what we do.

This can be both scary and empowering.

Generosity, kindness, patience, and happiness ripple out.

Being around people who are happy, kind, generous, and so on, makes us happier, kinder, and more generous.

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When you make a positive change, or do something positive, it doesn't just affect you. It affects the people you know, and the people they know, and even the people those people know.

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Having happy friends increases your likelihood of being happy by about 9%

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Selfishness, meanness, and unhappiness ripple out, too.

Being around people who think me-me-me, are petty, mean, or unhappy, makes us more of that way, too.

Unhappy friends decrease our likelihood of being happy by 7%

Bad habits spread. We spread them. Our friends, family, and coworkers spread them.

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Resources and Citations

  1. Nicholas A. Christakis MD PhD. "Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society." Little, Brown Spark. March 26, 2019