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    Why It Is Okay To Have Few Friends

    By Sanskriti Khera
    7 Aug'22  5 min read
    Why It Is Okay To Have Few Friends
    Synopsis

    They say you are lucky if you have even one good friend. Friendships are an important part of meaningful living. This article talks about why it is not the number of friends we have that matters, but the quality that they bring to our lives. It is okay to have only a few friends, here is why.  

    Why It Is Okay To Have Few Friends
    Synopsis

    They say you are lucky if you have even one good friend. Friendships are an important part of meaningful living. This article talks about why it is not the number of friends we have that matters, but the quality that they bring to our lives. It is okay to have only a few friends, here is why.  

    Be it 3 idiots, Sholey, Rang De Basanti, or the popular show F.R.I.E.N.D.S, several movies and TV shows have spoken about friendships and continue to. We often find ourselves resonating with these, reminiscing some old, bittersweet memories.

    Writer Anaïs Nin opined, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” As Nin conveys, “Friendship can elicit joy, companionship, and growth—enriching our entire experience of the world.” We all have experienced friendships to different degrees, and as much as it is fun, it's also complex. "True friendships are hallmarked by each member's desire to engage with the other – it's about a mutual interest in one another's experiences and thoughts, as well as a sense of 'belongingness' and connection," Nin says. "Friendships require reciprocity – of admiration, respect, trust, and emotional and instrumental support."

    keep your circle small, small circle of friends, small friend circle, small circle of friends is better, keep your friends circle small, keep your circle of friends smallA Good Friend Is An Asset To Have

    Quantity Over Quality

    As you get older, you start recognising the importance of true and genuine friendships. At times, as people grow older and life takes them different ways, friends grow apart. Maybe you or your friend move to different cities to study or work. Maybe you or your friend get married, so schedules and priorities undergo a shift. So, pretty much like all other relationships, friendships are dynamic.

    Indeed, quality friendships are extremely important to our general happiness. A study conducted in 2017 in the journal “Personal Relationships” found that the presence of strong friendships is actually more indicative of overall health and happiness in old age than even family involvement and support. The benefits of friendship in general, however, are lifelong. Research has shown that people with good friends often feel happier, less stressed, and more like they belong than those without. Having a strong network of buddies also increases self-confidence, and provides much-needed emotional support during trying times, like illness, loss of a loved one, or divorce (1, 2)

    Also Read: Self-Care Tips To Feel Happy And Rejuvenated

    Having Fewer Friends Is Okay

    While it sometimes might bother some people if they don’t have a big circle of friends, but let us give you some reasons as to why a small circle of friends is better.

    More Openness And Honesty

    It takes a lot of courage to open up to somebody and be honest about your feelings. It also demands effort to build that trust and safety. Having a small circle of friends can make it easier to do that, and might be difficult to do it with a larger group.

    Less Drama

    There are lesser chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings happening in a small circle of friends relative to a bigger one. Therefore, conflicts may be fewer and not as intense.

    Growing And Evolving Together

    In a small friend circle, the chances are that the friendships last longer. A friendship that lasts long would mean that you see each other grow and evolve. For instance, think about your friend who has been with you for the longest time. Think of how you both were as individuals when you met for the first time, how your dynamic was, what activities did you do together, and how are these things now. Do you see a change? That is exactly what we mean by growing and evolving.

    More Personal Growth

    When you rely on groups of friends to guide you through life, you might miss out on discovering opportunities meant for you as an individual. If you get a chance to be alone more often, you are more likely to discover new hobbies and skills that you love. You also learn to value meaningful relationships.

    More Independence

    Having a small circle of friends is better because then you can spend more time alone encourages you to become more independent and self-driven. You can take yourself out for a solo breakfast date and not necessarily feel like you need somebody else’s company. Some societal norms trick us into believing there is something wrong with us if we don't have company or people around us in public. Ever tried going shopping alone or watching a movie by yourself? It's essential to become more self-assured and confident in the ability to stand alone. You'll start to experience a sense of liberation. By being alone, you are empowering yourself more. It forces you to get to know yourself on a deeper level and love yourself even more.

    Makes You A Better Friend

    Once you start to value yourself, your values teach you to recognise the importance of genuine people in your life. You will start to value the time you spend with these important people more, and eventually see yourself becoming a better friend. Sometimes wanting to feel popular and seeking attention through not-so-healthy ways may just make you feel like you are fitting in, but that would be temporary, and in the long run you may just end up feeling lonely. When you have a small friend circle, you appreciate life and your friends so much more!

    Less Draining

    It can be time-consuming to be in and maintain a larger group of friends as you grow older. With time, we develop our own set ways of thinking, beliefs, and values. We become more aware of what kind of people we want to be surrounded by or what kind of vibe we don’t match with anymore. It is then we tend to start weeding out people that are bad for us and those that don't serve us in our lives anymore. We may become selective in terms of whom we want to share our deepest feelings and hence, have a small friend circle.

    Friends are an indispensable part of life, but at the same time, it is meaningful and quality friendships that shape us into becoming better people. Hence, choose quantity over quality, every time.

    Also Read: 5 Tips To Follow The Right People On Social Media

    References

    • Chopik, William J. "Associations among relational values, support, health, and well‐being across the adult lifespan." Personal Relationships April 19, 2017 (Aug. 23, 2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pere.12187
    • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Friendships: Enrich Your Life and Improve Your Health." Mayo Clinic. Sept. 28, 2016 (Aug. 23, 2018) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

    Sanskriti Khera is a Counselling Psychologist, with five years of extensive hands-on experience in helping young adults navigate through social and emotional concerns. Her approach to counselling is person-centered, trauma-informed, and insight-oriented. She was formerly Counsellor at the Ashoka Centre For Well-Being, Ashoka University, Sonepat. Currently, she is Consultant with Daffodils Therapy Studio, New Delhi.

    • Concepts in metaphysics
    • Behavioural sciences
    • Cognition
    • Cognitive science
    • Psychological concepts
    • Psychology
    • Social psychology
    • Friendship
    • Primate behavior
    • Interdisciplinary subfields

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