Surround Yourself With People Who Empower You

What are empowering people like? We talk about how positive it can be to surround yourself with people who feed the idea that you have power over your life and are able to influence others.
Surround Yourself With People Who Empower You
Cristina Roda Rivera

Written and verified by the psychologist Cristina Roda Rivera.

Last update: 20 June, 2023

The decision to surround yourself with people who empower you is yours and yours alone. However, whether you’re able to do it depends on many circumstances. In fact, you can’t always do it when you want, but should always do it when you can.

Perhaps you’ve grown up with a family that, far from empowering you, has made you feel like you were a ‘mistake’. Maybe you’ve chosen friendships that, at a certain point were good for you, but for too long now have had nothing to do with who you really are. We’ve all felt the unspoken mandate to stay in relationships that dwarfed us, and know how it feels.

Surround yourself with people who empower you

People who empower you give you new ideas and energy. They’re happy about your triumphs and want to celebrate them with you. They enjoy your joy and your successes and feel happy with you. In short, they don’t feel disgruntled when you’re having a good time.

However, maybe you have the feeling that your existing friends don’t understand you as much anymore. Or, perhaps past grudges are preventing them from seeing that you’re not the same person as before.

There are many ways to meet empowering people. For instance, every time you attend a conference, social event, or professional meeting, chances are you’ll meet a person with whom you could establish a good friendship. Or, perhaps there’s already someone at work or in your environment who can help you reach your goals.

happy friends
It’s wonderful to have long-term friendships, but it’s even more important that they be of quality.

Of course, ideally, you should keep your good friends forever. However, don’t simply keep them out of habit when you don’t really have much in common anymore. Having this type of mindset will age you, even more than gray hair and wrinkles.

There are times when it’s important to change, seek, recognize, and connect with valuable people who are in your professional, spiritual, and social environment.

People who connect with you

How do you know you’re in the presence of someone who has the potential to inspire you today and empower you tomorrow? The following aspects will help you identify them.

  • There’s ‘chemistry’ in your conversations. Regardless of how often you see each other, they’ll be glad you got in touch with them. You feel relaxed and positive about your relationship and find that new ideas are likely to emerge as a result of your conversations.
  • They listen to you carefully. It’s really satisfying when someone listens to you and reflects on what you say. There aren’t many people like that. All too often in life, others pay only partial attention to you. However, empowering people listen in a way that lets you know they value your thoughts and ideas.
  • They’re grateful for your time and for the relationship itself. They prioritize you as much as you prioritize them. You feel reciprocity.

Interact with all kinds of people

If you have the opportunity, interact with a variety of people. Approach anyone and everyone without prejudice. It doesn’t matter how intelligent, they are, how much money they have or how cultured they are.

Interaction with many different people makes you, builds you, and shapes you in a different way. You also start to understand their way of thinking. In addition, you get to know what you really like, and especially what you don’t like, which is even more important.

Man and woman talking outdoors
Empowering people make you see that you have power over your life.

Empowering yourself at work: a totally different concept

People often start a new job full of energy, feeling engaged and empowered. However, organizations tend to submerge them in rules, control, and processes that are anything but inspiring.

‘Fearful’ work cultures disempower employees with their command and control approach, even the best performers.

You’re not powerless, you don’t need to empower yourself at work. You need a culture that empowers you to do your best work.

“The notion of empowerment assumes that the organization has the power and benevolently ladles some of it into the waiting bowls of grateful employees. That’s just a slightly more civilized form of control.”

-Daniel Pink-

The antidote to disengagement and lack of accountability is autonomy. Unlike power, autonomy gives people a sense of collective ownership, inviting them to help an organization grow rather than play politics.

In the workplace, autonomy is the freedom to act and make your own decisions. Empowerment is the granting of political, social, or economic power.

Empowerment operates on the idea of external motivation. Many approaches to leadership focus primarily on the ability of a leader to motivate their teams. On the other hand, autonomy focuses on the notion of self-motivation where the most effective and powerful motivation is intrinsic, even if it was previously extrinsic.

In conclusion, the concept of empowerment loses its meaning in environments with stratification of powers. The projection of the feeling of power has to be carried out from an egalitarian position, not from a commanding position to a subordinate. In this case, the notion of empowerment loses its meaning.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Pérez-Bustamante Ilander, G., & Sáenz Blanco, F. (2010). Autonomía laboral, transferencia de conocimiento y motivación de los trabajadores como fuente de ventajas competitivas. Cuadernos de economía29(52), 183-212.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.