Keep New Firneds And Keep The Old One Is Silver Circles of Closeness: Friendship and Intimacy

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Circles of Closeness: Friendship and Intimacy

There are different levels of closeness in friendship. Some people become friends because circumstances bring them together. Maybe you worked with someone and had lunch together quite often, but when one of you left your job, the friendship didn’t survive. Or you were friendly enough with a neighbor who moved away and your contact ended.

You probably know what it’s like to meet up with a close friend you haven’t seen in a long time. It’s like you were never apart. Your bond is based on many shared experiences, values ​​and feelings and remains strong. Casual friendships don’t offer the same kind of connection, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable.

It’s likely that when you enter a new environment, you meet people you like but don’t feel a deep connection with. These friendships are like pleasant conveniences, where both parties benefit from the contact, but neither has an interest in continuing the friendship. The relationship may feel a little off or wrong, like there’s something “fake” about it.

You can enjoy having lunch with coworkers, chatting with them about work problems and gossip, and you can even meet some of them before class to exercise. But when you change jobs, most of those friendships are replaced by connections with colleagues in the new office.

There’s no need to feel guilty if one or more of your friendships feel casual. It is very beneficial for both of you to have each other at this time; you can enjoy whatever you share and move on when it’s over. Most likely, your friend has similar feelings of friendship towards you, and the breakup is more than a little sad for each of you. Do not deprive yourself of this pleasant contact because it does not meet certain expectations and do not try to force it to be more than it is. There is no reason to walk away from a temporary, convenient relationship.

Circles of friends

Every friendship is different and you deserve to have a full spectrum of friends in your life. You can imagine your friendships as a series of concentric circles, one inside the other. In the outermost circle are people you like but haven’t gotten to know well: people you’ve met at work, church, or other groups; friends of friends and other pleasant acquaintances. Some of these people will never be closer to you than they are now. Some of them, however, become closer to you and move on to the next circle. These are people you see quite often and like quite a bit. They may be friends of circumstances that are meaningful to you at the time, but who do not stick around. Or they may be members of a group you hang out with, but not specific friends of yours. If you’re particularly fond of a casual friend, it’s worth making an effort to reach out. Let an acquaintance know that you want to have more personal contact by inviting them to coffee after a meeting or to a party at your house.

Perhaps your relationship will move into the third circle: the development of friends. You will both benefit from the opportunity to get to know each other better and find out if you have a lot in common. With a little effort and a little luck, the friendship can eventually move into the fourth circle: close friends. It usually takes a while for a relationship to develop to this point, but when it does, the two of you will have a long-term bond.

Nothing enriches life like friendship. You probably remember the old saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” As your life unfolds, you learn how true this is. With plenty of friends around, you can make sure you get the full measure of fun, support and companionship.

Different strokes

We all have different categories of people in our lives. There are family members, friends, co-workers, colleagues and acquaintances. And within each of these categories, there are levels of closeness. In your family, for example, you may feel closer and more comfortable with one sister or cousin than with another. Or, in your circle of friends, some may be much more trustworthy and warm than others. Even in business, some colleagues can be true friends, while others are more distant. The differences in these relationships determine how much distance or closeness will work in them. Knowing how to differentiate between friendship levels will make a big difference.

Neighborhoods

To create a mental picture of how the different types of intimacy exist in your life, you can imagine your relationships organized into a series of concentric circles, with you at the center of them all.

Central Circle: Intimacy: The people you consider most important to you, who are your closest friends and family, fill the central, smaller circle. The circle is small because relatively few people meet the requirements to enter the “inner circle.” It is reserved for those who are special: your closest friends, your spouse or partner, and your family.

Second Circle: Warm Friendship: The outer circle, the second circle, is for warm friends and family members who you like but maybe don’t know well enough to fully trust, or who have some characteristics that make it impossible to be closer . This can be true of people you really like but who are distant, or who can’t be trusted to keep commitments or respond when you need them.

Third Circle: Friendly Connections: This circle is for people you know and like, but don’t yet know well enough to consider them warm friends. These people can be friends of your friends or family members, or other people that you like and enjoy spending time with, but with whom you have not yet developed an individual connection. Some of these acquaintances may carry over well into your second circle after some time and experience, others may fall away.

Fourth circle: Circumstantial friends: These people could be neighbors, co-workers, other parents at your child’s preschool, or people who are fun to talk to while working out at the gym, but aren’t much closer to you in your personal life. These people are friendly and suitable for doing certain things together (for example, a co-worker with whom you have lunch), but if circumstances change (change jobs or leave), friendships do not last. Occasionally, a casual friend becomes a personal friend and moves into the third circle, or even closer.

Fifth Circle: Familiarity: This last circle is for people you’ve met recently and haven’t had a chance to check for more intimate circles, or friends of friends, or other people you hardly know but consider friendly. You may get to know some of these people better over time.

Being selective

Each of these circuits requires a different level of privacy. If you’ve thought carefully about who you let into your inner circle, for example, it will contain the people you’re most comfortable being intimate with. These are the people with whom you share your personal thoughts, your secrets, your sexuality and your living space (just how close you get depends on your personal preferences and how attentive and caring they are).

With each successive circle, the level of intimacy and separation of your private self decreases. A new co-worker in the farthest circle, for example, will probably only know general information about you and very little about your personal life.

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