Your Circle of Trust :) December 01 2015
This weeks blog post is inspired by a very interesting conversation I had with a friend about her husband (shhh don’t tell them). A lot is spoken of the sisterhood and the importance of maintaining a strong circle of close, supporting women in our tribe. Not so much for the men, but equally as important. Although it is often disguised as a few beers or a game of (pretending not to be serious) tennis, men need their gang to communicate and de-stress with just as much as women (in ways only they know how).
My friend was telling me that about once a year (usually on long haul business trips) her husband takes some time to reflect on his time management and how much he is investing in his own friendships. (Very clever guy he is). He bases this on the “Circle of trust” diagram which basically has yourself at the centre, surrounded by the inner circle where only the closest, most trusted and dependable friends can sit. As the layers continue, the closeness and trust dissipates until you reach acquaintances and then strangers on the periphery.
So he re-evaluates his inner circle and makes sure he is giving as much to the friendship that they are (and vice versa). If not, he makes it a priority to lock in some dates in the diary asap to catch up with them upon his return. His wife is also included in his inner circle so she is often ‘surprised’ with a lovely text or email while he is away reminded her what she means to him. How lovely (and such an easy thing to do that has such a HUGE impact). The modern day love letter.
As another busy year draws to a close and we see on the horizon some spare time and long summer nights to share with friends, I thought this would be a timely reminder that we could all benefit from thinking about our own Inner Circle. The treadmill of life is getting faster and faster and as much as we are aware of the importance of being still and quiet and having quality time, it is very hard to actually put this into practice most of the time. (Especially for Flat Out Mum’s).
I have always been good at moving people from the inner circle to the outer layers of acquaintance. My Dad always preached the importance of quality over quantity and in today’s crazy world, it has never been so relevant. Just because you’ve known someone a long time and have a precious history, it doesn’t mean that they are right for you in your life as it is now. That also doesn’t mean that your friendship can’t be restored in the future if it is right for both of you then.
Unfortunately being ‘family’ does not automatically qualify for being within your inner circle. Nor do people that you see all the time by circumstance and have a lot to do with in your day to day activities. Girlfriends who have been with you for a long time are definitely precious but I think it is healthy to honestly re-assess where they really sit in your life right now. These long term friends and possibly some family members may need to move further out of the circle. No one is ‘entitled to’ inner circle status just because you share bloodlines or a long history.
I’m not advising you to delete these people from your life, or even tell them that they are slipping down your ladder of importance, but I think it is helpful to be self aware. That way you can pick your battles and invest your precious time wisely with the right people. The people who you really could call at 2am if you needed. Time is precious and this summer will be most fun if you spend it with those most dear.
So as the year draws to a close, I am looking forward to spending some time with those most precious to me. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but it has to be meaningful. I have at least five precious girlfriends in my inner circle that I’m hoping still have me in theirs even though we are not physically together very much any more. I am hoping that the quality of our friendship overrides that and my few and far between text messages and emails reminding them that I think they are awesome and I miss them, are enough until we can reconnect properly again.
Enjoy the silly season!