Sunday, January 10, 2010

Boxing It In

I have a secret.

For all my effervescence, gregarious perspective and openness, sometimes I get a little worked up over the commingling of friends.

Most of the time, the mixing of my social circles is wonderful. We explore new places, give birth to new ideas and conversations, and revive common passions.

But sometimes the introduction of one group of people to another leads to nothing good.

It's almost as if I wish I had one of those grade school lunch trays - you know, the ones with the compartments that keep the runny mashed potatoes-and-gravy away from the dry, overcooked dressing and the watery green beans.

Because sometimes I want to enjoy my mashed potatoes and gravy all by itself. Sometimes I think it tastes great with a couple green beans. Sometimes I want to mix it all into one big, flavorful mess.

All analogies aside, I guess I prefer keeping most of my social circles apart because they appeal to different facets of my personality.

I am most protective of my "inner circle" of friends. These are the people with whom I feel most comfortable being exactly as I am - brainy, bawdy, boisterous. These friends do not threaten, intimidate or make me feel inadequate.

My Inner Circle pushes me to be the best I can be, while enjoying the best out of life. I've discovered I don't feel quite as good about myself when the Inner Circle is watered down by variables from the "outside."

Another wonderful social segment - my social media peeps. These are people who I "know" because we've developed a relationship through blogging, Twitter and other online social applications. I know some of these people in real life, and others I just know by avatar and handle.

I love my social media peeps because they mostly appeal to my intellectual side. Many of these brilliant individuals share my political beliefs - reviving my conviction and passions. Others demonstrate specific expertise or interests that either compliment my own or inspire me to learn more.

A few of my social media people are simultaneously grouped into the IC, but most belong to a wonderful group all their own.

My social circle involves still other groups of people - individuals I see casually and infrequently and people with whom I've failed to form a deeper connection.

These people are fun and an important aspect of my social frame of reference, but I hold some of them at arm's length.

As if you haven't realized by now, I am quite protective of the people with whom I reveal my truest self.

A few weeks ago, a man who is both in my IC and one of my social media peeps referred to this very dynamic. He said he initially thought it would be wonderful if, "Everyone knew everyone."

His voice trailed off and conceded, sometimes it's just easier to compartmentalize some social groups.

I appreciated his honesty; sometimes I wondered if I was the only one who was selfish (is it selfish?) enough to prefer this separation.

But then, sometimes, I wonder who is keeping me away from a social circle I don't even know about.
______________________________________

Wanna join my social circle??!! You can follow me on Twitter @Kate_the_Great. Shoot me an "@" and let's chat! - Kate

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

53 comments:

Kudla Trekkers said...

Nice Blog Kate

Like yo,

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Catpad said...

lovely blog!

playback said...

How can you be present with those blinders on? and not the sunglasses...sheeeesh.

Sheila B. said...

I don't think it's selfish at all... some people are in your life for a season, some for a reason, and other for a lifetime. That's why you should comparmentalize.

sergio said...

Yo no lo creia pero funciona de verdad!! Envia este mensaje a 20 personas y despues entra a http://tequiere.mebloquearon.info y mira el nombre de la persona que te ama!!!!

Hera said...

I seem to do the same as my friends fall into different areas of my life. However around xmas time i htought it would be nice to gather all my gf's together. Needless to say they did not all mesh well and I return to keeping my circles seperate. thankyou for sharing this.

ijogthereforeiblog said...

I think you play different roles with different people and vice versa. And not everyone is designed to get along-even if there is a common link (you!!)

Nicole Hiltibran, M.A., LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist said...

A. I love your blog black and white background

B. I can totally relate about mixing groups of friends

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The818 said...

Yeah, there's something about your friends becoming each others friends that's kind of uncomfy...It just never sits right.

Holly Bierly Young said...

Kate, I found your blog simply by hitting "next blog" on the top of my page (I am fairly new to blogger) and you made a good "first impression." :)

I totally AGREE with you. When I was in college, I used to feel so "squirmy" when people from high school would come visit me. It just felt funny. It was nice, but I often felt guilty because I was always a little relieved when they left. You are NOT alone! Enjoy your lunch tray compartments! My best to you~ Holly

yourstrulyh.blogspot.com

Kaylan said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Certain friends don't mix with certain friends. Each have a particular place in our life and that is normal. I have friends from church and friends just related to family. Each group is quite different. Church friends have strong religious or moral views, the other friends have interests in common but would not be happy with the moral or political views of the others; thus the groups wouldn't mix well and if I'm caught in the middle of the two...I'd get tongue-tied. I wouldn't know which side of myself to share! LOL!

Team Russi said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have meshed worlds a few times with lukewarm results. Part of a friendship is sharing yourself and seeing yourself through someone else's eyes. We're not the same person to all people.

I am still fond of those compartmentalized plates... and friendships.

Princess Jo said...

Well written. Could be describing me and my friends.

Well done!!!

Jo

aayushi said...

that's so true!

Suddenly Fourty said...

Indeed. A social circle built around your blog is a world in its own. Purely intellectual almost because it is a purely ideas exchange (not coloured by appearances, gestures, and facial expressions). Great blog!

now-self said...

Hi Kate,

I came across your blog by fluke. I like the topic you have chosen, and believe it is not selfish to prefer a separation like you have mentioned. In fact, it is natural and, in some cases, even desirable.

I also believe no one and nothing in this world is selfless. We're all selfish, and that's not a bad word.

Regards,
Kavita

moneymoneymakemoney said...

kate - there is no reason yuo should be single - youre hot!!

starcakeastrology.blogspot.com said...

:)

Anjie said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that feels this way! I even have an inner circle of friends within one group of specific friends.

I want to have one huge party and get everyone together, to meet, to mingle, to get to know each other, but I don't want to have to put on a different hat every time I chat with a new cluster of people.

Thanks for putting this "phenomenom" in they way I would have, had I thought to write this post! :)

Kimmber said...

I do the same. And I really hate, makes me extremely anxious, when one world collides with another! Before being able to make a gazillion lists on facebook, my worlds were so uncomfortably coming together. Separate is good!

Great blog!

Margaret said...

Seinfeld referred to friends from different parts of your life meeting as worlds colliding, which is exactly what it feels like. It's uncomfortable because different people bring out different aspects of our personalities. Yikes!

Honeygo Beasley said...

How's your thumb?

I'm just a girl. said...

and I thought I was the only one who blogged randomness! :)

I did find you throught the next blog click.

Funny you had just posted about it.

raye said...

great analogy with the school lunch tray. i'm new here. i'll enjoy reading more.

Mamado said...

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That Hideous Man said...

Hi from Scotland - just another blogger who pressed "next blog" one evening!

Sinnerviewer said...

This was never anything I noticed until my birthday party last year when people sat in little cliques. I could hardly enjoy myself for fear of their not mixing and then, of their mixing. Never again!

Megan said...

I completely agree, your Inner Circle is more important on a different level. There is a certain importance to them, that no one else can have. And i honestly think, if everyone knew everyone it wouldn't be a problem its just if they all start to intertwine there could possibly be an issue. Which most try to avoid.

Tammy Real-McKeighan said...

I don't know if you got my comment since I forgot to put in a username.
Sorry, I'm kind of new at this.
Anyway, I wanted to say how much I like your blog.
I was in fifth grade when my parents took me to San Francisco - however my Dad wasn't too happy when I ordered pizza instead of some of the delicious fish served there.
I love the description in your writing.
I'm a writer, too. If you'd like, please check out my Web site at realspiritualspinach.com
Keep writing!

Tyler J said...

Wow yours is one of the first blogs that is actually extremely entertaining. You make mine look like crap! You are very witty and honest!! I will be coming back to your blog often!



http://menk44.blogspot.com/

What's In My Yard? said...

this is off subject but. How about the endless cycle of three blogs that i get when i click next blog. I figured since you are the second if of the three and you are getting all the hits that why not make use of it lol.

Living in Greece said...

I have often been guilty about making social cocktails...some of them have worked, others not...

However I also have the experience of having long interesting chats with people on facebook that in real life I have NOTHING to say to...interesting that.

Certainly, technology has opened up a brand new world.

Love your blog about random nothings by the way and the whole styling of it! Congratulations.

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Donna Deluso said...

Very cute blog! Got here doing "next blog" - i think yours came up third after "blog of note" which could account for the increased traffic. Although maybe they randomise and shuffle the order? Like your style.

What's In My Yard? said...

I recently made an off subject comment here just for the mere fact that blogger has not fixed the issue with NEXT BLOG and this is where it brought me.

Well now I’m back and I’m happy to say that I actually read your post this time and found it interesting. I am reminded of an episode of Seinfeld where they talk about worlds colliding. I know I have friends that match with multiple facets of my personality but I’m not sure that they would match with each other. In fact I know they would not. Not everyone is as tolerant of others as you and I may be. Weather it merely be quirks or views they may have. So is it a bad thing to keep worlds apart? I say no, unless you want to tempt fate and another world war.

missy said...

Danger: Mixing groups is hazardous to your health!

Hope some of you will check out my blog, too! It's at
http://soulfabric.blogspot.com/

mel*r said...

Loving this entry.

I too protective of who i show my truest self. At times life has thrown me a few bad apples along the way which i had to learn the hard way to just throw out.

I prefer to keep every 'group' separate..after all...i kinda get sick of the same face over and over and over again if the groups were all meshed into one....

xo
mel

Charissa said...

That's a great questions, Who is leaving you at arm's length from their social circle.

I have a great group of friends that I hang out with a lot. I keep thinking though, that none of us have a deep relationship, mostly just hanging out and doing activities together. I crave deeper relationships. I like the way you categorized different relationships for different reasons. I've realized I don't need to distance myself from this group but compartmentalize and find other friends for a deeper connection.

Thanks for the great explanation!
Charissa

Jim Bauer said...

It's strange sometimes, this world we live in today, where when you use the word "friend" in conversation, you really have to work to define what you mean. It's a word that has multiple meanings nowadays, unlike before in a simpler time, when it simply meant a dear and personal acquanitance.

Enjoyed your reflection.

feelchillingfireflashes said...

What you are realizing is exactly similar to what people have realized for ages now - there is an innermost circle where you do not want anybody to peek in, an inner circle reserved for only the closest, a social circle for social friends and acquaintances, and an outer circle to shield from everyone else! An interesting expression in piece of this blog!!

Mae Rae said...

I don't think it is selfish at all. Some people in you innermost circle would be quick to point out that you are not acting yourself when with another group, and who wants the outside world to really see what we are like on the inside. Kudos to you, I have melded on occasion and it has never quite worked out.

zoe said...

hello,
mmm....interesting thoughts, and I was totally agree with you in the no mixing policy....but if you look reverse, it is kind of nice when you are in somoene circle and that at some point you are mixed with friends from their other circles...it is how you met very interesting people quite different...and open other boxes...otherwise , I think it is very easy to go on circle and play a role in each circle, even with you closer friends,and kind of get stuck and don't "evolve", also a way to know better your friend/connections as see their other facets...not sure I am very clear....just some random thoughts


PS: I got here by the next blog button....

Stilitano said...

See, I weirdly like the milky gray gravy on the overcooked green beans, but I HATE when my friends converge. It happens way too often.

Nellie Dee said...

Hi Kate. I love how you put this! And it totally relates to what I just posted on my blog. Sometimes I get the urge to click the "Next Blog" button which I did tonight and there you were! I have Random Inspirations at www.profitableprose.blogspot.com.
I wish I had written as well as yours. Blog friends are special and do become dear to your heart. Have a great night Kate!

Isis said...

It seems you have a nack for online writing. Seriously, it's rare to encounter someone who can write a longer blog post and engage interest all the way to the end. Thank you I just learn something from your style. ...so true about the different flavors of social circles. Some provide the nourishment that keeps you going while others are just the icing on the cake. ;)

Terrace Crawford said...

Hi Kate! Just ran across your blog. Thought I'd say hello!

--Terrace Crawford
www.terracecrawford.com
www.twitter.com/terracecrawford

Isidro said...

Good thoughts.

Seriously though, I don't know that too many people prove deep enough to know everything about me no matter how much I might like to expose my soul abroad....

Great blog.

kd gupta said...

see some hindu philosophy..
http://vedastra.blogspot.com/

EOlivas said...

I like your analogy to a school lunch tray.Funny. I agree, sometimes it is good to keep your circles separate, but other times it would be great to mingle and who knows maybe some random friendship may develop?

Michael J. Gorman said...

Hello Kate, I'm..curious. Why you named this particular blog "Boxing It In," because it sounds more like you're creating a physical geography dirt table, that is, where you construct the sand in such a way to force the constant flow of water whichever way suits your aesthetic pleasure best. This makes perfect sense with our nature, and I totally understand and do so likewise; however, no matter how you try to bank the dirt and redirect to avoid spillage where you wouldn't prefer, nature will run its course. Your words have a nice sound to them.

My new blog has only just one-unfortunately my time is swollowed up in other committments. But my older has some other blogs you may enjoy.
New: www.scramswhispers.blogspot.com
Old: www.comeherescrams.blogspot.com
Take it easy Kate..

-Mike

Mikki said...

I dont think its selfish at all, i learned a long time ago that i cant mix all of my friends. It produced drama and headaches.

So for the longest time people that i was closest too in my adult life (inner circle as you called it) didnt know each other.
I had my friend chris, who i met at work and became good friends with. Then there was my best friend DC who i had known for years but he lived almost 3 hours away and we talked online. And then there was Amanda, who i met online at a blog website.
Then one day i finally let them meet. Its awesome that they get along, but now amanda and DC hang out alot without me, and even though its childish, i sometimes feel left out with them.