"oh, oh...who are the people in your neighbourhood..."
- the people who are in their sphere but aren't necessarily friends (someone you'd see at the grocery store or who works down the hall from you)
- people who are important in their lives but aren't intimately connected to their day-to-day lives (not someone they'd invite over for coffee)
- people are close friends/family members who live in the area ("in person" circle)
- close friends/family who live far away and are, perhaps, connected through Facebook/email ("cyber" circle)
This type of Social Mapping can be really effective in both clarifying what a great social network a person really has and/or identifying where she has some holes that need filling! We talked at TGN about consciously seeking the friendships that will fill the voids, and how being open and vulnerable can help those connections deepen.
Many times in my life, I've heard the phrase, people are in your life for "a reason, a season, or a lifetime". I used to think it was a cheesy Hallmark-inspired blurb, but I've come to agree. The key, for me and many women I've talked to, is learning from each of the people and relationships we have, much as we try to do for experiences, and decide whether a friendship was meant to teach us something about ourselves, about interacting with different personality types, about being kind, about trusting our own gut or learning to look for others for support. There are so many things we can take away from our relationships - and some are there as cautionary tales as we move forward in our lives.
The last "circle" we talked about at TGN as we did our Social Mapping exercise is the "inner circle" - ourselves (that one relationship we can't escape...but we certainly can change/improve!). Encouraging positive self-talk, practicing self care, putting energy into our own emotional and spiritual growth, as well as taking care of our bodies, are all great ways to enhance and support this one, most important relationship.
And once our own tank is full, we have resources for connecting with others, supporting our families and friends, and working, in whatever capacity we desire, to Build Our Community.
want some more? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Life Coach, Yogi & lover of Meditation, mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cookie baker, seeker of truth & laughter, volunteer. Passionate about women's stories and the women who share them.