The pressure of bringing groups of friends together can be slightly intimidating at first. It is easy to compartmentalize our social lives into groups like work friends, school friends, old friends, and new friends; but why keep them all at an arm’s length? If you are the common denominator in a variety of friend groups, each person automatically has at least one thing in common … you! These friends have all experienced you in one way or another, deep or surface level, and can instantly connect with another through that fact. If you are anything like me, I tend to make friends with the same type of people but just in different settings.
Without intentionally thinking about it, I have never hesitated to bring friends together. It could be a comfort that I have within my friendships, or maybe the desire to make connections between the amazing people in my life, but for some time now I have been in the practice of intertwining my relationships. Until this past November these connections had been on a smaller, one-on-one scale. However, for my birthday this year, the one thing I wanted was to be surrounded by all of the precious hearts in my life. Therefore, I invited young and old, mothers and daughters, friends and family. As expected, not everyone was able to make it, but the product of my effort was simply beautiful. The wisdom of the experienced and a spirit of youthfulness produced meaningful conversation, raw honesty, truthful stories, and lots of laughter. A special addition to this mixture was that my mother was able to join in. For the first time since childhood, she was able to experience the different friendships that I hold dear and understand first hand what has drawn me to these friendships.
When bringing any new groups together, naturally there will be that awkward beginning where people are just meeting each other for the first time and introductions are being made, or when the room is evidently divided into the subsections of comfort. Yet, how perfect is it that all of these individuals do hold something in common, and that you know exactly what that is. Starting the conversation is all that you need to do — a comment to one about the job of another, or the mention of a commonly admired musician to start the flow of conversation. Walls start to come down, bridges start to build and connections are made. All of a sudden new friendships form within old ones.
Don’t wait until the celebration of a marriage or a baby to allow for the many areas of your life to be merged together. Start now. What could be better than a room full of people that you love? Who knows what friendships may come out of it.
How do you blend your social circles? Do you want to? Why or why not?
Image via Emma Kepley