I know my place. What I mean is, I know my approximate ranking in the friendship world according to X. Back in university, my friends and I used to use the phrase “know your role” when someone overstepped their bounds. These days it appears that although we don’t use those words on this side of the pond I still have friends that actually believe in positioning their friends in a mental hierarchy and treating their relationships with the appropriate degree of effort and attention.
You see, I can confidently say that generally I know my role since I usually find myself very near the middle of my social circle anyway. I consider most of my friends to be “good friends” and they’re all equally important to me. The remaining friends on the periphery (but still inside) of my social circle are acquaintances that I would like to have as friends or they’re friends by association. There’s no real hierarchy involved.
Essentially, I don’t like to rank my friends despite the fact that some of my friends can be so obvious about their pal’s position in the pecking order. There have been times when I’ve been fully aware that the relationship scoring system is in action and I can’t bare to watch the courting rituals involved in climbing the friendship ladder. I simply don’t think it’s cool to place a higher value on one friend than another. And I don’t think it’s cool for them to know about it either. Generally, I resent it in it’s entirety but I’m also very guilty of adhering to it because that’s simply how some of my friends are. I don’t like it but that’s how it is.
Most of the time I’m happy sitting in position three or four and I’m the odd number one for few friends but it’s only when the actual process of positioning becomes so glaringly obvious that I have a real opinion about it. Perhaps it’s simply a subconscious stationing of relationships…or perhaps it’s made obvious so that once one knows their place, one can be expected to behave accordingly?
I can’t say I understand why this happens but until I can get my head around it I guess I’ve resigned to the fact that I (or we depending on the situation) will need to sit down, shut up, know our roles, and wait our turn. Ah, friendship bliss.