I’ve never been someone who kept count of how many friends I have. I know that I have wonderful a selection of people in my life who are there for me no matter what, and I don’t need to reach a certain number of these people to be happy.
When you work in an industry that relies largely on social media, engagement is what counts. Gone are the days of follower counts as the be-all and end-all of online success or respect – you have to prove that you actually interact with others, too. As a people person, I love this part of social media (and real-life)!
The importance of gaining as many connections as you can in your professional life, however, does not translate to the personal bonds you should have in your personal life.
Now, I’m not saying these two elements are totally separate – in fact, they’re becoming more and more interlinked thanks to social media itself – but I’m sure you know what I mean when I say you have people you know and get along with and people you love to spend time with, but you also have the people with whom your bond is unbreakable; those who you would trust with just about anything.
However, it seems that the pressure to be friends with everyone is at an all time high – whether that’s to namedrop, to prove you’re a nice person, or simply to feel better about your own self worth. Each of these is something your self-worth is (at least partially) relying on and each one depends on the approval of others.
I find this pretty terrifying.
It’s not something I find myself worrying about – like I said, I’m so much happier surrounding myself with ten unconditionally kind and loving people than ten thousand (a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean!) acquaintances, or people who I smile at and meet for coffee once every couple of months and never actually develop a real friendship with.
What’s the point in spending time with as many people as you can, simply so you can spend time with as many people as you can?
What about making memories with people who you know you’ll still be having wine nights in with in fifty years? People you know you’ll still text in a year’s time and have a million things to say?
I’ve learned from experience that there are very (and I mean VERY) few people that will be your friend through thick and thin (I still don’t know whether ‘thick’ or ‘thin’ is the good one in this phrase – any thoughts?). I’m sure this is why I’m so selective with people I let into my life – it takes a long time for me to trust someone, and to truly believe that they’re not going to let me down.
But at the end of the day, it’s always worth it. Trust me. There’s a tiny amount of absolutely incredible people out there.
When it comes to friendship, I vote quality over quantity every time.