You Are The Company You Keep

Friendship - Food For Thought

Most of us go through our lives coasting, never letting things shake up too much. Of all the important things out there, there is few and far between that are truer than how we choose our friends, and more importantly, why we remain with them. As soon as sociality kicks in as an evolutionary trait, we are taught that we should get along with each other. Because of this primordial belief that we need to get along to survive, we strive to be in groups that we consider important for our wellbeing. This is true… to a certain extent.

A person should always be a person of their word. People tend to be too selfish when it comes to friendships. They’re always worried about what they will lose, instead of focusing on what they could possibly gain. Yes, it is important to compromise in all friendships, but not to the degree where you have to sacrifice your own happiness. This is not to mean that we are to constantly only think of the other person, it is a very delicate game where you both have to almost compete to be kind to each other. If your friend doesn’t make you happy, you always have the option to just leave. We all do, but we choose not to.

There is this saying, “You are the company you keep.” What does that mean? Well, put simply, it means that we are defined by those who we find valuable and keep close. It is because they are a reflection of who we are, what we believe in, and what we stand for. This spiderwebs into more aspect of our lives than you realise, because slowly by slowly, you will become more like your friends, and that’s why its even more important to keep to strong moral character and have good business ethics, because it seeps into every facet of our lives.

There is a saying, love is blind but friendship chooses to close an eye. We tend to be more forgiving with friends than we are to our spouses, because at the end of the day, our expectations of them are also much lower. However, this is wrong, we should actually treat everyone equally. Calculativeness is bad for the spirit, because if you’re always preoccupied being calculative you don’t have time to think of bigger ideas. You should not be swayed by company you know is not good for you. You do have that right to remove yourself from that situation if it’s not conducive. Don’t force yourself to be someone you detest and cannot respect. At the end of the day, if you wear a mask for too long, you become the mask.

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic and drinks writer and is the editor of independent publication Food For Thought. He has been a freelance journalist for the 15 years and has previously worked as a lawyer and in digital marketing. He currently is the Principal Consultant of A Thought Full Consultancy, a food and beverage marketing consultancy.


  1. Just yesterday thought about it… and might be you hastened to call someone “a friend” who was just kind to you.

    • I think that is how most friendships start, from simply being kind, and see where that goes. We can only hope for the best from people.

    • You’re welcome Bolivia. Friendship is rare and hard to find. A lot of people mistaken acquaintanceship as friendship. Don’t sweat the petty things. 😉

      • Always remember: Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things <3

  2. This puts into words that feeling you get when you do something that is characteristic of a friend. When it happens, the signature of the person is internalised.
    We should strive to make great friends and emulate the best in them.

    Great post!

    • At the end of the day, you really are the company you keep, and therefore you should always strive to help each other improve, be it collective development, or personal development.

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