Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why can't my friends be friends with my friends

Every place you go you have the opportunity to make friends. From Pre-school, to High School— from the swim team to the planning team… you probably have made friends from each. Every place that you make friends has a different dynamic— each has its own set of rules, ways of speaking to one another, expected behavior, etc., etc. One would think that if you get along with one group of people— those people should get along with people from another group you know as well.

I recently made a comment to a co-worker that I felt I was always the same kind of person no matter who I'm with. They payed me a nice complement by saying "I can definitely see that in you"— after which they surprised me by following up with… "but I'm a completely different person outside of work…". I'm not saying that this person is a chameleon— but it made me wonder if people tend to act differently depending on who they are with.

Call me an idealist— but I tend to think that if I can get along with people from many different groups, they should as well. I fully understand the concept of group dynamics— and that even people within a group do not necessarily get along with everybody in the group… but I am still left to hope.

I did have one nice consolation where a former colleague from work struck up a conversation on Facebook with a theater friend over a topic that I never engaged with either beforehand. I'm not saying that we all should have the same number of friends and mutual friends on Facebook, but at least knowing that people can relate to one another even though they are from different groups is refreshing.

So, I will pose the question again…
Why can't my friends be friends with my friends?

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