How to Know Who’s In Your Circle vs Your Corner

“We will meet three types of friends in life: those for a reason, those for a season, and those for a lifetime” – anonymous

What’s the difference between your “circle” and your “corner”?

Your “circle” is the group of people with whom you spend the most time, trust, confide in, and often consider to be your closest friends.

Your “corner” is the group of people whom love, support, and challenge you. These are the folks build you up, cheer you on, hold you accountable, and most importantly, add value to your life.

Most people believe that the two groups are one in the same, and for a select few, that may be the case. It’s easy to assume that your family, best friends, coworkers, and mentors are in your “corner.” You love these people, you grew up with these people, and you want the best for them, but unfortunately, those feelings are not always reciprocated. Often, as you age, mature, and evolve, you discover that very few people are actually in your “corner.”

When someone is in your “circle,” it’s likely because you have similar personalities, you enjoy being around one another, and it’s convenient. You probably grew up on the same street, attended the same school, played on the same teams, etc. They’re in your circle (and you’re in their circle) because it’s easy. In fact, it’s so easy that they remain in your circle for years, if not decades, because little-to-no effort is required to maintain the relationship. Often, these are your siblings, cousins, best friends from high school, and/or college roommates.

When someone is truly in your “corner,” they’ve invested in you. They’ve invested time, energy, and effort into loving, supporting, and challenging you to be the best version of yourself and pursue you passions. These are the people who are there to celebrate the wins, but more importantly, to console you in the darkest seasons of the life (e.g. failed relationships, troubled marriages, struggling businesses, financial uncertainty, etc.). Often, these are the people you’d least expect: old teammates, classmates, coworkers, clients, etc. They’re probably not your family, best friends, or anyone else from your “circle.”

So, how do you know who’s in your “circle” vs your “corner”?

ACTION.

Actions speak louder than words.

The people in your “corner” will take action. They will reach out, follow-up, share your content, buy your product, and/or refer people to your service. The people in your “corner” will we your biggest cheerleaders, but they will also challenge you and hold you accountable. They will follow your journey, they will do everything in their power to help you succeed, and they will make you better.

Now, here’s the hard part.

There are going to be people missing from your “corner.” It could be your brother, sister, cousin, best friend, or even your parents, but there will be people missing.

Why? Why would these people that you love, trust, and support not be in your “corner”?

Because it’s not longer easy. Somewhere along the line, the easy and convenient relationship became work. Your beliefs may have changed, your mindsets may have shifted, you may have experienced a life-changing event, or maybe you just lost touch, but at some point, you outgrew one another. This doesn’t mean he/she is a bad person, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to end the relationship, and it doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t care about you. It simply means that you cannot expect him/her to act as if they’re in your “corner,” and that can be a hard pill to swallow.

This is not to say that you cannot approach these people, have the difficult conversations, and hope that things change. Hell, I encourage you to do that, but please, do not approach these conversations with the expectation that the relationship will change.

Regardless of the outcome of those conversations, there is something else that you need to do for the folks who are in your “corner.” Express your gratitude. Tell, better yet, show, these people how much you appreciate their support. Call, send thank you cards, take them to lunch, buy them a few beers, or better yet, support their efforts and pursuits; do whatever it takes make them feel appreciated.

So, who’s in your “circle” and who’s in your “corner”? Are the two groups one in the same? Are there people missing in your “corner,” and if so, how are you going to handle the situation?

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