Cultivating an inner circle

I’ve been undergoing a spiritual and emotional transformation over the past few years. One of the biggest things that I’ve been focussing on during this time is to cultivate an inner circle of people. Call them what you may: friends, family, cheerleaders or mentors. These are the people who are the first to knock at your door to cheer you when you are down. They celebrate your happiness with you like it’s their own and also push you to do your best when you have lost confidence in yourself. Do you have one? Let’s talk about why an inner circle is important.

The party years

When we are in our 20’s, life is one big party, isn’t it? You hang out with one group of friends for bowling one day, the other day you meet the other gang of friends for BBQ/ drinks. Who cares if you can’t have a heart to heart conversation with them, having fun is more important! Oh those days, when all we needed was music and an empty home and we were good! Music, dance, food and fun was all we needed. I have to admit I really enjoyed that phase. Who wouldn’t?

But after a while, you start feeling like a number in the big group. No mental or emotional connection or genuine care for one another. Which would be fine usually, but we all need close friends who care, dont we?

Basically, the ones with whom you don’t need to project a different side of yourself. They love you the way you are!

“You are an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

Undergoing a transformation…

Over time, it dawned upon me that I don’t need to spread myself too thin. What is the use of tagging 50 friends on my Facebook when none of them are emotionally available for me when I am down? And let’s be practical, we have just 2 days in the week to rejuvenate, enjoy and recharge. Isn’t it better if we meet people who understand us (and our situation/ quirks/ add-what-you-want- here), where none of us has to put in extra effort to “show” what we are not. Ahh! Even writing this makes me breathe a sigh of relief.

After a lot of trial and errors, teething problems and years of observing, I’ve have finally realised who the” special” people or my inner circle are. I am ever so grateful for them and the unlimited memories I make every day with them. It’s like you have found an extended family, a comfort circle, your own cheerleaders. These are people that make me forget to look at my phone or take pictures, there is so much to talk to and so much genuine laughter. And mind you, an inner circle can be your blood family, but not every blood family member might be your wellwisher (more on that in another blog post).

Also read: Things I would say to my 18-year-old self

I cannot stress how important it is to have an inner circle especially when you are in a new country, away from your family and all the friends you grew up with. Birthdays, festivals and celebrations become even more special because we have someone celebrating with us. Deaths, failures and disappointments become a little more bearable if we have someone to hold our hand or offer their shoulder to cry on. No one is invincible in this world, not even you -my friend. The bitter truth is life gives all of us bitter and unwanted experiences when we are least expecting them. As much as we avoid it, shit will happen and that’s when we will need our inner circle to come to our rescue!

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family;

Whatever you call it. Whoever you are.You need one.

– – Jane Howard

Although I cannot meet some of my inner circle people because we’re in different continents but I know they will be there for me without batting an eyelid if I need them and vice versa. Inspite of being in different time zones, they know every bit of what is happening in my life and are “genuinely” concerned. Being an only child I never had a sibling to share my life with. But I was (and am) always blessed with a couple of beautiful souls in my life, nevertheless (most I don’t have blood relation with, few with whom I have).

Do the ones you call best friends value you?

Do your friends treat you like a backup option? Well, I’ve faced that a zillion times so I understand if you’re in the same situation when friends or family that treat you like Google or Netflix. Okay, let me explain this one. One of the reasons Netflix is so incredibly popular is because it’s available all the time, wherever you want it. Same with Google, just log into the internet and ask Google any question, and you will get a response in a second. If you don’t feel like leaving your house but want to watch a movie, you can just click a button and be watching something from the comfort of your couch or bed.

Friends or family members who are using you will treat you in a similar way

  • They’ll call you up and expect you to come to hang out with them at their house, or at the mall/ movie theatre/ coffee shop they’re at or ask you to tag along to run (their) errands. But the moment you suggest something else/ some other day, expect a lot of drama and rejection. They want you to be available to hang out with them whenever they want, but only when it’s convenient to them – they’re not about to change their schedule and go somewhere they don’t feel like going just to hang out with you.
  • Some will call or text you ONLY if they need something out of you, NEVER to check on you or just say a hello!
  • They might just be hanging out with you as you are a good back up option, and their best friend is busy/ left the city or ditched them.

These are big signs that your friend is definitely using you – its time to run the other way!

Also read: Talking about uncomfortable topics

So how do you identify your inner circle?

Do they show up without fail, when they know you are in trouble/ depressed/ heartbroken or sick? Do they check on you or make sure you aren’t alone in your bad times? If yes, thank your stars for being blessed with such angels.

When you meet up or talk over the phone, do they ask you how you are and care to listen? Or are they just going on and on about their life and happenings? If you’ve got someone who does the former, treasure their friendship!

Do they make you feel so comfortable in your own skin that meeting them feels like you are meeting your close family? Have you never had to lie to them, or show/act what you are not; fearing they will judge or hate you for your quirks? If this is true, congratulations on finding your inner circle of people.

inner circle 1

Something to ponder upon…

I would love for you to have a think about your life and identify these people who are your inner circle. Are you spending enough time with them or are you spreading yourself too thin too, with people who don’t really care about you? Think hard…