Closer inner circle

I have had the opportunity to meet many of the acquaintances I have made online. Very soon after meeting me you will know that I am a people person an love making friends. I honestly believe that everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to give, an experience to share. I find people fascinating and love to make those connections with them both lasting and true. However, the older that I get, the more I learn that some people just don’t appreciate those connections as much as I do.

I spend a lot of my time thinking. My work requires me to solve problems and find ways to present data in a meaningful way. I find self actualization vital to my well mental health. The moment I stop trying to become a better person I feel like a puddle of stagnant water. Last week I had come to the realization that there were several people that were affecting my self image that really should never have that much power. Some people’s perceptions really affected me more than I was ready to deal with.

In my need to make connections with others I became a laptop with no firewall, and in today’s world of viruses I cannot afford that kind of vulnerability. Some people might not even realize how infected they are by fear, intolerance, or just plain ignorance and before you know it they have full access to your hard drive.

Life is not defined by others, it is defined by our choices. Take some time to evaluate who is in your inner circle right now. I am talking about the ones that truly matter or and what they think or say really affects you. I bet you that before the end of the exercise your circle might get smaller and smaller.

There was a point in my life where I trusted a very limited number of people with my thoughts and feelings. During that time I considered just dissociating completely from everyone I knew and just starting all over somewhere else, the thought back then seemed like such a good idea.

I have come a long way from those dark days and have been lucky enough add a lot of people to the circle of people that actually help shape my self image. The most important addition is obviously my wife and without her I would probably be a hermit. I have also been blessed with some awesome friends that accept me for exactly who I am and are getting to know the real me, and not some caricature of what they think I should be.

True friends keep you honest and are always happy to tell you the truth but never try to change you. People who are not happy with their own life are never good judges of what your situation is. Just because a person is good at something, it does not make them a subject matter expert on everything in life. So be careful about what people in that situation say about not just you and your life, but just life in general.

The most surprising thing about my inner circle is how much bigger it keeps on getting. The closer people get to me, the more they shape my life, the happier as a person I become. That is not to say that some people have completely been removed, but overall I am way closer with a lot of those connections than I ever thought I would be. I used to think that losing a friend was a huge personal loss. The reality I have found is that you never lose a true friend, you only find out that someone was not your friend to begin with.

17 comments on “Closer inner circle

  1. Were you ever in therapy? Because if you weren’t, kudos to you for figuring this out for yourself.

    Boy, do I have a lot to say about this, but perhaps not until after some careful deliberation. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

  2. Melinda, your comment made me LOL

    I have not been to therapy but have wanted to and probably needed to at some point, but I do have an awesome support structure.

    I have been told I would be a good therapist… not sure if that fits here, but it came to mind.

  3. Now that school is mostly over for me, I’ve got a lot more free time week nights.
    Lets bar hoppin once a week dude, teach me whats good to drink. ^_^

  4. Hrm… now that you mention it, I have never been truly bar hoppin, heck I have not been to a bar in months, but maybe tonight I will have a drink. I am finally off all the meds.

    Sorry to burst that bubble kcgeek, but I am not into the bar hoppin scene, I am more of the sports bar and cheap wings kind of bar. I certainly want no part in getting someone into alcohol lol

  5. Interesting thoughts on friendship. On a radio show I used to listen to, the host challenged listeners to find out who their “true” friends were. If you wanted to put them to the test, tell them you had just won $10,000 and gauge their instant reaction in their eyes. A true friend is suppose to show genuine joy at your good fortune. The other types of friends subtle reaction would be any number of negative emotions like envy, etc. They might still verbally congratulate you but you can pick up the other reaction in their eyes for a fleeting moment. Interesting thought, although I have very few close friends that I would feel the need to put to the test.

  6. That’s the pickle Mark, I am a very trusting person and would hate to be the other way around. Circumstances have made me be very careful of making friends in the past, but overall I have gone back to trusting people.

    I learned while still young that people tell you actually very little about what they really think, and even less about what they think about you… that is why I try to be the complete opposite and what you see is what you get.

    I am up front about what I think about people, but guarded about what I think about myself, my life, my choices. I have opened up about that last part to a number of people recently and it has had various degrees of success… it has made me surprisingly close with some, but also had the 10K test effect with others.

    Most people are not used to honesty in that level and feel that there is a nefarious motive to my sincerity, almost like why are you showing me your cards if we are playing for money. However, the ones that in a sense greet that sincerity with joy feel almost liberated that they can talk about feelings with another human being without fear of being judged.

  7. So you didnt really win the 10,000 bucks Mark? You are ‘so’ not my friend anymore.

  8. People come into your life at random, and they randomly leave just the same. I don’t think it is anything personal. The thing that makes friendship unique is that friends can have differences of ideas and opinions and still be friends. Once you cannot accept the criticism from a friend, that is when you should question the friendship. Unfortunately all relationships are two-sided and both must want the friendship for it to exist. You just gotta remember that there are certain things you can take control of and there are certain things that are simpy beyond your control. People love you for a reason bro. Even people like me.

  9. I don’t know that I decide (consciously) who are my “inner circle” friends. But I do notice that I will let some people know more about me, deeper stuff, and realize that I trust them.

    The funny thing is I don’t know it until it happens. I can say the one common factor is that it is usually people that have been honest with me and added something to my life (sometimes quite small). For instance my former coworker who really introduced me to the Blues.

    If people don’t put anything into our relationship. I can still enjoy their company and be friendly but they aren’t folks I miss.

    Geek, bar hopping is fine with a group if you have a driver. But avoid “clubs” and go for sports bars or neighborhood bars where you can sit with friends and have a conversation and maybe some TV or Music.

  10. i cut my inner circle down a couple years ago. totally restructured things. and i am much happier now. i got in touch with someone i hadn’t seen in a few years and reconnected.

    i knew it was time to rethink things when i was avoiding phone calls, IMs, and Emails from people.

  11. I have 4 inner circle friends and a dozen just outside that bubble. The closest is my all-time best friend AlixAndria my wife. I think I don’t have a ton of friends because of a couple reasons.

    1. Takes too much effort on both parts…
    2. Few of my friends have kids….
    3. They don’t think Akira Kurosawa MADE Spielberg-Lucas-etc. who they are.

    I think Logtar needs to plan a BWW evening for us doods….I will kick your asses at the trivia game…

  12. @ Wook
    1. Sometimes I am surprised by the ones who do make an effort.
    2. Kids are fun, but some weekedns I kinda wish Lilly’s ex-mother in law would take em like she used to.
    3. Some people don’t even KNOW Kurosawa, cheeses me off!

    Mmmm wings

  13. Has anyone, besides your lovely wife, told you how amazing you are? You are a breath of sunshine in a bitter winter storm. Don’t ever change except to grow more amazing.

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