Narrowing the circles of friends…

Richard Long, Sea Lava Circles, 1988

Richard Long, Sea Lava Circles, 1988. Photo credit: yhsu on Flickr.

When I was a child, I used to get extremely painful canker sores. Even as a teenager. Mostly, they were associated with stress and excess work. But I remember very clearly once when my Mom told me that there was someone who theorized that canker sores were (in part) a result of keeping secrets (secrets that weren’t yours to keep) and/or keeping stuff bottled inside (e.g. not speaking out when something was bothering you).

Whether the theory is true or not, I have to fully admit that I now rarely suffer from canker sores, and that is probably the result of the fact that, given that now I have a blog with a pretty large audience and a voice that is heard, I rarely keep my mouth shut. That’s also part of why I tweet and have other social platforms. In order to NOT keep things bottled inside. So in that spirit, I should admit that I have been my circles of friends narrower, and that the number of people whom I trust is diminishing in number.

This is not at all a reflection on me or my value as a human being, but the direct result of (a) clearly knowing that I no longer can count on some people on whom I thought in the past I could count, and (b) the shift in my priorities and the subsequent change in my routines and goals. This is also the result of (c) people’s priorities shifting too. I am no longer part of the list of priorities of some people, and neither are they.

I have decided in 2012 to only focus on the people, projects and things I am really interested in. I am intent on stopping myself whenever I want to say YES to everything people ask me to do, invite me to do or request that I help with. Now, I am only interested in the people who are interested in me with the same intensity I am interested in them. The people (even if they are only a handful) whom I can trust and ask for help whenever I need it. And those who are part of my circle of priority friends know they are there, and know the reason behind.

Yes, I am learning to say no. I am learning to not accept pressure to do anything I don’t want to do. And yes, I’m narrowing the circles of friends, and speaking out about it too. And speaking out never felt this good.

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Comments (8)

MelanieMarch 7th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Strangely, my horrific canker sores have been greatly diminished since escaping from grad school…

Lyndsey Morgan JayneMarch 7th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

This should be an ode to most out there. I have found my circle narrows more each year, and my ‘friends’ list keeps getting shorter and shorter. Sometimes I wonder if I pushing people away, only to become destined to a lonely existence, and then I realize – ‘no’, I’m finally looking out or number one.

I have my bar set high, and not many people are able to clear it these days. Those that do, are those who have stayed by my side through thick and thin, who are the wind beneath my wings and make me a better person. Those are the only ones I am interested in keeping in my company.

I give so much of myself to people, whether it be my heart, or my ear to listen or my shoulder to cry on. Even when my means have been very tight, I have treated ‘friends’ to concerts, dinner or drinks out- with as little as a thank you in return. It’s too the point where I am not even disappointed anymore, because this lack o’give a shit’ has seemed to become the norm amongst many people that I know. (I don’t mean my friends are like this, ps) but in general, I have found this city to contain some of the most superficial, shallow individuals who are only in to satisfy their own best interests.

I realize that everyone has their own agenda, their own goals, and their own priorities, and I don’t need to be the center of any of those things… but it sure would be nice to feel cared for, or appreciated, or for once in a blue moon have the genorosity reciprocated. Where is so and so, when I inally need someone to talk to? Have so and so even bothered to ask how I am feeling as of late? I am a person of simple needs, and never ask or expect much of anyone but a mutual respect, but sadly, that seems to be a very rare commodity these days.

I am becoming disillusioned or jaded, and uninspired. This makes me sad, because I want to continue to live here and grows roots, and mwwt fantastic folks who rock my world.

I applaud you for speaking out, Raul. You only deserve to be in the company of those who truly lift you up and make you feel on top of the world. What you are doing is one of the most healthy life decisions you can make. Life is hard and stressul enough. Cheers to your catharsis!

Lyndsey Morgan JayneMarch 7th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

wow… pls excuse the spelling errors. I have some sticky keys. *proof reading* would’ve been a good idea;)

[...] up, like Raul posted about today, I’m pleased to say, I’ve developed some awesome relationships now in Calgary. But, [...]

Tanya (aka @netchick)March 8th, 2012 at 11:10 am

Hey Raul,

Thanks for the post… You inspired one of my own on the topic :)

MonaMarch 8th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

So true. But I suppose I realized this years ago, so its not a surprise. All my life I have met shallow people, female or male. I pick up their vibe a mile away. I suppose that makes me a b**** but you know what, its not true. Wise people know what people are about. There are good friends out there, and then there are also corrupt governments and institutions and world problems. What really matters to you?

All you need is one troublemaker to divide friends, groups and communities. There are plenty out there who pretend to be what they are not. I digress.

MonaMarch 8th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Good luck to you, but I doulbt that you have any trouble making good friends Dr.


MonaMarch 8th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

And I can’t spell. :P

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