The Circles


Not sure you noticed, but people talk sh*t about you.

This shouldn’t be a shocker, right? I mean, you didn’t deceive yourself into believing otherwise. Did you? Well, if it’s any consolation, I’m a victim of sh*t talking too! People talk sh*t about me a lot (probably).

I hear people talking sh*t about other people all day. OK, maybe not all day, but pretty much every day. When I read things online, especially on social media, people seem to get a kick out of writing sh*t about other people. If I’m going to come clean, I talk sh*t about other people too! I guess this makes me a victim and an offender.

WAIT, are you judging me right now?! Whatever. Can we just agree that people DO talk sh*t about you? So then, how do you handle it when people are talking sh*t about you?

Not sure if you noticed something else, people talk sh*t about themselves.

Surely, not you though, I’m referring to the “other” people. Social media perpetuates a false sense of reality where people post all this good sh*t they’re doing and all the super awesome sh*t they’ve done. It’s rare that someone would post something about the mundane sh*t that dominates 90+% of their life. The number of “Likes” we get on our posts gives us a sense of validation and a nice hit of dopamine. If we don’t get the “Likes” we seek, does this mean nobody likes our sh*t? How do you handle nobody liking your sh*t?

We all struggle when people talk sh*t about us and when nobody likes our sh*t.

So, I’ll share “The Circles” with you. Maybe it will help you like it’s helped me.

The Circles

The Circles are rooted in wisdom, wisdom (again) shared by my father. His advice when someone was talking sh*t about me or when people didn’t like my sh*t:

Consider the source.


The Circles are based upon this profound advice. Truth be told, in my life:

  • Some people matter more to me than others.
  • Some people’s words hold more weight than others.
  • Some people’s opinions of me and what I do are more important than others.

So, who are these “people” and where do they fit in relation to each other? This is what The Circles are for. Each Circle (One through Six) sits upon the previous one, with Circle One being the most important and Circle Six being the least important.

NOTE: These are my Circles and maybe yours are different. I’m sharing mine as an example.

Circle One


Circle One is the most important Circle, and anybody I put here has the ability to define me or destroy me. This is the foundational Circle given the highest priority, so whoever I choose must be healthy (for me), consistent, and permanent (meaning they cannot be taken from me). In the center of my world and the center of my Circles is Jesus. There’s nobody in my life who matters more, whose words hold more weight, or whose opinion of me is more important. There is only room for one person in Circle One.

Circle Two

My Wife

Circle Two is reserved for the next most important person in my life, and that’s my wife. My wife is the most important (non-deity) person in the world to me. Her words and opinions have incredible influence upon how I see myself.

Sometimes (rare), it feels like the whole world is talking sh*t about me and nobody seems to like anything that I’m doing. It can be worse when I’m also talking sh*t about myself and disliking all my own sh*t!

My wife has enough influence on me to unsh*t the sh*t, but she could also use her influence to tear me down of course. I’m very grateful for the fact that she never tears me down; however, this doesn’t change the fact that she could. The person in Circle Two has a helluva lot of power, so it MUST be someone who can be trusted. Be careful who you put here because it can be risky.

Circle Three

My Family

Next, Circle Three. A little less influence, but still a helluva lot. My family lives here.

Circle Four

My Friends

As you might imagine, people in Circle Four have less influence than those in Circle Three, but more influence than those in Circle Five.

Circle Five

My Admired

There are people in my life who have considerable influence, but they’re not close to me. They’re admired because they’ve done, said, become, something that has earned my respect.

Circle Six

My Familiar

These are simply people I’ve met or they’re names that I recognize. These are people who have some influence on me, but not much. I may or may not care much about what they say or what they think.

Everyone Else

There are only six Circles, and there’s only room for (maybe) a few thousand people in those circles. There’s no room for more people and there’s no room for more influence.

Sh*t talking from the “Everyone Else” group doesn’t really matter and any “Likes” that are received from this group are more a reflection of the content/context of what they’re liking than they are a reflection of who I am as a person.

In The End

Be careful who you let into your circles. If someone offends you or doesn’t like something about you, do what my Dad would say, “Consider the source.”

Not all people are equally important to me. That’s the truth.

I will seek the approval and support of my wife above that of my children. I seek the approval and support of my children above that of my friends. I seek the approval of Jesus above all else. Seems to make sense.

Getting bent out of shape because John Doe spewed some sh*t about me, feeling inadequate about how many “Likes” I got on my vacation pic, or getting jealous about Jane’s huge Facebook following turns out to be a massive waste of my time. Instead, I will strive to spend this valuable time with the people in my Circles.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Above, I wrote, “Not all people are equally important to me.” I did NOT write, “Not all people are important to me.” Don’t leave out the word “equally“!

ALL people are important, ALL people are valuable, and ALL people deserve a level of respect. You might disagree, but I believe there’s always something there. It might just take some creative thinking or looking at things from a different perspective.

Speaking of perspective, that’s one thing I value in almost every person. I think that every person’s perspective is valid (after all, it’s their reality). What’s not valid is the sh*t they do with their perspective, especially when they do it without context or sh*tty context. These things make things sh*tty for everyone else. Perhaps, a topic for another day.


I don’t do spam. I don’t eat it and I don’t send it. Not to mention, it’s also illegal!

I’ll write a privacy policy soon (that you won’t read).

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