In 2015, Aurooba and I are collaborating on a blogging project called 12 Topics. On the second Tuesday of every month, we’ll be writing a post about the same topic from our own perspectives + experiences. Basically, the topics are writing prompts/questions that we’ve come up with ahead of time.
We also went ahead a gave each prompt a more general category. On the last Tuesday of every month, our 12 Topics posts will be inspired by that category.
We won’t be sharing our posts with each other ahead of time. We want to make sure you truly get our own, separate perspectives (+ the surprise factor is so much more fun for us as well!)
Today’s general category: friendship
I don’t have a lot of friends. That’s the truth.
I can’t decide why this is.
I know I am an introvert. At least I think I am. In the last 12 topics post I talked about how being in the middle of a large group of people is not my idea of fun. By far. But is that the reason?
I’ve been thinking about a few things.
What draws us toward wanting and needing more friends? Do we get different things from different people? Do some of our friends bring the fun factor? Are some of them just really good to talk to? Are some of them funny?
Is it a matter of how sociable you are or just whether or not you happen to be able to find the people with the qualities you are looking for? Do some people get lucky and are able to find these qualities in fewer people than others?
Why do some people have more friends than other people? Are some people better at connecting?
Does friendship validate us? Do we want more friends because we are naturally social creatures, or do we want more friends because that’s what society has told us we need?
What are friends for? Are friends like family members that just don’t happen to be related? To be there when we need them? To learn & grow from? To help us experience our lives as best as we can? Do people with closer families need / want fewer friends?
I don’t have a lot of friends.
There is a part of me that wants to say it’s because of the following things:
I’m bad at keeping in touch with people.
My idea of a good time is not going out.
I don’t have a lot of money (yet) to spend on the activities friends often do together.
I work from home.
I don’t like all the drama.
I like to spend my time doing what I want, not what other people want me to do.
But a lot of these are excuses. Things that easily don’t matter if I really did want to search out new people. The problem is, if I get rid of all the excuses in the list I’m left with things that make me out to be quite selfish. This makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Unselfish people are looked up to. It’s like this high standard. People who are unselfish are good people. They don’t put themselves first, they make sacrifices for other people, they do things without needed anything in return.
Does this make me a bad person? Because I definitely don’t consider myself that way (though, honestly, who really does?)
I like to think that I’m unselfish with the people I care a lot about. My family, my boyfriend, and the best friends I do have? I’d like to think I am unselfish towards them. That I will listen to them when they need me to, regardless of if it’s convenient for me. Regardless if it’s not the one thing I wish I was doing at that moment. That I like doing things without any expectation of getting something in return. That I’m there with love and support.
Acquaintances are not people who I would put before the other important things in my life. Maybe I don’t try and make more friends because I don’t want the responsibility. Maybe I don’t make more friends because I’m afraid of being spread too thin. I know that even with the few friends I already have, I don’t always juggle it well.
Between my parents, my boyfriend, my sister, my good friends and (importantly) myself, I have enough to try and balance. Enough people to split up my time + energy + love.
As much as I might want more cool people who can teach me and show me and impact my life in awesome ways, it worries me. Especially now that I’ve taken on the enormous job of starting a business (which takes a ridiculous amount of hours and brainpower). I don’t want to let people down and I don’t want to feel like I’m giving up the other important things in my life for a few more friends. I don’t want this because I know that eventually this would make me grow to despise these new people because of the fact that they took me away from the people I consider most important. They don’t deserve that.
Are there benefits to having a whole bunch of really close friends?
Here’s what I know about myself.
I really enjoy being alone sometimes. When I don’t have my alone time, I get a little frantic and I’m not myself.
I am one to enjoy a long car ride by myself.
I am one to sit in a chair by the window with a mug of tea and read my book and thoroughly enjoy it.
I don’t like going out with a group of people and forcing conversation. Doing things that, collectively, the group wants to do but, internally, I really really don’t. I don’t like going out with a group of friends but still feeling alone. Doing activities like dancing in a loud club but not actually connecting with anyone. Like going to a concert and hanging out but not really being with the people you are with.
And being with a group of people and feelings alone is not the same as actually being alone. The awesome calmness that takes over when I am alone does not occur when I’m with a bunch of people and just feeling alone. So not only am I in a group of people who I’m not 100% comfortable with, but I’m also not at all alone. It’s like being suspended in the middle and not knowing how exactly everything should be, or what you even want.
I think I’m a one-to-one type of person.
I like hanging out with a very close group of people. I like feeling the connection between everyone. The meaningful conversations. Feeling comfortable enough to be 100% yourself and know that you’ll be accepted. Being with people you love.
So maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot of friends. I don’t think having a deep connection with a lot of people is possible for me at this point in my life – I’d be spread way too thin. And I don’t like hanging out and spending my time doing things with people I don’t connect with.
It’s hard enough to create a life you absolutely love without the added toughness of being pulled in a hundred different directions by people who you care so much about that you want to go in all of them. And more good friends = more directions.
And so there it is, I guess; the big reason why I don’t have a lot of friends. It’s because I only make good friends. I don’t make kinda friends. And I’m not ready to add more directions to be pulled in. First I need to make sure I can balance the ones I already have really well.
I’m impressed by people who can split their time between so many people and yet still hold it all together & chase after the things they really want.
But right now, that person is not me. And I’m okay with that.
^ Those are my current thoughts. I used this post as a way to explore + learn more about myself. If you have any answers to any of the questions I brought up, I’d absolutely love to hear them. And disclaimer? I am 100% capable of changing my thoughts after more thoughts on the subject. In fact, I can almost guarantee it. But I’m sharing this anyway, because I’m sure I’m not the only one.