The Company We Keep: How Wrong Relationships Can Hold You Back in Business

Here are three psychological factors tied to the company we keep -- indicating that we should all choose our relationships more wisely.

3. Attribution Theory, Attraction and Crab Mentality

Social psychology suggests that “we are all affected by the people we interact with, many of whom we don’t even know personally. Our social environments play a significant role in how we view ourselves, and conversely, how we see ourselves impacts our view of the world,” according to AllPsych.com.

Taking this a step further, you can understand how our social environments further impact our success and failure in life. “The social areas of attribution (how we interpret those around us) and attraction (what we seek in friends) can have a profound impact on us.”

Research suggests that we choose our friends (and relationships) based on several factors including: proximity, association, similarity, reciprocal liking, and physical attractiveness. What we view most important about others is usually a dominant factor in our choice of relationships.

“We rate ourselves on these same categories and, at least at some level, know our score. We tend to then pick friends and partners who have a similar score that we do.”

As you grow and develop personally and professionally a discrepancy often develops — changing how your friends view you; which can cause strife and “crab mentality” amongst some of those closest to you. This “crab like thinking” can quietly assert, “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” As it pertains to business, often times this thinking is displayed by the crazy things people say to entrepreneurs.


Ultimately, your personal view of yourself and who you choose to interact with are tied to your view of the world and how you operate within it. All of the above directly impact your business endeavors.

Successful people value relationships according to Hasani Pettiford, Founder and President of Touch & Agree Family Institute, a relationship training center. “Simply put, your relationships will either enhance your vision or choke your dream. Proverbs 13:20 states, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed,” he said.

“Your ability to form meaningful personal and business relationships with positive people will be critical to your success and achievement. All it takes is one person to open up a door for you that will change your life forever.”

Assess your relationships and closely observe the company you keep — it could be the very thing that’s holding you back in life and business.

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Photo: MaxMara


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