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The Power of Influence: How Those Around You Transform You

 You always hear about how our environment influences us. How we define ourselves by the people we keep in our company. But how can this be true? How can others’ words and actions really affect us? This is what I used to ask myself. Sure, I liked to party and make bad decisions every now and again, but that wasn’t the worst thing in the world, right?

It turns out that putting myself in these situations was more detrimental to my well-being than I imagined. Yes, I was having fun while doing it and I didn’t think that I was making any really bad decisions if at the end of the day I could still get my work done and do what I needed to do. But it takes a toll, slowly but surely, on your mindset. The way you think and perceive the world.

When you surround yourself with ugly people, you become an ugly person. And I’m not saying physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. If your friends are leading an unguided, unfulfilled life, where do you think your life is headed?

Throughout a lot of high school and parts of college, I let myself be swallowed by the *ahem* druggy crowd. Some of my friends weren’t doing too great in school or had problems at home and used substances to help with the problems they struggled with. I had neither of these issues but I was picked on constantly because I was so timid and easy to pick on. So I figured why not let myself indulge? If it helps the stress, it can’t be that bad, can it?

This is where the dependency and self-destructive habits I have been fighting to absolve began to build.  Day by day, my mind looked for alcohol, for substances, to pull me away from the self-hate that had formed in my own heart. These habits were driven into me by allowing myself to be consumed by the lifestyles of those I kept around me. The only difference was those around me weren’t carrying onto years of insecurity with them. They weren’t holding onto the ridicule of every friend group I had or the lack of self-respect from being treated poorly by significant others.

I think an important note to make is that I am not blaming anyone else for these issues that I had built into myself. I let the world make me into a pleasure-seeking, immediate-satisfaction-driven, self-destructive person. Everyone has their own problems that they need to attest to, but each person has the ability to choose who they want to allow into their inner circles. I chose poorly for a long time. But that changed.

Slowly, without even realizing it, I saw myself being drawn to people who had plans, who had self-respect, and who had love in their hearts and souls. I began noticing how positive and enriched I would feel after each opportunity I had to meet with these people. I would spend the rest of my day in a state of euphoria!

These are the people I have allowed into my new inner circle. The ones that leave me feeling refreshed with every conversation. The ones that I can come to with my problems and they will respond with my best interest at heart, not their own. I am still working on myself to promise the same but I am happy. I am happy with my people and my purpose.

Texas born singer-songwriter Jon Pattie, has an extraordinary way of cutting straight through to the core of his listeners’ emotions. With a passion for songwriting running through his veins from an early age, Pattie’s fervent lyrics and sparkling melodies expose a truly sensitive artist whose soul-shattering vocals have the power to provoke a profound response.

Pattie is currently preparing a four-part EP project that will take his artistic development to the next level. It’s a project that will give listeners an intimate glimpse into Jon Pattie the artist as well as Jon Pattie the man. Acting as chapters in the short story of “Jon Pattie,” each EP will contain songs that reveal a different facet of his personality and recounts a journey of Pattie’s exploration of himself and his evolving narrative about his search for who he is and the man he wants to be. The first in the series, ‘Reflections Volume 1’ released on November 7th, 2018.

Follow Jon Pattie:

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(Photo credit Mario Devon)

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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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