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  • Writer's pictureLanya Michèle

Protect Your Inner Circle: 5 Important Questions Before Letting Anybody in Your Inner Circle

There is a striking resemblance between making friends and dating as we become older. When we meet someone for the first time, we make an effort to gather their contact information, and then we extend an invitation to hang out and get to know each other better. It's okay if folks come into your orbit through the efforts of others. If their energy is aligned with yours, you must continue. You are allowed to be critical. As a critical component of overall health, friendship helps us feel loved, supported, and a part of something bigger than ourselves. Being with people you care about and admire, offers you a sense of fulfillment, so make time for such people in your life. Good friendships have been shown in studies to be essential for both cognitive health and a happy existence.

When it comes to dating, why not treat them like a love partner?

"...they are the ones who will be there for you when you need them, who will encourage and support your personal development, and who won't abandon you when you're going through a tough time financially..."

We all know that romantic relationships are more permanent than friendships—we can have an endless number of friends, but we can only have one romantic partner. There is only so much room in our emotional and physical resources for a few close, caring, and intentional relationships, even though we can have numerous acquaintance-friendships. These close friends are the ones who have the most impact on your life; they are the ones who will be there for you when you need them, who will encourage and support your personal development, and who won't abandon you when you're going through a tough time financially, don't look your best, get sick, or don't agree with everything they say.

When choosing who to include in your inner circle, keep these things in mind:

How do you feel after spending time with them?

"Best friends will always be there for you, no matter what."

This person may not be the best buddy you've ever had if they make you nervous, on edge, or performative. Instead of filling up, you may feel empty or down on yourself after a meeting. Consider these things if you feel judged or pressured to please them in order to get close to them. Whether or not you are able to spend time with them in a variety of locations is an important consideration. Do you exclusively spend time with this person at parties or on evenings out and can't envision watching a movie together or having a nice picnic in the park? If you just want to spend time with certain people on special occasions, that's fine; some of your closest pals may be party animals, while others prefer peaceful evenings in. Best friends will always be there for you, no matter what.

Is it possible for you to be who you are?

We shapeshift in order to please others, and this is not a healthy relationship. Either the other person does not accept and love us as we are, or we do not feel comfortable going to them as we are.

How are you promoting each other's development?

Friendships that last are built on a foundation of mutual respect. As long as someone is making fun of your accomplishments rather than cheering you on as a team member, you have a problem.

What's the emotional work-life balance like?

Even if you and your partner may not be going through the same things at the same time, it is quite normal for you to be able to support and encourage each other through these moments. You may want to seek out a chat about balance or restrict the amount of weight and physical investment you provide for this kind of connection if they only come to you when they have a huge problem and disappear when things are going well in their lives. Romantic relationships have a lot in common with business ties. The reason for this is that close, personal relationships of all kinds demand unconditional love, mutual respect, and upkeep. The key to personal development is to maintain a close group of people who serve your best interests and provide you with support in return. And it's a fundamental part of a healthy and happy life.

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