Friday, August 27, 2010

My Circles - do they include Enemies?

Had an interesting conversation with some of my YW the other night as we headed up the canyon.

We were talking about going back to school, their classes, friends, lockers, etc.  One girl made the comment that she was glad she didn't have any classes with any of her enemies from last year.

"Enemies"?  I was momentarily taken aback.  It seemed such a strong word, but I reminded myself that it's a common phrase with the young people these days. I don't like it.  Not one bit.

I carefully explained the Gospel of the Differing Circles of people in our lives (according to me).

Circle One:  The UBFF circle.  The Ultimate BFF.  The ones that you see and talk to every single day.  Maybe family in there, maybe just dearest, dearest friends.  Long time relationships that have seen highs and lows and weathered all the storms that life has thrown your way.  You share only your deepest secrets with these ones.

Circle Two:  The BFF circle.  Your besties, but you might not have daily contact.  It might be every other day, once a week, but you are still very close.  You share things, you keep secrets, you trust.  Every day life includes them in some way but not quite the level of the UBFF.  It might just be a quick text or even good thought about them.

Circle Three:  Acquaintance circle aka AQ circle  People you interact with regularly, but aren't super close.  Exchange pleasantries, maybe do things together in a group setting. You see them at the gym, chit chat here and there, maybe at the water cooler at work.  You know a little bit about their lives and they yours, but other than your general exposure to them (work, gym, church, school hall), that's about it.  Maybe a comment or two on FB.  Not much beyond that.

Circle Four:  People you Pass circle - or the PUP circle.  They are exactly that.  People you pass.  They are faces in a crowd.  You have no ill feelings towards them, you have no feelings in general towards them other than they are a person deserving of respect by the fact that they are human being.  You might not even know their name.  They are just people who happen to take space in the same area as you at any given time.

So where do enemies fit in?  What constitutes an enemy?  Good question.  Let's think about the circles.

A person in the PUP circle can always move up into the AQ circle and from there, over time into the BFF circle and even perhaps, after a great deal of time and trust into the UBFF circle.  There's always room to move up.  But what about someone who was in one of the upper circles, but has violated the trust.  The bond.  Has crossed a line.  Rang a bell that can't be unrung.  What to do with them?  They are too toxic for the UBFF or BFF circles, and maybe even the AQ circle.  I guess that leaves them in the PUP circle.

Important lesson:  Even in the PUP circle - there are no ill feelings.  They just become people you pass.  That is where the "enemies" would fit.  But since that is your PUP circle, no need to call them or refer to them as enemies - they are just in your PUP circle.  No more enemies.

The girls seemed to understand what I was telling them and we left it at that.  I, however, have been thinking about it ever since.

Over time, our circles change don't they?  People come and go in our lives.  At one point, they might very well be in the UBFF, but either distance or circumstances  relegates them to a different circle.  Is there anything wrong with that?  I don't think so.  I think it's the normal ebbs and flows of life.

How do my circles pan out?

(not necessarily to scale)
I have a good size UBFF circle.  Maybe larger than most folks simply because I adore people, talking, sharing, and once I get a good trust vibe, I tend to let them into the most inner sanctum.

My BFF circle?  Humongous!  HUGE!  Literally, there are so many people that I refer to as my BFF's and I really mean it.  Again, it goes back to that whole "love people" issue.

My AQ circle would be substantial but not as large as my BFF circle.  You would think it's the other way around, but I tend to suck people into my web of BFF's.  Probably all one-sided on my part, but I feel strongly about things one way or the other, not much middle road for me.  AQ circle is kind of middle of the road.

My PUP circle is much smaller.  Much.Smaller.  There are very few people that I meet and don't immediately like.  Or it might include someone who had been in an upper circle and for some reason, slipped to my PUP circle.

And why all the introspective thinking about this?  It goes back to that word enemies.  I don't like it.  Not one bit.  I like to identify where people fit in my life.  Is it labeling?  Nah - just categorizing for explanations sake to my YW - help them understand that in our circles - there is no room for enemies.  Everyone has a place in our lives.  A positive place.

Every circle is good in it's own way.


CountessLaurie said...

I love this. It really puts it all into perspective for me. Thanks for sharing it!!

carma said...

this is all very complex - thanks for pointing out that the diagram was not to scale --

I'm just watching 20/20 What Would You Do? and it has to do with whether people step up when someone is mistreated in public-- and you strike me as someone who would step up and do the right thing :)

Cherie said...

This is, I think, my favorite post of yours. This is just fantastic and something all YW could use because they can be so volatile with their friends - changing BFF's every few minutes, gossiping, slamming, etc...
This explanation is so right on!!
I love the circle concept.
Once again, You Rock!!!

tiburon said...

In light of recent incidents - and because we have chatted at great length about this topic - I think you already know how I feel.

I would have to say that the older I have gotten the more my UBFF circle has become streamlined and defined. I have learned which friends to trust with the motherlode and which friends aren't going to make the cut.

My BFF circle is large as well. I think we both know that I am a very social person. And I like having a lot of close friends.

My AQ circle is also large - I know a lot of people and while I wouldn't consider them close friends - but they are friends.

I have also learned that life is way, way, WAY too short to waste time on the people that really don't give a crap. I might create a circle just for these people and call it the Sucker Circle. Because they are the people that suck the life right out of you. Sadly, I am finding more of these people in my world and eliminating them sometimes proves difficult. Much like a leech. Or a tick.

I don't think that I have enemies either. I am the kind of person that will give all I have to give to a friend - but once they screw me they are done. Especially those people that should know better.

It is pretty much a guarantee that if they are in my BFF or UBFF circle and they lose my trust - they are done. Out.

Is that a bit harsh and cruel? Yes. But I have trust issues. And if I can't trust you then you really can't be in the inner circle. Plus, I hold a grudge.

Now I am just trying to figure out which circle I am in. Because - I talk to you at least 3 times a day every day - but I am not sure we have weathered any major storms together. But maybe we have and they haven't felt like storms because being with you is fun - and doesn't seem painful or difficult in any way.

Either way you know that I have your back - and you know that you are one of my favorite people in all the land. I am proud to call you my friend and I am honored that you consider me for one (or more) of your circles ;)

tiburon said...

Geez! That was awfully mushy. And to think I wrote that I am not even on any drugs!

tiburon said...

I think it is super cute that you got some 3 year old to draw that picture too. They have some talent!

Cheeseboy said...

And I was just about to ask for a graphic... and then it appeared, and a very professional one at that.

I wonder if this would hold true for men as well...

Mrs. Organic said...

I love this and I am sharing it with my kids. What a great philosophy!

I need to work on expanding some of my circles and trimming up others.

Java said...

Bookmarking this post for sure!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Heather said...

I like the way you think. :) I think we'd all be better off if more of us had the ability to love people like you do.


Love this, I agree, no room in life for enemies.

Merri Ann said...

I like this explanation and ditto about the drawing ... informative and very funny.

I like the no enemies aspect. I feel the same. There really is not time in life to have such negative feelings.

I hope you don't mind if I borrow your idea when the time comes with my kiddos.

" Hit It......." said...

I love this post lady! You summed it all up. My daughter is now in Jr. High and is having friend issues. I am encouraging her to make a UBF. I am going to have her read this post. At her age, friendships are hard and sometimes cruel. I wish the younger gals would realize how important it is to charish and appreciate friends. As us older gals know; the UBF can be hard to find!

tammy said...

This was very deep. I like how you explained it. I don't like my kids thinking they have enemies either. Unless it's like terrorists. Then that's okay.

wendy said...

and THAT'S why you are in YW. YOU can relate to those girls, you are cool, they trust you and listen to you....cause you are cool. You can get through.....cause you are cool.
and more importantly, the spirit guides you to say just the right things.
I like that post alot. ENEMIES is an aweful word. I have some "dislike" for some people, but would never call them my enemy. They don't seek me out to destroy me.
I have some special UBFF....over the years and I have lived various places, wonderful people have filled me life.....then kinda softly left as distance seperates us
BFF....a few, I don't see many people right now.

I am a people lover too and too easily hurt by a word, a look, a gesture. That is lame, I need to be stronger.

and you are cool

Sue said...

just took a time out for a lesson on enemies..You nailed it lady.

love your perspective♥

Missy said...

This is just so awesome! Love this!

Garden of Egan said...

Love it! Way to be there for the talk when those young women needed to hear it.

Also, thanks for not sucking at as a friend.

Mae Rae said...

As I read it all is sinking in. I myself have to say that the circles of your people are almost perfect. I also have to say that Tib is so right when she says there needs to be the sucker circle.

I have a fairly large sucker circle. I know that the reason for it is because I listen. Sometimes people think that means I care (only kidding at first I do) but after some time I still love them but need to limit my association because indeed they suck the life force right out of my day. I have no strength to move those to the PUP circle or the AQ circle because I still love them just as much.

I just cant be with them.

I love you too, you are someone that I have never met but you make me smile. Even though it is not an every day thing you are a force in my life that brings me hope.


Teachinfourth said...

Makes me think of that Belinda Carlisle song from the 90s…