Blog: Friendship Proximity
I think of my life in terms of circles. Inside the smallest & center circle is God & me. In the next circle are my closest influencers. The next circle are friends who I love & have fun with, but these people aren’t all up in my influence grill. In the next group are just runaround friends. Fun, lighthearted conversations & circumstances keep this circle, like friends to go to the movies with. It is more of a surface level engagement & not so deep. Then there are seas of acquaintances. It’s so important to not allow people to get into the wrong circle, but it’s harder to do than you’d think. Stay in your place! Way too much alert! Know your role! These are all things I say all the time, but really it’s my job to keep things as they should be. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean they have to influence your life. Just because you’ve known someone forever doesn’t mean you are required to give them access to your heart. Relationships ebb & flow & shift as quickly as the seasons change in the Midwest. Knowing that there is freedom for things to shift is extremely liberating!
I had a friend in college who was in an extremely unhealthy & controlling friendship with a girl who she grew up with & they both happened to go at this same university. I would watch her being so manipulated by this person, & it was so bizarre to me. Finally I told her that she is by no means responsible for this other girl’s happiness. They had a friend break-up, & afterward my friend said she felt completely liberated from this manipulative obligation. Friendships should be healthy, life-giving & mutually beneficial! When we leave each other we should feel better instead of worse!