Circle. Tribe. Group. Bad-Ass-Girl-Gang. Posse. Squad. Ring of Support. Coven. Pack. Community. Clan. Whatever you call it. These. Are. Your. People. They’ve been given this label because they’re your trusted confidants. Your sisterhood, the besties in your life! They’re the ones, that when you’re with them, you feel absolutely, 100%, completely yourself. They trust you and you trust them. They’re there when you need them. They’re the ones who have your back, even if you’re not around.
I’ve heard some women say they don’t like the concept of ‘a circle’ as they find it to be excluding, “A tight wall that no one else can get into” (Blinn, 2020). I get that. I also get, and yes I’m aware this may cause some type of controversy.... You simply aren’t going to be friends with everyone. Does that mean excluding someone? Absolutely not. You should always be kind. When I talk about my own personal circles, it’s how I view people who’re already in my life. I have a very clear visual in my head of what that means and looks like, personally as it applies to me. Is it black and white? Yes, sometimes. But it’s also not static, as it changes with the ebb and flow of my individual relationships as they too change, throughout time.
Types of Circles.
In my personal circles there are different layers, comprised of inner, middle and outer circles. They’re defined as:
Inner Circle. A smaller group of best and close friends, with whom you are deeply connected to. They are strong influencers in your life and are a steady constant.
Middle Circles. Good friends you have fun and enjoy being with, that are important to you. You hang out together, share common interests and activities, but typically don’t share your deepest thoughts and feelings. They may move in/out of your circle depending upon time spent together, activities and interests.
Outer Circles. Individuals you have a relationship with, but most likely, not a deep connection - like work colleagues and community social acquaintances. You may see them on a daily basis, at work, in your community, or on social media but are more private in what you share about yourself. This circle is fluid, and will move in/ out of your life over time. Glennon Doyle sums up the concept of inclusion nicely in a 2014 Twitter post, “If you are standing with other women in a circle and there is a woman standing alone in your circle’s vicinity – the thing to do is notice her, smile at her, move over a bit and say, “Hi, come join us!” Even if she decides to not join your circle – even if she looks at you like you are crazy – inviting her in is STILL THE THING TO DO. This advice is meant for both literal and figurative circles. WIDEN YOUR CIRCLE. ALL THE TIME” (2014). I’ve read about the concept of the ‘horseshoe’ versus a ‘circle’ as it pertains to female groups. I think this is absolutely a great way to view female relationships, especially, for the sake of inclusion. In her book “Untamed” Glennon Doyle promotes the concept of widening the horseshoe,
“Horseshoes are better than circles. Leave space. Always leave space. Horseshoes of friends, Circles of friends. Life can be lonely. Stand in horseshoes” (2020).
Beware of a closed, inner circle. If your circle is too integrated, meaning the females within it are similar and have all of the exact same friends, it can feel socially secure but it will generate a lot of sameness. Circle diversity is good. Multiple circles are also good. For example, you may have, an ‘old friend’ circle, a work circle, a networking circle, and a social circle. It really depends upon you and what your interests are. Several types of circles will help you to create diversity as it pertains to what is important to you and what type of people you are interested in hanging out with. It’s okay for your circles to reduce in size. Your circles will evolve as you evolve. Sometimes you don’t have the time to maintain contact with a lot of people, sometimes you realize you no longer have things in common, and sometimes situations change and you just naturally drift apart due to age, stages and phases you are in.
Upon closing, here's some Food For Thought: It’s ok to make your circle smaller with true friends you trust, versus having a bigger circle of women of whom you don’t trust. Do you agree or disagree? I welcome your feedback. Keep doing YOU in the best way you know how, my friend. It’s in that, YOU win. You already are. It’s time TO BE.♥️