6 Normal Shifts You May Experience in Your Friend Group Amid Social Distancing

With everyone social distancing for the last few months, one might think off the bat that not much could possibly change in a friend circle.
If anything, it may seem like things would be stagnant or that you'll pick up right where you left off with everyone once people are back to in-person interactions. But oddly enough, a lot has likely changed among you and your crew. Sure, there are your typical friends you interact with on the reg as you did all along, but there are also probably people you've distanced yourself from (not just physically).
Keep reading for six normal shifts you may experience in your friend group amid social distancing.

1. People Are Cliquey

One of the best parts of social distancing is it eliminates FOMO. There's no one going out without you, no one posting fun trips or parties on social media. Amen. But if you thought you were exempt from clique-like behavior, think again! Group "hangouts" still exist in the form of Zoom, and people don't hold back about posting these exclusive "meetups" on social media. The cliques are far more apparent now because without being in-person, it eliminates some of the obligations to invite certain people or even keep in touch. This also makes exclusive group text threads much more common.
Shutterstock: Funny face selfie in phone friends
(via Shutterstock)


2. You're Drawn to People With Similar Values

When we're in school or in "normal" circumstances, we're mixed in with everyone. There's no avoiding the occasional bad seed or someone who irritates you. A major benefit of social distancing is having the ability to be much more selective about whom you engage with. Whether it be texts, calls or video chats, you're no longer obligated to interact with everyone under the sun. This situation will lead you to naturally weed out bad influences or people who get under your skin. You'll gravitate toward people who have the same views as you do regarding the pandemic and social distancing—and as you recognize those views, you'll see them transition into general views and values that you share.


3. A Former Acquaintance May Morph Into a Close Friend

Not being with people in person makes you more available to people who aren't in your immediate circle. One small "how are you?" text from an acquaintance can easily lead to much lengthier chats. A common bond over a show you're bingeing or a newfound hobby you've taken up can also open the doors to some unexpected camaraderie.

Woman standing outside smiling at her phone

(via Unsplash)


4. You May Outgrow People

Again, when you're stuck with a ton of people for better or worse, you're more obligated to invite them to parties or sit with them at lunch. With your time away, you're likely realizing who you truly value in your life. Whether based on actual distaste for someone or simply distance and personal growth, there's a good chance you don't feel a connection with certain people that you once did.


5. You May Feel Distant From People With Differing Social Habits

While there are indeed people you've outgrown, there are also people who you may feel especially distant from because you don't partake in similar quarantine activities. If you're not bingeing the same show your pals are, you're not going to be included on the group thread. If you hate Zoom chats, you'll be excluded from them. If virtual games aren't your thing, you'll be left off the Houseparty invites. This doesn't necessarily mean you won't pick up where you left off when you can reunite in person, but it's natural to feel some temporary disconnect for the time being.

couple on facetime

(via Unsplash)


6. You Really See People's True Colors

If there's anything to be gleaned from this whole situation, it's the value people place on their lives and on the lives of others. Not only are we in the middle of a pandemic, but there have been riots and protesting as of this past week. Things have no doubt been crazy these last few months, and it's really let others' true light shine through. We've seen the cautious, charitable and kind, and we've also seen the senseless and vile. If there was ever any doubt about how you feel about someone, your opinions are locked in now.


Another shift you may notice amid quarantine? Someone who takes up all your energy. HERE's how to deal with a friend who's too needy during isolation.