Imagine if your friends were as critical to your well-being as diet and exercise? This is a personal experiment, conducted quietly by lots of people in the coming weeks. Take note of how the people you know or randomly encounter have their effect on you, are they toxic or a vitamin?
Keep track on one of the back-pages of your notebook, a spare scrap of paper, or use a note taking app on your phone. Be as simple or elaborate as you like. Keep a running total (like counting cards) plus, plus, minus, plus, minus… for how you feel after you see, talk or message with someone. Or add up all the positives and negatives for how people influence your mood. Focus on a few friends or expand to everyone you meet during a week.
Notice how you feel, write it down. How do your friends affect you?
Ask others to track and show us the results (visualizations welcome!)
Keep a running count plus or minus for everyone you encounter for a week. Mention it to others. Draw a picture, or just post the +++—++–++++++++ …visualizations welcome! Use the hashtag #friendtracking and #TEDxLA will accumulate and repost.
There is a tru-ism that you measure what you want to understand. Tons of new research has uncovered that a happy life is based on the relationships we keep. Measuring causes you to pay attention, be mindful, and notice how interactions have an effect on you. Positive or negative? Toxic or a vitamin?
Human chemistry feels complicated, but the intricacies of relationships are clearly becoming measured and understood in ways that will soon feel like science-fiction. Jump in, use a little personal tracking data to notice how people affect you.
More on this topic here.