When we reach a certain point in our emotional and psychological evolution we realise that the quality of our relationships is far more important than the quantity. Yet in a world where we have more connections than ever it is becoming increasingly difficult to be the gatekeepers of our time and energy. We all have friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances and an ever increasing number of social media connections vying for our attention, and it is easy to lose focus and forget that we are the guardians of our precious resources and that we are responsible for keeping our inner circle sacred.
Your time and energy are finite resources, the amount of people who draw on them is not. We dole them out like confetti until they, like ourselves, become exhausted, and we have little or nothing left to give the people who really matter. Who hasn’t spent 40 minutes on the phone to a negative Nancy friend only to end the call feeling drained and depleted and snapped at their children or spouse? Just one example of the need to pull your energy back to your inner circle.
Your inner circle should consist of the people in your life who are the most important to you and it is up to you to get really clear about who belongs in it so you can allocate your resources accordingly. Imagine you are in the centre circle, you are the most important person in your life, and the next circle to you are those you care about most, followed by another circle and another. The people you place in the circle nearest to you are your VIP list. There are no hard and fast rules on who to put on your list, it is completely up to you, but here are some things to keep in mind when deciding who makes the cut.
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Inner Circle
1. Just because someone made it into your inner circle does not mean they have permanent rights of residence there. I have had people on my VIP list who, for various reasons got relegated to the next level out, or even several circles out. You might grow apart, go through a period where you’re not just that close anymore or a myriad of other reasons, the point is once does not equal always. You don’t have to tell them they have been bumped, you simply become more discerning about the time and energy you give them.
2. If you are an after-thought for someone you might want to re-evaluate their position in your inner circle. Do you really want to prioritise someone who only thinks of you when they need something or have a problem?? Again totally up to you but I for one am in the process of booting some friends who fit this description out to the outer circles. It doesn’t mean you need to end the friendship, unless you want to, but it does mean being more selective about how you show up in the relationship.
3. Just because someone else considers you to be number one on their VIP list doesn’t not mean you have to respond in kind, a bit like point 2 but you are only responsible for keeping your circle sacred, they are responsible for theirs. You have the right to say no to demands, and it can be done kindly.
4. Someone’s proximity to you: this one refers to family members or any other person you see regularly, neighbours, other mums at the school run, and members of a club you belong to etcetera. Your list is defined by you exclusively so don’t feel obliged to add people who you don’t resonate with or who you don´t want. Remember we are talking about your inner most circle here.
5. Length of time someone has been there, even if someone has been in your inner circle for what feels like forever doesn’t mean they need to stay there. Sometimes we forget to review and cull, so look at your list now and see who needs to be put where.
Keeping It Sacred
Now that you have decided who is in your inner circle, keep it sacred by using your resources wisely; time, energy and fucks come in limited supply so choose who you want to give them to. Think before you commit to something and see whether you really want to give that much to those in the outer circles. Ask yourself “If I say yes to this, who or what am I saying no to?” Take the time to check in with yourself. Where you expending excess energy ? Where would you prefer to use it?
Regularly Evaluate Your Circle
We are hopefully growing, evolving individuals, so as our lives and circumstances change it can be useful to re-evaluate, who do we want to add, who do we want to remove.
You are in the centre circle, and you choose who to keep close. Keeping your Inner Circle Sacred doesn’t mean a life of loneliness and isolation, quite the opposite it- means you know who matters to you, and by acting accordingly so will they. If there is someone in your inner circle who hasn´t been getting much of your time, attention or energy, maybe it´s time to remedy it.
Still not sure who to put in your inner circle, download the inner circle printable here......