Why You Should Spend Time with People Outside Your Social Circle

I think that it's completely normal to want to stick with your good group of close friends. These are the people that you're comfortable with, that you can always count on. In any situation, I find that it's pretty easy to clump together in groups, clinging to the people that are familiar to you. However, although comfortable, spending time with the same friend group and never venturing beyond it can be a little bit limiting.

It's great to have close friends that you can rely on, except the world is so much bigger than that core group of people. For example, I spent last weekend participating in a program that brings students around to different businesses to explore career options. Since I already knew some people in the program, my natural response was to only talk to them, as they were familiar.

Although I may have stuck within the bubble of comfort by talking to people that I already knew, I wasn't necessarily friends with those people either. We knew each other as acquaintances and would occasionally talk about assignments, but we never really interacted socially. Spending time with these people that I usually didn't talk to was refreshing. Here were these new personalities, new moments to share, and new perspectives that I usually didn't see.

It was refreshing to see these new personalities, share moments with new people, and enjoy new perspectives that I usually didn't see. 

During that weekend, I ended up talking a lot to two people that I only occasionally spoke to, usually whenever we were talking about school assignments. By the end of the weekend, we had a few jokes, shared some fun moments, and I learned new things about them that I had never even known. Since these were new people, it wasn't the same personalities that I knew everything about, but rather, new personalities that I was still just getting to understand. 

And it was fun. I liked getting to know a little more about these people that I only knew on a surface-level basis. It was unpredictable. While I do have fun spending time with my core group of friends, spending time with people outside your social circle makes for a completely different experience, one that you have no idea how it'll turn out.

Yes, it might be terrible and you just might remember why you're not really friends with that person or maybe you'll find a new best friend. You'll never know until you step outside of your core social circle. 

The thing about moving outside of your social circle is that it widens your comfort zone as well. You know how I mentioned that it's comfortable to stick with your friend group because it's familiar? If you reach out of your social circle, you'll be finding more and more people that you feel comfortable with.

I remember another moment when I was at a bonfire. It was a pretty big one and somehow I had lost my friends. I stopped by to help someone find her glasses and then the next moment I realized that my friends were gone. What was I supposed to do without them? Who was I supposed to talk to? I immediately felt uncomfortable as I was walking around trying to find them.

However, I ended up finding another group of people that I had talked to before. Most of the people in the friend group were more like acquaintances, but I was friends with one of the girls in that group, so that feeling of discomfort faded away as I saw her familiar face. While we weren't best friends or anything, it was nice to find a friend and join in with hers so that I a) didn't have to be alone and b) could chat with new people. 

Related: Fast Company - Why Successful People Have So Many Groups of Friends


There are benefits to spending time with people outside your social circle because now you have a new network of people that you can create memories with and swap ideas with. In addition, having more people in my social bubble helps to alleviate my discomfort when I'm lost, because I know that these familiar faces can help me and/or spend time with me, even if they might not be my closest friends.

I tend to be a drifter, having a few good friend groups instead of one core group, and then I float between them all. And I'm happier doing that. 

When I was younger, I had only one core friend group of people that I had known for ages, ever since elementary school. While they were good friends, I always felt that I was relying on them for my happiness, like in order to feel comfortable or confident, I depended on them being there.

However, once I started expanding my social circle, I lost that sense of dependence. Just like that moment when I couldn't find my close friends, even though I couldn't find them, I could find comfort in being with other familiar faces/friends. Spending time with people outside of my social circle is not only a refreshing experience, but it also made me more independent.

Now, with multiple friend groups and even some friends completely outside of those groups, I have this network of people that I know I can rely on and also these different communities that bring varying experiences to my life.

These different personalities in each friend group makes them all unique, but also help to bring out different parts of my personality that sometimes I don't even realize that I have.

For example, one of my friend groups has the kind of people that loves to do Friendsgiving and make cheesy jokes. On the other hand, another of my friend groups has the kind of people that force me out of my comfort zone but will also have serious intellectual conversations in the middle of the night. These different personalities in each friend group makes them all unique, but also help to bring out different parts of my personality that sometimes I don't even realize that I have. Having this variation of people in my life makes me a better person. 

What's the takeaway?

Spend time with people outside your social circle. The world is so much bigger than your small little social bubble. From my experience, spending time with people outside of my core social group has helped me become more independent, has brought me a variety of new experiences, and has also helped to bring diversity to my own personality.

While it may be a little daunting to step outside of what's comfortable, I encourage you to try it. Find out something new about that person that you know the name of but nothing else about. Talk to people besides your friend group at a party. Be a social butterfly, as scary as it is.

Why You Should Spend Time with People Outside Your Social Circle

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