A while ago, I wrote about my fascination with reality television.
Recently, I realized that part of my attraction to a few of the shows I like have to do with connections and conflicts that can happen within "the circle." You know, that circle of friends you have (or think you are a part of).
Everyone has a circle of friends, and in Silicon Valley you most often have multiple circles. You can have your work circle, those either in your office or in your industry that you connect with. There are you various social circles, ones that you connect with through a hobby or activity. Then you can have your circle of confidants, those who know you best and can tell anything to.
I have several that sometimes can overlap without issue, and others that can sometimes create conflict. The conflict tends to come from someone misinterpreting if they are really part of the circle or not. I admit that I like to keep certain circles exclusive based on their nature. For example, my political circle functions differently than my politically incorrect circle. However, when it’s time for me to throw a party, there may be one or two folks from each circle that I think may blend well together, so I’ll invite them.
I’ll admit that I also like being introduced to new circles. It tells me, at the very least, that the friend introducing me likes me enough to introduce their cohorts to me. I make sure to go in without prejudice and without feeling the need to perform. I make sure to be "me"...to a degree. Don’t give away too much too soon. It’s the same as building a new relationship. Pace yourself.
A rule of thumb that I’ve learned is not to assume you’re instantly a part of a circle when you’re first introduced into one. Just as you come into a new job or a new organization, don’t instantly jump in and start making suggestions, implementing changes and giving unsolicited feedback. You should observe what the energy of the circle is like and how things are done. Then, make a decision if you even want to be included. Jumping in too much too soon leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and potentially unreversible damage between you and the friend who introduced you in the first place. In a word: DRAMA!
I think about my core circle every time I watch Basketball Wives. I don’t want any "Kenya’s" in my circle!