Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bulls Eye

I probably spend more time than the average person thinking about relationships.

I don't mean romantic relationships.

Just... relationships.




Youth to Youth Minister

Stuff like that.

I think about it a lot. How are my relationships doing? Who haven't I talked to in awhile? Sometimes it's from insecurity of "Why haven't they texted me back yet?" or "Did I do something to make them mad?" Other times it's simply "I wonder what so-and-so would think of this" or "We really need to catch up."

Not to toot my own horn, but I have a lot of friends. I don't know why or how, but I do. I always wish that I could keep in touch with all of them better and spend time with them one-on-one, but I simply can't. A big part of that is we are all spread out everywhere around the country, sometimes even the globe. Also, most of my friends don't run in the same circles. They're kind of just... everywhere. There are moments that it makes it confusing of who is a close and personal friend, or simply someone I know and hang out with sometimes.

Last night I finished the book Finally and Forever by Robin Jones Gunn. It's her fourth book in the Katie Weldon series (basically a spin off of Chrsity Miller). There is one point in the story where Katie is getting frustrated with different people commenting on her life and what she should be doing and God's plan for her. 

Katie tells herself that she should only listen to the people in her "bulls eye." The people she really knows and trusts, and then listen to those in the outer-ring of the bulls eye.

It got me thinking - who is in my bulls eye?

When I make new friends and run around with several circles of people, sometimes I get confused with who is actually one of those close and person "bulls eye" types, and who is someone I just like to hang out with. 

Who are the people I truly trust with my heart, and who SHOULD I trust with my heart? 

How many times do we meet someone and trust them, reveal our hearts to them, then realize we shared too much and it was too late to turn back? Leaving us hurt and left in the dust.

It's like on Say Yes to theDress. When a bride brings in more than a few people to help her pick out the dress, she hears too many opinions and drama happens. The same should go for our lives. It's great to have a lot of friends. But if you have too many voices in your head telling you what you should do and how you should think and sharing their thoughts and opinions - drama happens.

You can tell this bride is confused. And see all of the people
sitting on the couch! Too many opinions. And, source.
And who wants that?

So I sat down with my journal (yes, I still keep an ACTUAL journal, it's therapeutic) and tried to figure out who was in my bulls eye circles. 

Something like this.

When I am having a crisis- who do I turn to, and who SHOULD I turn to?

Who are the people who's opinions I truly value, and who know me best?

The "bulls eye" was easier than I thought it would be. God, immediate family, and a very small handful of friends. 

The outer circles- not so much.

Granted - you can't categorize people. They are people, not objects. I normally don't do these sorts of things. But as I started thinking about who would go where and who I really knew I could share my heart with... it was a real eye-opener. 

The people in the "opinions I highly value" circle, there were a lot more names than I feel there should be. Then again - should there even be a number limit?

Then, as I was working with circles, I realized that some people switched circles. People a few years ago I thought I would have in the smallest two had moved out. Sometimes because of a particular incident where I learned our friendship had changed, other times just because people move apart. Yet, realizing those people had moved circles in a way was a relief. I didn't feel obligated to share certain parts of my life and heart with them anymore. Sometimes that's okay.

Or realizing that some people's opinions meant more to me than I realized. While we may not talk every single day, if something big was happening in my life, I would still want to hear their thoughts. 

I think this is something good to try and go through on occassion. Again, not that we should put people into categories or anything. But really evaluating who really has imput in our lives, that's important. 

Proverbs 4:23
If we listen to random voices and people who don't really know us or have our best intrests at heart - then when it comes to the big stuff (not just little things like what movie you want to watch or what outfit to wear or something), we need to know who we should truly listen to.

Sometimes those people change, and that's okay. 

But how do you know? 

How do you pick those people who you keep closest to your heart?

This is something I've always had a hard time with. I tend to trust too many people with too many things, and I get voices confused in my mind. 

How do you pick who is in your bulls eye?

And no, I am not sharing who is in each circle- with anyone, and I don't expect anyone to share theirs with me. It's a personal thing and I have a feeling it could create drama with people sharing these things. So in the comments, don't say names. Just share how you pick and such. 


  1. I am the opposite of you. Sometimes I find myself realizing that I don't think about my relationships enough. Probably for that reason, I don't have many friends. I basically have an inner circle and from there on out, everything is very sparsely populated.

    I've always been this way and I've always worked best this way. I guess when you have some social anxieties, it makes sense.

    But I am thankful for my inner circle. It sure takes the guess work out of that whole "whose opinion I value" thing. :)


    1. I've always really admired your close friendships. There are a lot of times when I read your blog that I'm super jealous that you have a tight nit circle of friends like that! I've always wanted to have those few close friends you do everything with. Although, I am really grateful for all of the friends that I do have. It's kinda cool to know that almost anywhere I go in the country, I probably have a connection there. But sorting out that inner circle of people you really trust can be REALLY hard!

  2. I have a bunch of friends, too, but I have only a few best friends whose opinion I truly value. I think, for most people, we start out with large social circles, and as we get older we begin to realize who is in our inner circle and who the outliers are. I love all my friends, but the people who have been there for me when I needed someone and have maintained my trust are the people I open up to and let in my inner circle.

    1. I think part of what I struggle with too is that so many of my friends are spread out. Since I moved, it's been hard to find that circle of people here where I live. But it has helped me in some ways with sorting through friendships and seeing who really has stuck by me no matter where I am. I'm like you though, I love ALL of my friends and am SO GRATEFUL for all of them. But I need to know that inner bulls eye circle better.

    2. I am so sharing this on my Facebook! EYE OPENER and food for thought. I am the same way! And I also share too much then wish I could take it back. I find that as an adult it is harder to have friends that you can trust and share with. You would think it would be the opposite because people would mature, but this is not true. I have been hurt many more times as an adult then ever as a child or teen. People still deal with there issues and need to feel important and start more gossip and lies to feel better about themselves. I am learning to love them as Christ would, as most of the time I can not cut them out because they are friends with the same people in my circles. This is a great way to open eyes and re-evaluate many things, and as you say not to categorize them but lessen drama and learn whose opinion can you truly trust.

    3. It IS hard to find good friends when you are an adult! I have a few friends that I've kept from childhood, high school, and college. But finding really good friends now that I've graduated and been in the "real world" for awhile has been much harder. I've found some people I like hanging out with (not many) but people I can truly trust - that's a different story.

  3. Replies
    1. What's crazy is that even since I wrote this post - I'm relearning this OVER AND OVER again!

  4. I think the Bulls Eye is a great metaphor for understanding friendships. Like you, I have a very wide circle of much so that it makes it impossible to keep up with everybody, even through Facebook. But I don't think I would be able to divide everyone up so easily. I have close friends I trust, those that I don't trust as much, acquaintances, casual friends, coworkers, people I hang out with, and blogger friends I've never met, but nevertheless trust more than many people I see regularly. And most of them don't stay in one label for very life...some friendships intensify, others fall to the wayside. One of my friendships with a friend, "Kay", was very strong last year...up until the point that I got a girlfriend. Now, her and I barely talk. I would love to sort my friends into certain groups. I actually have several friend lists on Facebook and each group can only see certain information. But more and more I'm finding that people shift in and out of those circles so much, so it's difficult to keep an accurate list.

    1. I 100% agree. Normally I don't like to categorize people because 1) they are people so you can't put them in a box. 2) Relationships change a lot. But I think it's also good to be sure of where people really stand in your life, because you don't want to trust someone who really isn't a friend you know? Or just to re-evaluate friendships on occasion is a good thing. I know A TON of my friendships have changed the last few years because of marriages, graduating college, jobs, moving, etc.


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