Everybody has them.
Some are good friends. Some are bad friends. Some will travel cross country to see you. Some won’t call you when they are in your neck of the woods. Some make you laugh. Some make you cry. Some make you laugh til you cry. Some are reliable. Some are flaky. Some are surface level. Some are deep.
Either way. They are friends….of some form.
I have had several conversations with teen girls this week about friends. What makes a good friend? What do you do when a friend betrays you? Where is the line in I can still be a “friend” and abandoning ship? What about forgiveness? What about when friends repeatedly disappoint you?
Unfortunately, I have had to deal with the same issues as of recent…the one thing I hate to say to these sweet little teen girls is that it still goes on with adults. The only thing is…adults have had a little more practice at the whole friend thing and figured out some boundaries. Whereas, teens are practicing these boundaries.
One of the most valuable things I have ever learned about friends/relationships is about the target. My mom once told me (and still reminds me) that relationships/friendships are like a target. A target has many rings. There are the people on the very outer rim. They may get to see you. They may know your name and maybe a few things about you. Then the next level may know what you do and what your passions are. The next level in, may know your beliefs and possibly seen you living out your passions and beliefs. Then the circle gets smaller…as you close in to the final target there are only a FEW people in that inner ring. They know the most about you.
I love this analogy because…I can easily pick out the say 4 people in my inner circle. The next circle is easily my mentors, some fam, and next closest friends. The next circle is probably my co-workers and some other friends,…it goes on…then all the way out there one the largest ring you could include the people you are facebook friends with but awkwardly say hello to when you see them.
There is a reason why it is hard to always get the target. It is a small space and not many people or objects belong there. Have you ever noticed what happens when you move one of you “hi how are you” friends to the inner circle and tell them something that they are not ready for?? It is super awkward because they are not in your inner circle…you don’t truly know if you can trust them.
I have been reminding these teens (and myself) that you have to periodically mentally go through and take inventory of who is on the true inner circle and what kind of trust and info you put into those people. Then so on and so on. Some of the stories these girls have told me have truly disturbed me…teen girls are mean. Then again, I have had some people be mean to me as an adult.
I was mentally taking stock today, and kind of relocating some people on my target. Nothing personal…just some people you start to move in to the smaller circle, and they can’t handle it or have shown character issues that you don’t really need on your inner circle. Therefore, you have to put them back into the larger group. It is kind of letting them test the target or target practice. Some times you have to give people a second chance at moving in on the target, and they can then stay there…just depends
Do we ever get better at figuring all this out? I don’t know. I mean, I feel like I am better at recognizing when someone is on the wrong level. I can spot it easier. At the same time, I know my constants center target people are pretty constant and have not changed much in the last 6 years.
All the other levels bigger than the actual target, people change levels all the time I think. That is ok. You just have to recognize it.
That is why when you make the target when you are practicing, you get excited! That is hard! You had to work at it. I think that is why the people in the center of your target are there too…you work hard at your friendships and relationships. Those people have your trust. You know they have your best interest in mind. You know you would do the same for them. It is a sweet spot because you know you can always win with those people in your court.
Who is in the center of your target?