So, one day you found yourself on your favorite social media outlet when you were suddenly overcome with the desire to hit that “let’s be pals” button. And for whatever reason: friendliness, pity, a desire to fatten the friend ranks so you can worship at the altar of THEM they agreed. Suddenly, like some scandalous diary entry written by your best friend’s older sister, a new window into this person’s life has opened before your eyes. Likes, dislikes, personal views, and photos filled the screen. Like a good voyeur you poured over every unguarded piece. You’d finally arrived and there you were sitting in the inner circle along with 100’s of their other friends. You dabbled a bit. You liked their updates, maybe a photo or two, you threw in the occasional “LOL”, but you weren’t quite certain where you fit.
Here’s my handy pocket reference to help you figure out your place. Now this is customized for me, but easily tailored to fit your needs.
- My husband (he’s awesome! He’s at the top and can pick on everyone. I’m sure he’d never pick on you. )
- My parents / My beautiful cousin (she’s a saint – no really, beatified and all)
- Family I like (I know, sometimes it’s hard to tell which people are related to me and harder still to take a crack at which are my favorite – I suggest Ancestry.com as a start on family in general or you can request a Family Tree – you provide the paper since I can go back to the 1600’s. I’ll do you a solid and highlight my favorites.)
- Friends from 2nd grade (hitting on the school bus forms forever bonds)
- Former roommates and their spouses/partners
- Anyone with the last name or related to anyone with the last name of Adam, Spear, Blankenship, or Simmons (again Ancestry.com)
- While this is included in the above, let me go ahead and restate it more clearly: THEIR KIDS
- Those that know and use my unofficial nickname
- Anyone I have a nickname for (or have been given a title to address them by)
- Anyone who I’m 100% sure could put a curse on me (seriously, don’t mess with her)
- People who hate shoes and share their thermos wine – and wear turquoise pants, purple boots and are generally my fashion mentor (I’m not thinking of anyone specific – no, this is a generic reference – you probably have someone like this in your life – maybe two?)
- Anyone I’ve seen Rocky Horror with (put your hands on your hips…)
- People I’ve taken a 2nd hand smoke break with
- People I’ve eaten real/virtual Beignets with (that’s right, all of you)
- People who have loved up Sam or refused to take Sage (but she’s still available, just saying)
- Anyone who has battled a Cthulhoid manifestation or staged an Orc rebellion
- Anyone who has ever uttered, “roll for initiative”
- People with combat reflexes
- EverQuest people
- Improv people
- Family I’m more “meh” about
We all know that sometimes finding your place can be difficult, but with this unpatented reference guide (hierarchy), I’ve helped take the guess-work out of it. This guide can also serve as a handy pecking order when you need one and it will help you navigate to your rightful place (bottom). You’ll develop a richer understanding of the players (characters?) and your place among them. Soon you’ll be on your way to having positive interactions with complete strangers. (Rolling on your back exposing your belly and throat is also recommended. Hey, you’re the new guy!) You’ll quickly be on your way to avoiding awkward conversations and dust-ups on your new pal’s social media feed. Don’t be the person (aka “dick”) who ignores the hierarchy and gets “un-friended” or “blocked” (your whining about it will exhaust me).
(For the record: My one gripe about blocking, from a blocker’s perspective, is it never properly mocks the blocked person. I want a page that exclaims, “Wow. You really screwed up. Huh? Yeah, you’ve been blocked. GG. Hopefully someone out there likes you more than this person does.” Zuckerberg, get on that.)
So anyway Champ, you’ve sorted out the who’s who and figured out where you fall (bottom – see chart). Great job! You’re ready to enter the ring. Just remember a simple rule: Everyone above you on the chart gets to abuse you freely. Everyone below you is a target.
A word of caution when it comes to my personal group of friends: they’re an insanely clever and somewhat devious lot who will quickly lead you astray and cackle as you step in the proverbial “it”. Carnage is a rush. Never trust anyone above you. Don’t be led into a trap.
Now go make some friends!