Steve Schappell-My Blog

Monday, April 18, 2011

The seven levels of friendship


Seven…it’s often considered the perfect number.  (Mine for the record is 3…)  In the Bible, for example, the number 7 is used frequently from Genesis to Revelation.  I have also learned that Seven is used all over in society, especially when it comes to self-help and healing.  A recent google search found sites and/or books devoted to the following:

-Seven levels of intimacy
-Seven levels of communication
-Seven levels of change
-Seven levels of healing

All of these had the word “levels” in common.  So, it got me to thinking.  I have always had different “levels” of friendships throughout my life and now through this blog, I can lay them out. 

Of course, these levels may vary for you, and you might not agree with some of my choices, so I welcome your thoughts.  I have always had 7 levels, but only recently found out how many others use 7 as the amount of levels in their topics.  I will start on the outside and work towards the center.  So now class, let us begin.

Level 1: General Friends
For me, these are people I meet or interact with on a daily basis, but have no connection beyond that.  For example, some of my regular Members who visit my Credit Union branch that I know on a first name basis.  I would not necessarily ask them to coffee or call them to go bowling, etc, but know a little about me and my kids, and I know some things about them.  These are “surface” friends and not much more.

Level 2: Work Friends
They say that next to your family, you spend most of your time at work.  So my work friends are like another “family” in some ways.  We get along some days, disagree at time on other days, sometimes spend birthdays together, have lunches, or occasionally meet after work with our families.  We get to know about our kids, spouses, girl/boy friends, and share some experiences.  If you work, you have these friends, and while not everyone you work with are on the same friendship “level,” it’s nice if you have some you genuinely get along with.

Level 3: Activity Friends
For me, these are friends that I enjoy doing things with.  Like my Hiking club for example, or with the Singles Group I belong to, or other friends that I go to amusement parks with, etc.  I usually only see them at activities and don’t spend any time with them outside of that.  I only recently realized that when I sat down to compose this. 

Level 4: Outer Circle Friends
In this level, these are my friends that know some things about me, spend time with my occasionally, but due to circumstances on either side, I have not let into my inner circle. 
These are friends I can hang out with, who text me and ask what I am doing tonight.  Some over time move into my inner circle, but for now are on the outside, but are friends none the less and I too am grateful for their presence in my life. 

Level 5: Inner Circle Friends
Moving onward, these are my friends that know more details of my life, some of my “skeletons in the closet,” have had shared experiences with, have run wild with at times, and have stood by me though circumstances in my life both good and bad.  I have also allowed them into my inner circle and have let down my guard for them, and they have never betrayed it.  I have several of these, and I know that everyone does.  Be thankful for them because for others, they are few and far between.

Level 6: Close Friends
In our life, we many only have one or two close friends that know us almost better than we know ourselves.  And you know what I am talking about.  Someone who understands you, gets you, accepts you for who you are, keeps your secrets and knows your fears.  It’s everything you want in for Level 7 (see below), but without the dating and or intimate relationship.  For me, I am fortunate to have one such Close Friend that I have known for 27 years since college.  I am grateful to God that she is in my life and is someone I trust completely.

Level 7: Girl Friend/Best Friend
NO VACANCY-Position was filled on 11/24/2012
This is the obvious and closest level for me.  Next to my relationship with God, and then my kids, this would come next.  This would be my partner in crime, my best friend and one day, a life companion.  She could be a close friend and have all the characteristics as Level 6, and would be someone that I trust completely and love deeply.

So there you have it.  It’s interesting to note that the friendship levels are fluid and can constantly change, depending on time and circumstances.  For example, a work friend may become an Inner Circle friend over time, or that Activity Friend may become an Outer Circle friend as you move beyond the activity.  Or that close friend may become that Level 7, of which there can only be one at a time.

I certainly do not look at my friends and classify them in my head.  Good morning there Work Friend and not an Inner Circle Friend….Nah, I am not that anal.  When I thought about this topic and really looked into it, of all the friends I have, they fit into all but one of these categories.  And like I said, I welcome your comments.

Until later, my friends….

PS: I can see it now as you read this…”Hmmn, wonder what Friend level I am?”  Hint: You can be more than one at any given time. 

7 comments:

  1. I know which friend level I am at now, and I am happy to be there. :-) I also know which of those levels I have been at in the past, and think it would be fun to chart it out....might rival one of those roller coasters we both love. :-)

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  2. I know you wrote this a while back, but this is very helpful to me today as I'm sorting out some things about friendship and friends in my life.
    Thanks.

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  3. I know you wrote this a while back, but this is very helpful to me today as I'm sorting out some things about friendship and friends in my life.
    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. Perhaps, this was a message that I should resurrect this blog, so to speak. A lot has happened. For example, my vacancy in #7 has been filled for close to 4 years now. I am part of a blended family. That in itself would be material for weeks/months. Thanks again. God is always working.

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    2. If there are 7 levels and your kids and religion are above that should it not be 9 levels you claim?
      Not that I'm concerned

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  4. I think this is different from the one I knew before as Four levels of friendship. They are: acquaintance, casual, close and intimate.Its an eye opener. Thanks

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  5. I think this is different from the one I knew before as Four levels of friendship. They are: acquaintance, casual, close and intimate.Its an eye opener. Thanks

    ReplyDelete