So how many friends do you have? I keep asking myself whenever I reshuffle my Friend Matrix. No its not a box where I keep my friends, it’s a passive mental note of who stands where in my life.
So let’s understand this Friend Matrix? While each friend is special and have their own place in my heart, for illustration purpose I shall roughly categorize them in 4 sections (again, just for illustration) – See the images.
What you see above is a simple box with the 4 categories. A / B /C / D. Each of them signify something:
A: Special friends, very close. The ones who I would approach when I need help / advice / anything! I need it I will ask IMMEDIATELY. In short my lifeline. And goes without saying, I am available for them whenever they need me / whether they need me or not 😀
B: These are again good friends. I would be always available, more than ready to help. But! I wouldn’t ask them for anything (much). All give, for the large part of it ‘no take’! I know that’s weird.
Incidentally most new people I began with start here, or are placed here within a very short time.
C: Hi, Bye – Formality. Either people who failed to impress me in the first few meets. Or the people who moved down from B, after I realized that they aren’t worth it!
D: The X list. Very rarely someone is placed here. You really need to be a bad (evil) person to make it there.
So that’s a basic classification of how I group my friends. Thing don’t stop here, they only get more and more complex…
Its just not the 4 boxes where I keep people (again reminding that the boxes are for illustration; things are more complex than that. And I would admit that I don’t understand all of it myself). People keep moving around. So as you see in the second image people can be in transition between different boxes. Based on my interaction, feedback and incidents the priority changes. Though its generally not one incident or day, but more than that (remember more than that?) which pushes people from one box to another. Either Up or Down:
There are other zones like AB, BC, CD, A>C, B>C, anywhere>D
eg: In Transitions: C>D – Moving from C to D / B>A = Moving from B to A
eg: Mixed: BA, BC = Somewhere between the two.
… I told you the boxes are for illustration. There would be over a 100 such combinations, and some really weird ones.
So whenever there is a little change in this friend Matrix by me, it invites a mini turbulence. Of course no one likes to be thrown down the friend matrix (no I don’t communicate people of a status change in their positioning), but even upgrading them gives them a little discomfort (which they soon forget, who doesn’t like luxury?)…
Upgrading comes with a discomfort: can be a little surprise. Why is he so good to me? Always available? But that’s when someone managed to impress me or I was able to connect to his / her personality traits.
Over a period of time the human brain links persons words, accent, body language, gestures, looks and a lot of other things (subconsciously) to something they have experienced in the past. So if someone with a particular set of features / traits / habits happened to cheat me in the past; I would certainly beware next time. This process is of course the intuition that we say our elders have. Judging a person in the first 20 secs … Though I would confess I go by the words “Trust a person completely; either you will have a nice lesson or a great friend” – The only problem is that I keep forgetting the lessons 😛 (Yes a ghajini Fan you would say).
A key aspect to the Friend Matrix is accommodating changes, exceptions! People change with time was the idea behind shuffling friends across categories; but with some latest experiences I have learnt that its probably that I mistook them (undeserving promotion in the matrix) right in the first place. A mistake to begin with itself! I take lessons slowly and take time to recover, but the idea is to keep things moving and progressive.
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