Keeping friend groups separate or mixing them is a difficult decision since both options have pros and cons, so it is not a straightforward answer to this question that will magically help you decide what to do with your friends.
Is it ok to keep friend groups separate?
Yes, it is ok to keep friend groups separated since, in many cases, what keeps you connected differs from one group to another.
There is always a thing that keeps a friendship going with some of your friends it might be the school/college with others it might be work or a hobby or the fact that you have known each other for a long time but rarely is the same thing for two or more groups of friends.
So mixing them is not necessarily a good idea, you might feel that it can work since you get along with all of them, but this doesn’t guarantee that they will get along with each other since there is nothing to connect them other than you. Of course, the connection can happen eventually, but it is not guaranteed.
Even if you think they might get along pretty well because they have the same habits, hobbies, and so on, you might be wrong since some people hate going out with other people similar to them. It might be the fact that they feel threatened by them, or they see their flows in other similar people, or simply they like to spend time with people that are a bit different to complete each other.
On the other side, there are people that think they would never go along, and they end up being really good friends.
So, it is hard to know for sure if your friends will get along without trying, but it is ok if you don’t want to mix them, many times, it is not a good idea.
Do your friends want new friends?
We will talk later about when it is ok to mix your friend groups, but before that, you should make sure that your friends are open to meeting new people and making new friends.
It is important to pay attention to them and notice how they talk about new friends, does it seem that they would like to meet new people, is it something that they talk about or they talk about new friends only when you bring up this topic.
There are a lot of people that don’t like meeting new people and making new friends, so it would be a stretch trying to mix them with other friends of yours.
I know people with very good social skills who don’t want to know more people, so they are not necessarily shy or afraid of meeting new people, but they simply think they have enough friends.
So if you want to mix groups of friends, you need to make sure that is ok for them as well.
When is it ok to mix them?
It is perfectly fine to mix groups of friends at events like your birthday party or other events that are yours since they all are your friends, and they don’t necessarily need to get along or talk too much with each other if they don’t want to.
In this case, the purpose is to celebrate you, you should be careful with mixing them when the only purpose (at least in your mind) is for them to get to know each other.
When mixing groups of friends with the intent for them to get to know each other is important to check if they will benefit from knowing other people and if they share a common interest when going out together.
Sometimes it is easy, the common interest might be simply to make new friends or just that they are sociable and enjoy being in different social circles, but it should be something that they want, not something you want for them.
After college, I mixed groups of friends successfully, and they got along pretty well, but to be completely honest with you, a big part of that was the fact that most of them were single, and the group was somehow balanced when it came to how many girls and boys were there, luckily for all of them, I know.
So, it was a common interest, and everybody saw a benefit in going out with the group, and it was like that for a few years, parties, hanging out, and having a nice time until the common interest was not there anymore. I met my wife, and a few other friends got into relationships, and the group slowly disappeared.
So yea, it doesn’t sound encouraging, but it is good to understand that something needs to be there to connect your friends. The good part is that the common interest is changing, now we hang out with a lot of couples rather than single people, and we have things in common with them as we had in that group when all of us were single.
The conclusion here is to mix your groups of friends when it’s an event related to you without overthinking how they will get along since that is not the party’s purpose, or mix them when you see a clear benefit for them to hang out together.
It can be both at the same time, mix them at your party because you think they will benefit from knowing each other.
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How to act when your friends are together at your party?
Since this is common for your friends to get to know each other at your birthday party or another party you organize, it is important how you act not to be awkward or pushy.
You should not intervene as much if you believe they will get along well, even if it’s tempting. Just introduce them, and let them choose who to interact with.
It is not your duty to push them to know each other. Usually, we are pretty good at identifying people who we like to talk to. Considering that a party is not only 15 minutes, they will have time to interact with more people and eventually will find the people that are on the same page with them and like to spend time with.
So don’t take this as a mission you have to accomplish, it will go naturally if you set up the scene(the party and introducing them).
Keeping friend groups separated is ok, but at the same time, you should not be afraid to invite them to your birthday party just because you don’t want your group friends to mix together if this is the only problem. No matter if they connect with each other or not at that party.
Also, you should know that is nothing wrong with wanting to keep them separated since most people do that more or less.