How the 'bulls-eye' helped reprioritise my friendships


Periodically, there is great value in assessing who you are and who you spend your time with. What you do and with whom you spend your time with is a reflection of who you are to others (or observers). Occasionally, you may have to cut off the dead-wood. Other times, you may realise that you have outgrown certain friends.

Rachael Scharrer, relationship expert, counsellor and founder of sheds some light on her experience of shuffling friendships, prioritising where her energy was spent and directed. The considerations shared below can help you gain some perspective on your relationships.

In order to take a snapshot of your life today and those whom have influence in your life and time, ask yourself:

  1. Who are the five people that you enjoy and spend time with each day or week?
  2. What qualities do you love about them?
  3. How would you describe your best (or closest) friend?
  4. For an outsider observing your life, what would they say about the five people you communicate the most with?
  5. What do you think this outsider would say about you?


Do you remember watching “Meet The Fockers”? Well if you do, the father, Jack Byrnes, played by Robert De Niro, had “The Byrnes Family Circle of Trust” to which his future son-in-law, Greg Focker, played by Ben Stiller, had to pass tests to ensure that he was qualified to be within the circle and then had to ensure that he maintained his future Father-in-Law’s criteria to stay within it. This Circle isn’t rigid, people can come in and out as purpose, needs and situations change.

Similar to the “Circle of Trust,” the first time I was introduced to the bulls-eye was early 2017. I had some positive friendships and some that were taking more from me than I could manage.

The bulls-eye offers a snap-shot of where I am at today with my friendships and allowed me to reflect upon where I wanted to be so that I could prioritise my time accordingly. This is your opportunity to live the life that you want and to be proud of the friends that you keep in your inner circles.


When I was going through a tough time, I was asked to create a bulls-eye. It’s like a small circle, surrounded by another circle and another circle, slowly getting bigger (like a dart board). In the centre of that circle I was told to place me. In the second circle, I was told to add the children (due to their age, they were allowed or able to jump into my circle as needed). Then my friends based on closeness were drawn in the circles that surrounded me. The further out the friends the less influential they were on who I am.

I realised that mine had become more of a ‘dart board’ in nature because people were grouped into sections. The sections came about because I, for instance, held my friends and family to different standards with different expectations. I realised that I emotionally leaned on my friends more than my family but in the event of an emergency, I expected my family to drop everything to help and not my friends. I was fortunate to be supported by so many wonderful people.

In working out my friends and where they sat in my bulls-eye, I asked myself:

  1. “who do I like to be around?”
  2. “who do I like my self-around?”
  3. “how do I feel after I have been around this person?”
  4. “Who allows me to feel relaxed, confident, open and safe?”

When the bulls-eye has been filled out, you may notice that there are particular qualities that the people in the ‘inner circles’ have in common? Are you able to group them or learn from them?

Now that you have a visual depiction of your friendship groups and those that are close to you, it could be helpful to work out who needs to be distanced from you and who is further out and should come closer.


When I reflected on my bulls-eye, I realised three things.

  1. That I held my family to a different standard. While I wasn’t emotionally as close to my family, I did expect them to ‘drop everything’ if I ever needed their help. I would do the same for them.
  2. That my friends were emotionally closer to me but I didn’t expect them to drop everything for me.
  3. That some friends were in the wrong circle band. Some people were in the inner circles when they should be in the outer circles – that I was giving too much time to people who were causing me stress, anxiety or not offering me what I thought I was offering them. Other friends who were uplifting, balanced and encouraging were not being prioritised and were in a band too far away from me and thy should be closer in.

As I compare my 2017 and 2019 bulls-eyes, I see that there are many similarities and a few adjustments. Of course, there are always tweaks and improvements that could (and can) be made.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Having a clear understanding of who is in your life, what they contribute and how you feel with them helps you to understand where your energy is being spent and if there are more appropriate people to place it with. When you are with people who support, uplift and encourage, your overall sense of wellbeing will be improved and our outlook is likely to be more positive.

So, just as “The Byrne Family Circle of Trust” has the ability to shift people in and out of the ‘club’, you also have the power to say who gets to be close to you and on the inner circles of your bulls-eye.

This coming weekend, who are you planning to spend your time with and with whom are you going to give your energy to? The decision is yours alone to make.

If you liked this post and would like Life and Relationship Counselling, send your request through the Contact Page


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal, medical, financial or other professional advice.