Feeling Alone? Decrease Your Circles

Are you lonely? Surrounded by people, but you still feel alone?

I’ve found this to be an epidemic in our culture. We hunger for community but can’t seem to find it.

What is the solution? I’m not totally sure, but I think I know one significant contributor to the problem.

We have too many circles.

We go to work in one part of town. Then we live in another part of town. Then we play, church, workout, etc in other parts of town. In each of these you and I create circles of relationships.

The problem is that none of these circles overlap. People know us in only one context, which leaves us feeling unknown and lonely.

There are other factors, of course, but step #1 includes decreasing your circles. Try going deep in less circles.

Add yours ↓
  1. Holly

    Interesting thoughts. I think you’re on to something with the going deep. I don’t know that the circles even matter, no one seems to want to go deep anymore. It makes it really hard to connect and build trust.

    Do you feel that people seem to be less interested in going deep in relationships? Why do you think that is?

    June 18, 2017
    • adamsuter

      Hmm. This is a tough question to answer. For example, I met a couple at a conference this week and felt like we connected and went deep very quickly. I doubt however that everyone I meet would feel like I want to go deep with them. They might even think I am superficial. The fact is that we can’t “go deep” with everyone all the time.

      It makes me think of one of my kids. She is in a stage where she will regularly call something her “favorite.” Well, if everything is your favorite, nothing is your favorite. She will also use BFF for more than one person. Well, you can only have on BFF, right?

      So it is relationally. I honestly want to go deep. However, if I go deep with everyone, I will essentially not be deep with anyone. The tendency is to go deep with all (and burn out) or not go deep with anyone, since we can’t go deep with all. This is also a bad choice. I attempt to “do for one what I wish I could do for all.” I have priority relationships that I say “yes” to. The result is that I have to say “no” to many others. This is how I try to go deep.

      Last though, I’m also working on “being present.” So if you are in front of me, I am all there with you. But when someone else is in front of me, you are not going to get much attention from me. The exception is my priority relationship list.

      All of this is still a work in progress though.

      June 23, 2017