This Crowd is NLU

Not saying it has never happened, but I don’t have photographic evidence of it. Yet. credit: thechive.com

We all have groups of friends; more often than not, life inconsistencies and human duality force us to keep those groups segregated in order to avoid conflict. We put on some filters and conform to the group dynamic every day.

Some examples of friend groups in my life: professional, church, conservative, liberal, parent, non-parent, happy hour, book club, family, ex-family, high school, college, camp counselors, grown ups. I think there is a whole FB thing that can keep these people separated so you don’t accidentally post a status everyone can see about how you hated high school and if you could go back armed, that vote for homecoming queen might have played out a little differently. Who’s giving the swirly now, Biff? That toilet smells nice, right?

There are usually catch phrases and etiquette rules within each group. One of my favorite catch phrases happens within our relaxed, chill group of friends (Happy Hour). When evaluating the group that shows up for a function, we have LU and NLU.

LU: Like Us. NLU: Not Like Us.

I can walk in and casually ask for direction about how to conduct myself with the founder of this phrase by saying, “Are they LU or NLU?”

NLU–drinking a beer with your dinner while your child plays happily on the playground is frowned upon. You should be in that sandbox getting sandy taco with them. No excuses. LU–Start a tab and enjoy some adult time too. Win/Win.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just be yourself within any group though?

Some completely absurd examples of truths I would like to lay out to these different groups–maybe in the form of a FB status:

  1. Professional: (Mortgage Group) Remember when we all made insane amounts of money obtaining sub-prime loans for people with horrible credit, talked that elderly couple into refinancing a stable 30 year mortgage to an ARM and just put that 5 -year adjustment out of your mind because it wasn’t your problem? Just pushing the paperwork on some of those loans made me ill, and you paid me $25 a file when you made no less than $2000 on each loan and called it a no-cost refi. How much do we all suck?
  2. High School: You hated me in high school, and I hated you; why are you sending me a friend request? Oh, you want to see if I got fat? I did (pregnancy, hello), but you won’t find pictures of the girl who ate Rachelle here. Sorry.
  3. Camp Counselor: We were in charge of children and they gave us every other night off as teenagers. Heee!
  4. College: I can never run for a political office thanks to some of you. Shhhh…
  5. Ex-Family: You are correct, I was an awful wife. And he was a giant wiener. Let’s get that 50/50 blame in perspective. Or just continue to avoid each other. Either way.
  6. Church: I have my doubts. We can’t talk about that without being judgy and self-righteous.
  7. Book Club (and church): I’m a schizophrenic reader. This month I have read: Fifty Shades of Grey (all three of them), Blue Like Jazz, Mere Christianity, Cinder, Along for the Ride, and a book by Tucker Max with one blog post about sex and poop. I’m currently reading Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, Of Mice and Men, and Maternal Desire. It’s weird. Trying to organize my bookshelves, real and digital, makes me laugh.
  8. Conservative: I’m a liberal.
  9. Liberal: I’m still pretty conservative. I was raised conservative, and those ideas die hard–some never completely go away. Actually, I don’t really fit into any of it. Our political system blows. I didn’t vote for Obama.
  10. Parents: Sometimes, I serve dirty floor snacks to my daughter because I’m too lazy to cut new fruit that never fell out of the bowl and never had dog hair on it. I brush the dog hair off…obviously.

Whether you call it proper social filtering or hypocrisy, we all have these different sides to us, and I’m sure everyone has days when they would like to just speak freely with everyone. For those people, I’d encourage you start a blog and say whatever you want to say whenever you want to say it. It’s pretty awesome. Or join Twitter anonymously and spout some deep, dark thoughts like you have Tourette’s.

While it is nice to be in your LU groups as much as possible, it’s important to keep those NLU groups going too.

It’s how we grow and question our ideas and behavior.

Do you have any fun group phrases?

What would you say to your groups if you didn’t have to filter?

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16 thoughts on “This Crowd is NLU

  1. Great post! As usual, I can relate. I dread the meeting of the different groups so much. I’ve always kept a few groups separate, partly because it’s awkward when they interact, but mostly because I somehow feel like each group must think I’m fake around them. I choose to believe it’s more about being able to get along well with various types of people and adapt to each group’s dynamic. I dread getting married and having the liberals meet the conservatives and the partiers meet the anti-partiers, etc.

    • Thanks! It can be awkward when they all interact, and I feel the same way–that I’m being fake in some places. But I agree, you have to be able to get along with all types without offending them or making them uncomfortable. I guess that is why we have so many land mines and sensitive topices to avoid in social situations :) The wedding is definitely an interesting bag of people…at least the weddings I have been to and thrown anyway.

    • Oh thank you! I am a little behind on my blog reader, so I apologize for missing Wednesday’s post, but thank you for tagging me! I will head over there.

  2. NLU–the most useful acronym I have picked up in a long time. I can see my husband and I most definitely using this one. Of course, we’re so weird we’ll probably encounter a lot of NLUs. :)

  3. I agree about the HS people. I have had friend requests from people who had no sense of me back in the day. The final ignore is MINE!

    Ex’s – For the ones with which I have contact/friend status, it says a lot about the maturity we both have. For the ones who don’t – well that’s one less round of Words With Friends. I’d probably win anyway.

  4. Loved this post!! Sorry I’m one of those college friends that ruined your future political dreams. We weren’t as bad as college kids now. LOL!!!

    • Thanks! The idea of me ever running for office is laughable anyway–that would require public speaking. We weren’t as bad as some people are now, but we had our moments :) SHHHHHH!

  5. I need to start an additional, completely anonymous blog where I really can say exactly what I want, completely uncensored. Too many people who I really know read my blog now for me to be really authentic.

    • I can relate to that (although I still don’t share mine with many people I really know). Even this ended up more censored than what I wanted to say.

  6. Hello RFL,
    My husband and I generally use the terms weird and normal, weird being LU and normal NLU.
    I found your blog brilliant. following you now!
    Please do visit my blog about books, and if you like it, please follow!

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