I want to talk today about a simple tool you can use to increase your awareness of how the relationships in your life impact your well-being. You can use it to reflect and consider the changes you might want to make, which relationships to prioritise and nurture, and which to let drift or move away from.
All you need to do is draw 4 circles on a page, with a little circle representing you in the middle, and 3 bigger circles around it. The first represents your inner circle, the (probably) few people that you really bare all to and tell your innermost thoughts and feelings. The next is for your friends, the people you spend time and energy with, who will vary in their closeness to you. The last is for acquaintances, people you have in your life to some degree, with whom you are familiar but not in any way intimate.
Plot all the people in your life on your picture, representing them according to how close they are to you (and to each other if you want to get really visual).
Then, you can look at the map and reflect on what you see. You might consider each relationship and whether the person is located where you want them to be. Is this a mutually energising relationship that you want to invest in? Is it a sapping relationship that depletes you? Is it balanced in emotional investment from you both? Are there conversations needed to help the relationship grow?
You can also look at the bigger picture. What does it tell you about your preferences for closeness and distance? Where are the gaps you may want to reflect on? How are you showing up in this relational web?
If you want to talk about relational dynamics, psychotherapy may be useful for you. If that is the case, why not reach out and find the therapist who feels right to you?