I used to get uptight when friends came by to see me at work.
Every single time I’d just stare at them like, Dude I’m at work. Talk later, OK?
While being professional is important, there’s something else at play. (That could actually be the name of this blog, if ever I rebrand.)
For far too long I’ve segregated my friends into groups. Football friends, music friends, book friends, and work friends… The title for each group actually matters little.
What matters is this compartmentalization.
Why do I assume no friends should visit me at work? Why, if I’m honest, do I assume no football friends would ever want to talk about music or politics? I think the answer lies in me. (This is also this WHOLLLLLLE thing about those who know me professionally never seeing me “as me” but that is a whole other blog.)
In assuming my friends are limited, I exhibit my own perceptions of limitation.
How could I have well-rounded friends when I myself am made of so many incongruent pieces? (or so I figure)
There is, at the base, a courtesy. I don’t want my friends to have to spend time where they wouldn’t want to.
However, this distance is motivated more by my assumption that I’ve sold any potential friend on just one part of me, that they just wouldn’t understand (or, worse, might criticize) the whole.
Further, there’s the fear that Friend A might find these others in my circle more interesting than me.
Insecurity or ego (not uncommon bedfellows, these) the result is always the same.
Either I alienate my friends or I alienate myself from them.
These boundaries become set until they are unbreakable, at which point I become the intruder I never wished my friends to feel they were.