In my wanderings, ramblings, gnosis, and the latent digestion of such things, I've come to a greater realization with regard to how our folk affect us. We often spend a great deal of time interacting with others and we often take more than we'd like from people. This function is something that's programmed into us at a biological level, as evidence by the fact that we even respond to how other people's hearts are beating. The links for such studies escape me at the moment, but sufficed to say, we are much more intimately linked than we like to admit.
We end up mirroring people we respect as a result of our focus on what they represent to us. We instinctually try to live up to the ideal they tout in order to become better in their eyes, and that can be a dangerous tendency. When someone is sufficiently strong-willed, they can project a great deal onto others and do a ridiculous amount of damage to that individual.
Its not at all uncommon for a mental patient, for example, to project his or her disease/disorder onto the doctor or that individual's spouse. I saw and experienced this firsthand as a child, when my mother's erratic behavior and lack of moral limitation "infected" my father. Not only did I witness him changing over the years, but I confirmed these changes with my family after the fact. Apparently, before he married my mother, he had a slight "bad streak", but it was never particularly volatile or violent.
We see the same tendency in schools, as noted by my significant other (she's a teacher); when a smart kid hangs out with the would-be thugs, the smart kid's test scores and schoolwork suffers. If that same student suddenly starts hanging out with a bunch of nerds, his scores improve.
In short, our values are ultimately set by the clan we interact with. If your friends, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, or some other such individual or group is intensely negative, you will behave the same way as a result of your interactions. This may not be true initially, but eventually your Will will break down and you will fall in line with your pack.
The same interactions and changes occur with those of us who are religious, spiritually inclined, or to those of us who practice some form of magic involving interacting with spiritual forces. Our very interactions with those spirits, for weal or woe, changes us on some level. They, very literally, become a part of our life and our worldview, changing us from within even if we don't expect it. Its not particularly abnormal for a practicing mage's IQ to be raised as a result of working with planetary intelligences, for example.
I've personally experienced this over the years, as working with Zazel, for example, has helped me to become better at discerning limitations, exposing them, or strengthening weaknesses, even if this wasn't the goal of the work. It fits perfectly with His Saturnine nature.
That being the case, we can respond to this external stimuli in a couple of different ways; we can either use this to our benefit, or we can try to run from it and become a hermit. I would suggest that we should use this tendency to our benefit rather than pursue the goal of shielding ourselves from influences from others. It is, ultimately, futile to do so, as we're trying to escape biologically-programmed functions which help us to interact.
I would recommend that you surround yourself with successful folk that you can look up to and interact. I'd also recommend that you take it a step further and actually work with spirits that will benefit you in such a way. If you're looking to cultivate a sense of inner peace, either work with Shiva and Ayra-Tara-Ma or have someone else do the work for you. Just bringing an entity into your sphere can have far-reaching effects for the same reasons listed above.
Furthermore, cut the bad apples off the tree. Make the sacrifice and move on with your life if someone isn't benefiting you. Don't sit their and stew; it WILL come back to bite you if you don't heed this advice. Compassion is great until it drags you down; if it does, it needs to be managed like any other emotion or instinct.
The TL:DR version of this is illustrated pretty well by Hopsin in the following music video:
The long and short of it is that in order to grow, we have to cut loose the anchors that hold us down. If you want to get somewhere in life, make whatever sacrifices you need to, so long as they'll actually get you somewhere. If that means that you need to ask for help, realize this and then make it happen.
There are plenty of resources, spiritual teachers, spirit workers, teachers, therapists, business contacts, and potential friends who can help you to change your life for the better. All you need to do is reach out and work to make that occur.
If you should desire such assistance, contact me and we'll talk. If you're not sure what to do about your situation, but just want to do something general to help fix it, I can probably assist.
Take care and thank you for reading.