The influence of the environment on the formation of personality. Examples of the influence of the environment on a person’s personality

How does our environment influence us? 15 August 2015, 00:00 | Katya Kozhevnikova

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It's no secret that the environment influences people's behavior and, as a result, their lives. Popular wisdom speaks about this. For example, the proverb: “Tell me who your friend is, and I will tell you who you are.” Or “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” (after all, an apple tree is not only a parent tree, but also a kind of community of apples). But let's not delve into folklore. Better yet, let’s think about how to avoid negative influence from the environment.

Although we know very well that the social circle greatly influences all its participants, many tend to forget about this in their own lives. As a result, we simply do not think about how we are influenced by those with whom we communicate.

And the impact can be very significant. Let's say, if all your friends smoke, it will cost you a lot of effort not to pick up this habit. And if they play sports, run in the morning and prefer active recreation, to one degree or another they will definitely involve you in this activity. If the company often discusses interesting books, you will have to read them to keep the conversation going. And if they only talk about “House 2”, then... you understand. If your friends constantly scold their husbands, sooner or later you will have to say something similar, at least out of solidarity. And our words inevitably remain in our heads and influence our own thoughts.

Man is a social creature, and we subconsciously try to fit in with our environment because we are afraid of becoming outcasts. If you realize this, you can try to figure out which circle of friends you should reach out to and who, on the contrary, you should avoid.


Self-esteem has a huge impact on our lives. High (but adequate) always helps to achieve your goals. Understated, on the contrary, makes you sit still, expecting only failures from life. Therefore, it is very important to exclude people from your life who lower your self-esteem. These so-called friends are constantly making fun and allegedly mocking people in a friendly manner. In this simple way they try to raise their own self-esteem at the expense of others.

Sometimes, however, it is not so obvious. People don’t offend you personally, they just often say that your ideas are unrealistic and you won’t be able to achieve your goal. They feel like they are protecting you from failure and disappointment. In fact, they are protecting themselves. After all, if you achieve something worthwhile, they will have no excuse for their own inaction. So they “protect” you from unnecessary success.

Other people's goals

Often the people around us influence our goals and values, replacing them with their own. For example, it is difficult to achieve serious professional growth in a company where the unofficial motto of employees is: “No matter where you work, as long as you don’t work.” It is difficult to get a lot of new experiences when traveling with friends who prefer not to leave the hotel premises.

Think carefully about what you want and how these goals are transformed under the influence of others, and in the end try to exclude such influence. This does not mean that you can only communicate with people who agree with you on everything. Just try not to clash with friends in areas where your views differ radically.

Strength of will

Great efforts are required to achieve great goals. It’s not easy for us anyway. And those around us sometimes act as tempting demons, undermining our willpower. “Well, sit with us some more! Just think, the exam is tomorrow. You’ll learn everything in the morning.” “Well, eat some cake! Why do you need this diet, you’re already skinny!” Such temptations do not help us reach our goal at all. No, of course, we are responsible for all our decisions and actions ourselves. But without friends-tempters it would be much easier for us to cope with temptations.

This does not mean that you should immediately break off communication with such people. To begin with, you can try to explain that their persistent proposals are very disturbing to you. If it doesn’t help, reduce communication during those periods that require the greatest willpower from you.

Who should you communicate with? First of all, with people whose lives you like. If you want to become a true professional in your field, communicate with established professionals. If you want to travel more, communicate with travelers. If you dream of your own business, look at the experience of businessmen. The more the people around you achieve, the better. The success of others inspires us to our own exploits.

American businessman and blogger Steve Pavlina wrote: “Decide who the people around you are: elevator operators or jailers.” But this does not mean that it is necessary to exclude from your social circle all people who are not doing well in life. After all, for someone you can also become a “lifter.”

How do you think the people around you influence you? Is this a positive or negative influence?

By the way…

Some people are afraid of change. It’s even difficult for them to give up their usual scent, let alone change their social circle.

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Katya Kozhevnikova ,

About the influence of environment on a person’s success

I know many people who did poorly in school but have achieved success in many areas of life. And those who graduated with gold medals and honors diplomas remained, for the most part, some kind of “average”. And they seem to have a goal and willpower, they work day and night, but their life does not change radically from year to year. And others don’t seem to work that hard, but they manage to create the life of their dreams!

So why are some people lucky in life and others not? This phenomenon was studied by Thomas Leonard, the “father of personal coaching.” Over a more than twenty-year career of working with people to achieve goals and unlock their inner potential, he has identified certain patterns that influence success to a greater extent. He called it a formula for success.

10% knowledge and skills + 40% thinking + 50% environment = success

Knowledge and skills

Study well and you will have success in your life. This is what teachers in schools and teachers in institutes tell us. This statement was true several decades ago. It doesn't work now. And I felt this very strongly in my life. I graduated from school with honors, then there were higher educational institutions, but this knowledge did not in any way affect my success and quality of life in general. Nowadays, knowledge is a perishable commodity. We live in the information age. Everyone has access to the Internet, take it and use it. But this is absolutely not enough to change your life for the better. Therefore only 10%...


The height of your achievements is equal to the depth of your convictions

— William Scolavino

40% of our worldview helps us use 10% of knowledge. I have met a lot of “know-it-alls” in my life. Why do you live like this if you know so much? Knowing does not mean doing it. It is a certain way of thinking that helps a person take actions and move forward despite any obstacles. Thinking must include faith in yourself and your strengths, trust in your intuition, openness to change, seeing the positive side in everything and other components. Thinking is one of the most important internal resources of a person that needs to be developed.

Human environment

And now for the fun part! About the importance of the remaining 50% of success, which is allocated to our environment. After all, we are the arithmetic mean of five people with whom we constantly communicate. By the way, the environment includes not only people, but also the books and films we read and watch, the places we visit and the space around us in general. So, the immediate environment can be called the main external resource, the quality and quantity of which must be increased.

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How to analyze your immediate environment?

Surround yourself only with those people who will pull you higher. It’s just that life is already full of those who want to pull you down.

- George Clooney

So, we have already found out that environmental influences play a big role in a person’s life. Therefore, the next logical step would be a deep analysis of your immediate environment. This is done for two purposes: to identify who is dragging you down and to understand who you need to reach a higher level of your development. To do this, you will need a sheet of paper, a pen and half an hour of free time. On the left you write a list of 30 people with whom you constantly communicate. Who could it be?

You yourself.

Parents and relatives.

Second half and children.

Friends and acquaintances.

Business partners and clients.

Further on the right you make 3 columns with the main parameters by which you will evaluate your environment.

— thinking and level of life satisfaction;

- income level;

— is there anything I can do to help you (Exercise “Wheel of Life”).

In each column opposite the first and last name you put either +, or 0, or -

As a result of the analysis, 3 types of immediate environment should be obtained:

— positive (+);

— neutral ( 0 );

— negative ( — );

Let's start with the bad. It may turn out that 90% of your environment has a negative impact on you. Yes, this happens. And there's nothing you can do about it. You just need to realize this and accept that all these people simply have a detrimental influence on you, lower your self-esteem, undermine your self-confidence and interfere with self-development in all areas of your life.

I personally would rather eat alone than listen to yet another story from my parents about how bad life is for us in Russia. I’d rather say “no” to my friends’ proposal to go out for drinks on another Friday night. And I will not communicate with friends who only want to humiliate me or the other interlocutor in conversations. In this matter, it is better to be firm than to always be polite.

There is only one way out - to change your environment. The problems here are the following. You won't change yourself for sure. Therefore, here you just have to work on your development so that you have the most positive thinking possible. Parents and relatives are not chosen. Which ones there are. But they are the ones who can drag you down. This is a problem for many. You must first try to explain where they can negatively influence you. If this does not help, then minimize communication with them. The best option is to move to another city.

A very important point is the choice of the soulmate with whom we spend most of our lives. It is necessary to look at 2 parameters: the same worldview and speed of development. If at least one of them is not fulfilled, then sooner or later you will break up. It's easiest with friends and acquaintances. Among them there should only be those who share your life values. Business partners and clients, although they do not play a primary role in your immediate circle, can still gradually drag you to the bottom. Pay attention to this too!

You can do whatever you want with a neutral environment. But you need to focus on improving the positive environment. There are several ways to do this.

Change your environment: drastic actions

The time for drastic changes has come if most of the people around you are dragging you down. Communication with them entails only despondency and apathy. Surround yourself with a team of like-minded people. Choose people who are self-sufficient, self-confident, successful. Don't worry if they are better than you. Always strive for more.

Maybe you've always wanted to travel? In the age of the Internet, finding traveler friends is a matter of 5 minutes. Right now, go to your page on social networks, put the desired filter in the search engine and get started. People will be happy to share with you their impressions of their trips. One day you will certainly find yourself in their place.

Of course, we should not forget about true devotion and friendship. Be careful when you take drastic measures, remember honor and conscience.

Some general information

Man is a social being. And no matter what individual characteristics he has, the influence of society on him is simply inevitable. Under the influence of which he changes and reconsiders his views on life. Forms values ​​and sets priorities.

There is even a so-called mirror rule. The meaning of this statement is that the people who are nearby reflect my personality, like in a mirror. The way she is, and not just the most beautiful sides, as sometimes you want.

You don’t want to admit or notice some of your own characteristics, which makes it easier to impart them to others. In psychology, there is a defense mechanism - projection.

It seems to help keep our psyche healthy when it is faced with the need to cope with life's difficulties. But sometimes, on the contrary, it interferes if it is used too often. It also distorts reality.

Let’s say I hold back anger out of some personal motives or fears. Accordingly, I don’t realize at what moments I experience it. Therefore, I can reproach close and not so close people for aggressiveness; I get hurt by their words, which I consider offensive and evil. Although in reality they did not intend to hurt at all and did not mean anything bad.

So, thanks to the mirror rule, we can take a closer look at those who are nearby and understand what we don’t want to notice in ourselves, what we categorically reject. And also what kind of people we attract, what we react to. This all significantly increases the level of awareness. This means it affects work efficiency, relationships, worldview, and so on.

You can get more detailed information about protective mechanisms by clicking on this link. Now let's move on.

Examples of influence

I bring to your attention examples of areas of life that are “under attack” in the first place.

Life style

Human psychology is such that he strives to be accepted by society, a group, and individuals. It is important for him to feel that he belongs to something, and sometimes to “merge” with the crowd without being a “black sheep.” Only a few strive to be different and are not afraid to express their opinion, even if it is completely opposite to the opinion of the majority.

Accordingly, if your friends are athletes, or individuals who love active recreation, it is unlikely that you spend every weekend on the couch with a bottle of beer.

This happens because we choose those people who are similar to us. Or they arouse interest due to their dissimilarity.

If you're an introvert, it's unlikely that you'll be surrounded by extroverts. They will stress you out, tire you with activity and emotionality. And you irritate them with your slowness and tendency to pessimism.


When a drug addict enters a clinic, a comprehensive approach to his treatment necessarily includes psychotherapy with family members. Because it may be ineffective.

After all, finding himself in the same conditions that have not changed at all, he runs the risk of relapse and start using again. He has changed, but the people he comes into closest contact with have not. And then they will unknowingly provoke him to return to addiction.

Even constant monitoring to see if he has started again can cause a lot of irritation and powerlessness, as a result of which he actually decides to “forget” in the usual way.

And the relatives are not doing this on purpose, they are simply worried that, for example, things will start disappearing from the house again, and their beloved son or daughter will ruin their health.

That is, control arises from a feeling of anxiety and it is then important for parents to look for other methods of expressing it, more constructive ones, and not vice versa, pushing towards the use of questionable substances.

And then they are called codependent, because with the appearance of a drug addict in the family, one also has to change their lifestyle, ways of reacting, even values ​​and plans for the future.

As you can see, the environment sometimes has a primary influence not just on success, but on life and health in general. Especially family, or those people with whom a person most often comes into contact.

Fighting bad habits

A person who decides to quit smoking faces a serious problem that may well cast doubt on his plans and intentions. Do you understand what problem we are talking about?

This is his environment, which is not going to give up this bad habit.

And if there are no smokers among his friends or colleagues, then he is lucky, there will be fewer temptations. Much.

But how many titanic efforts will have to be made by someone whose friends are just about to grab a cigarette? Especially if at work it’s customary to decide some matters, discuss news, gathered in the smoking room?

Anyone who does not participate in such meetings risks alienating himself from the team. Since most of the information will pass by.

Or, if a person decides to completely give up alcohol, and his company cannot imagine celebrating even minor events without a bottle. They are unlikely to understand and accept his choice.

There are high chances that they will simply begin to persuade him to drink at least one glass. So to speak, so as not to lose a common language and be on the same wavelength.


Just imagine that an interesting idea has come to your mind, and if you implement it, you can make good money. Let's say you open your own business. And, inspired, we went with her to close people whom we love and trust.

Only now, preferring stability, they began to dissuade you, convincing you that you would lose a lot and achieve nothing. Because only those who have not entirely positive personality traits “make their way” in this world. For example, such as deceit, meanness and cruelty.

Having heard once, twice, or maybe several dozen times the words that nothing will come of it and it’s better not to waste time, most likely the fuse to create and move mountains will dry up.

If you are surrounded only by wealthy individuals, you will learn from them, receive support, and also “acquire” useful connections.

There is even such a thing as networking - that is, the special creation of connections that may well be useful in the future.

Let's say that most of your friends have a low financial situation, sometimes barely making ends meet. In moments of financial crisis, most likely, you will think that you are not the only one who is at a dead end. Others live the same way. This, of course, supports, but is unlikely to motivate action to finally change the situation.

Rarely does anyone want to leave their comfort zone and take risks and change. Especially if the environment is also not very active. But if among your acquaintances there are those whom you, say, envy, this will help move you from your place. For example, Albert Einstein as a child was not at all distinguished by his intelligence and intelligence. He was even suspected of dementia. But his competitive spirit helped him discover his opportunities.

There was a boy in the class with whom the relationship was not working out. He ranked first in the success rating. The desire to win and take a leading position prompted Albert to study more closely. And in the end, the world knows nothing more about that guy except that he motivated Einstein to become a better person.

As you grow older, your range of interests changes

In my case, my awakened interests in music led me into club culture. As a result of my changes, the old companies and my entire society were replaced by a new one naturally and painlessly. The Trance culture that captured me then changed my worldview, unrealistic bright clothes, a passion for music and equipment, stage activity and youthful maximalism appeared.

Although now I no longer go to parties and open-air events, my love for this music is still preserved, and the foundations of the subculture have left their indelible imprint on my personality.

Factors influencing personal improvement

In sociology, factors are usually called certain circumstances that create favorable conditions for socialization. A.V.Mudrik formulated the basic principles and identified four stages of specialization:

  • microfactors - social conditions that influence each individual, without exception: family, home atmosphere, peer group in a technical school or university, various organizations in which an individual studies and interacts with a similar environment;
  • mesofactors (or intermediate factors) - determined by the broader social atmosphere, i.e., with the place where each individual lives at the moment: village, city, district, region, etc. In addition, differences may be based on affiliation to any subculture (group, sect, party, etc.) as well as by means of obtaining information (television, Internet, etc.);
  • macro factors - influence significant human groups that occupy a certain territory on the scale of a planet, country, state, etc. Moreover, some factors can be inherited from previous factors. – megafactors (or the largest) – imply factors in the largest scale concepts: world, planet, universe, etc. Also, in some cases, can be considered in relation to the population of the earth living over vast areas (countries, continents, etc. .).

If we compare all these components, then microfactors influence personality development most of all. With their help, the process of interaction occurs through the so-called agents of socialization. These include those individuals with whom each specific person interacts. Depending on his age, completely different people can be agents. For example, for children these are immediate relatives (parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents), neighbors, acquaintances, friends, etc. In adolescence and young adulthood, the main agents of socialization are: spouses, study and work colleagues, army colleagues . In adulthood and old age, one’s own children, grandchildren, etc. are added. At the same time, most agents can move from category to category starting from a very early age.

Connect with successful people in the area you want to develop in

Until a certain stage in the development of my personality, I, like most people, did not attach importance to such an aspect as the influence of the environment. Many teachers of success and prosperity, in their books and seminars, often mentioned the strong influence of the environment on the individual.

However, like everything else in our life, any theory is learned only in practice. Next we will talk about my personal experience of the influence of the environment on my personality.

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