Spaces & Circles

Many of us have these degrees of friendship we have with many people.

I find it particularly inadequate when you describe friends to other friends.

There are only 3 words that I usually use – colleagues, classmates, friends.

But it is not enough. Even in colleagues I have someone I like more, talk more than others, classmates that are more than classmates but less than friends, friends who are very nice and you talk frequently but not hang out always and of course there is the special distinction of a best friend you usually give to one person.

Recently, in an argument with my 2 closest (best) friends from UG, I was accused of taking one person’s side more than the other’s. Although it was a lame disagreement, and we made up soon enough, it made me think. I started analysing all the friendships I had.

I found there are levels or degrees of friendship. Even in best-friend-dom! (This is not actually a word)

You have various circles you interact in.

  1. The acquaintances : Those you have met once or meet rarely but have a rapport with. They can either be from your workplace or some other company but have had the chance of meeting purely due to work/club activity/associations.
  2. The work friends : The ones you see daily. You regularly talk to them, have small talk, exchange bits of info/harmless gossip.
  3. The work friends from other depts/people you know from your college but not your class/dept : You know them, you see them, say hi-bye, talk occasionally but do not know much. That’s the extent of your friendship.
  4. Your classmates : You see them daily, when in college, but you need not talk to them as much. You just share information when needed but maintain a cordial relationship
  5. Your hangout circle/The gang : The ones you always are seen with. You travel, go on trips, have regular meetups, have a fav spot etc etc with them.
  6. Your close friends/best friends : The ones you dream with, you call in the midnight, fight with more than usual, lean on etc  etc

But the funny thing is the space you share with each one of them is different. I once read somewhere that a person shows a different side to different people.

Even among my closest friends, the spaces I share with them are totally different. What I am with M and what I am with A and what I am when both M & A are present are 3 different things. Those 3 spaces are kept different and sometimes when you find them overlapping or that the spatial diameter has changed, it tilts the balances.

And I’m not saying that’s a good thing or that it is a bad thing. Sometimes, these spaces evolve. M & I have found that there are certain things we allow for in the M, A and me space. When A is not there, the space we share is something else.

I’m not sure if I sound like I’m spouting gibberish. But, I think it makes sense somehow. I’ll try putting it in a different manner.

See, there’s always that friend you can talk to about novels. The other one who gawks at hot guys with you. The one who you always irritate and the one whom irritates you. The one who was there at a crucial time and the one you always turn to when you want to just chat. There is also the one on whom you just lean on and the one who starts talking to ease your anger. There is the one whom you think of as your little sister, there is the one who you look up to. There is also another one who just discusses music with you and the one who cracks dirty jokes. Then you have one who is equally crazy as you, and the one who sits by you without a word enjoying the breeze.

See, there are levels.

There are spaces you share with the circle of friends you have. It’s not necessary that all be done with the same person.

Hm…food for thought!


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