Does Your Social Group Say Something About Your Own Personality?
When it comes to our body weight, we are what we eat. If you eat lots of junk food and processed garbage, you will look and feel worse for it. However, when it comes to our social settings, we do not apply the same logic. Is there validity to the claim that you are who you hang around with?
There is a common phrase that applies here. If you go through your day and your meet the odd rude person, you are probably a good person. If you go through your day and everyone meet seems to be rude, though, it might be you that is the issue.
The same goes for your social circle. If you happen to hang around with people who are solipsistic and not very nice, it probably is a reflection of who you are. We tend to gravitate towards people who share our values and our general views on the world – not always, but broadly. So, if the consensus is that your closest friends are all nasty so-and-so’s, what does it say about you?
Your social group can reflect who you are
A study in Human Behaviour carried out at Northwestern University, Illinois, found some illuminating data on this phenomenon. They focused on people’s ability to be open, to be conscientious, to be extroverted, to be agreeable, and to be neurotic. These five major personality traits were used as a base to create an algorithm of sorts.
The study, which took well north of one million people into account, found a very intriguing conclusion. Not only did every person in the study fall into one of these major camps – reserved, average, self-centered, and role models – but we also tended to want to spend time with people in the same camp as us. So, if you happened to fall into the self-centered category, well, we have some news for you…
You will probably find that you might not fall exactly into one camp, but you are a kind of mixture between two – or even three – of these camps. However, what you will find is that if your friends took the same test they would probably fall into the same kind of space as you.
These groups that were studied all seemed to find that when recipients looked over the traits, they saw a lot of themselves. So, if you find that your friends seem to fall into the ‘jerk’ category, you might want to take a look at your life!