GB Relationships: The Four Categories of Friendship

Hey there folks.  I hope you’re having a great day.  Remember, back in June when I was talking about wanting to start a new series on “Getting Balanced?”  Well, I’m FINALLY getting around to it.  In order to keep titles somewhat short and organized, all posts in this series will start with “GB” and will be filed into the Getting Balanced category.  I don’t have a schedule for when I’m going to post them so I think it’s going to be more of a sporadic thing that will be interspersed with my daily life and fitness updates.  Also, feedback is HIGHLY encouraged and not just so I feel awesome because I got a new comment Open-mouthed smile  I really would like these to turn into discussions since I find the subject matter so interesting and would love to hear your viewpoints.  Anywho, without much further ado, here is the first post dealing with relationships.

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I’ve said before that I believe having balance in one’s life is THE key to happiness and I’ve found that balance applies to our relationships as well.  Maslow even ranked the social requirements of love and friendship right after personal safety in his hierarchy of needs.  Being surrounded by love and acceptance is actually something that people require for survival.  I know that everyone isn’t this way but as someone who has moved no less than 15 times, I find making relationships to be a bit difficult.  Acquaintances are easy peasy but real friendships? Those may as well be needles in a hay stack . . . or so I thought.

Have you ever felt alone even though you were surrounded by people or felt like someone was a better friend than they proved to be in the end?  Do you  keep people at arms length or call everyone you meet a friend?  I’m not going to lie, I used to really stress myself out wondering about people and if they were true friends or not.  I would invest so much into some relationships only to get nothing in return and think, “well shoot, what’s wrong with me?”  It turns out that I was just looking at things all wrong.  Friendship is not “black and white” or “all or nothing.”  In fact, recently, I was able to narrow things down to four separate categories.

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Category I:  Acquaintances

  • That awesome person you JUST met
  • The person at your favorite spot who already knows what you’re going to order
  • The mail carrier
  • People you work with but never hang out with
  • Someone that you’d talk to but never really get past how the weather is or the latest headline

Category II:  Socializers

  • Party People!
  • Someone you can hang out with but not really ever get to know
  • Buddies

Brunch Ladies

Category III:  Confidant

You may or may not hang out with this person but you trust their opinion and give them your confidence.

Category IV:  Nearest & Dearest

  • Spouse/Partner/BF or GF
  • Family
  • Best Friends

wedding, jj n ash

The secret is to understand where the people in your life belong.  I’ve realized that the issue I was having before is that I thought there were only acquaintances and friends and nothing in between.  Beyond that though, I made the mistake of thinking that because I put someone in the friends category that they put me there as well.  It is just as crucial to understand what category you may be in to someone as the category they may be in for you.  Do you have that friend who only seems to go to you for advice but doesn’t call on you for anything else?  You just might be a Category III for them and you might be misunderstanding the situation and putting them in a IV instead. Which is really ok because if you’re a III that means to them you’re super wise right?

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It’s important to know however that just because someone is a category II now, doesn’t mean that they won’t blossom into a IV and eventually go back to a II.  The categories are very flexible.  Now when I meet people (trust me, this is a new skill) I can accept each and every relationship for exactly what it is in that time and that is a skill that can bring a lot of social peace to a person.

Shana n I

Is it easy for you to make friends?  Have you ever found yourself questioning how close you really are to someone?  Do you agree with the categories or would you like to add another category?

 

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5 thoughts on “GB Relationships: The Four Categories of Friendship

  1. I really like this series! The big hurdle that I see to making friends once you hit a certain age is that it is hard to befriend someone when they are at a different place than you. I’m married, but with no kids, and I tend to find that my idea of fun is different from someone who is single. Someone who has kids, on the other hand, might have less time/energy to give to a friendship. That doesn’t mean that I have no single friends or friends with kids, but I don’t typically spend my free time with those people. They are mostly acquaintances.

    The big exception to that would be my BFF who has a 4 month old. The great thing about our relationship is that we are both very low maintenance. We aren’t constantly calling each other, I see her maybe once a month, and we both give what we can to the friendship. At the same time, I can call her when I need to cry (and I have) and she is there for me in a heart beat. I know that those kinds of friendships are rare, so I try not to beat myself up over the fact that I don’t have more of them.*

    • It’s so true! Most people my age now are starting their families and I’m still trying to just get my hubs and I in the same city for once. (You can relate to that one) It’s hard wanting to go out with my single friends even though I feel weird being married without my hubs around. You’re also right about that friendship that doesn’t need a lot of maintenance because the roots are so deep. I have one of those too.

      You’re the best Amy! Thanks for your in-depth comment :)

  2. I think you summed it up pretty well with your categories! I also agree with Amy about it being hard when you’re at a different place in life than others; we don’t have kids either, and seemingly EVERYONE our age does. Those that don’t are 10 – 15 yrs younger and mostly single. Between that and the fact that we have very different hobbies / priorities in life than the ‘average’ person or couple, we find it REALLY hard to make friends. Thank goodness we have each other!

    It’s funny, we’ve noticed the last few years that the people we end up having anything in common with are usually those about twice our age. I guess we were born in the wrong era. lol

    • If I were still living close to you guys I would hang out with you especially since you’re not my boss anymore! :P Seriously though, I love all of your weird hobbies and could probably talk food with you for hours. It does suck making friends when everyone else around you isn’t really in the same place in life.

      Aaron and I are old souls as well and I’ve always been that kid who made friends with the adults in stead of the people my age. I hope it’s going well at your new base!

  3. Yep, between food/tattoos/working out/metal fabrication/wine, etc. I think the 4 of us could have had some great fun! *sigh* Well – it IS a small world when you’re in the mil. :D We’ll meet up again one day…

    We’re a bit tired, but got here just in time as Drew’s Mom was admitted to hospital 2 days after we arrived. He’s been able to be by her side constantly though, which is exactly why we’re here! Thx for the well wishes, chica.

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