Here are the 5 traits that will help you to identify whether you're in a right company, and what traits to look for in people who can make your life more enjoyable.
1. You feel good about yourself while being around them. It doesn't really matter whether they are better than you or make you feel inferior - the key is, no matter how different they are, the end result of any interaction with them is that both, you and the other person will end up feeling good about themselves. There wouldn't be any need to compare yourself to them on the first place as it's not the point of staying in touch with them.
If the interaction has left you drained, feeling insecure or simply miserable, obviously the company of that person will not serve you well in a long run. These feelings will simply destroy your self esteem, rather than build it.
2. Healthy and secure people tend to talk less about themselves or other people, and rather focus on concepts or ideas. In contrast, a person who constantly brags about themselves or gossips about the other people clearly shows how insecure they are. There are two types of this insecurity:
- The type of the person who overly focuses on themselves and speaks mostly about themselves - this type simply seeks validation, because they don't feel comfortable with themselves and are unsure about their own behaviour. They fear to focus on something different because by doing that, they will not be able to monitor their behaviour anymore in order to maintain a particular appearance or a mask.
- The other type is the one who spends most of their time on discussing other people. This type focuses on other people because that allows them to shift focus from themselves, to ignore themselves and shift their responsibility onto others. They might fear to focus on something else because that will drop their level of control over how people appear to them. In other words, if they don't judge other people negatively or positively, that might confirm that others are different, better, maybe even superior which is a threat to their own identity. Sort of 'I will think negatively about you before you manage to do so'.
In contrast, the 'right' kind of people feel comfortable enough to not pay attention to their own appearance or how the other people appear to them. This comfort arises from feeling comfortable with one's identity to a point where other people are neither a threat, nor a source of validation, but simply a company to share one's experience with.
3. During an interaction, noone will really dominate the conversation - unless you or the other person is a natural listener. But even then, you won't feel exploited because of your preferences for listening. In contrast, the kind of malignant types will usually 'shush' the other person and try to draw the attention to themselves.
A good interaction is the one that benefits both parties involved; where each feels more positive, more empowered, rather than drained. It's an exchange of knowledge, feelings, values - therefore, the interaction shouldn't leave you with a feeling of being exploited. And if it does, listen to this feeling because it usually means that you give away much more than you are comfortable with.
4. You will not feel the need to pretend or behave in certain ways in order to meet some standards. Nice people will appreciate who you really are, and if they are aware of your weaknesses - they will help you to improve them, rather than put you down for having them. Surely, there are times when you want to make a good impression, where you feel like you need to give out the best what you have there, but let's be honest - do you have an energy to do that regularly with people who you see often? If yes - great, keep going. If no, it's quite natural that you will fall to that normal, average, every-day level of behaviour without restraining yourself. That's where the ultimate test for 'friends' begins - whether they are willing to tolerate you not only when you are at your best, but also when you have a bad day.
Also, this shouldn't be confused with boundaries. I don't mean that you should assume that it's okay to feel comfortable with picking your nose while in a company of the other person and if they cannot accept it, they are bad people. I think there are still some limits. ;)
5. You will not feel obligated to interact with them, and neither would they. The particular feeling which arises while being in the 'right' company comes from the interaction being natural, rather than forced. You might feel being understood and able to understand the other person. Things will just 'flow'.
To talk to someone out of perceived duty or courtesy is neither beneficial to you, nor the other person - they will usually sense that you are being fake and force yourself into interacting with them. In fact, it can be even damaging for both of the parties.
This all leads to a simple conclusion - the right person for you is the one you can feel sincere with.
Integrity as a Pillar of Self Esteem [Video]
In this video I will show you what is integrity and how to develop it. Our personal integrity is pillar of self esteem - so if we want to build our self esteem, we need to work on integrity.