And am kindly sharing it with y’all so you don’t have to do the same thing I did. As you may or may not know, there is a category in your Gmail contacts called “other contacts.” You can find it on the left sidebar when you’re in Contacts view, underneath your list of contact groups (assuming you have some):
You may also know that Gmail puts every person you’ve ever emailed into the “other contacts” group. Yesterday, I decided to try to clean up and sync my contacts as they’re scattered across Outlook, Address Book, and Gmail and noticed that there were a bunch of contacts in the other contacts group that contained nothing other than a name. So, after I moved the ones I wanted to keep to my contacts, I deleted the rest of the blank names. Well, it turns out that those blank names are actually the folks in your Google+ circles. It turned out that what I had just done was to also delete all those contacts from my Circles. Since I didn’t realize this until after I’d emptied the trash folder, I got to rebuild most of my circles from scratch. Fun times.