Quantity VS Quality: Are a Lot of Friends Better Than a Few Close Friends?



The wise philosopher, Al Capone (yes, that Al Capone) once said, ‘Be careful who you call your friends. I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.’ If you think about it, Mr. Capone needed to know who his friends were more than most of us; thus, his quote holds a lot of good advice for you and me. When I was growing up, everyone thought the more friends you had, the cooler and more popular you were. I remember competitions to see who had the most kids at their birthday parties. Sadly, I always lost because with a December birthday, it always snowed and I had one or two friends…but, I digress. So, is it better to have a lot of casual acquaintances or a few close friends? I’m so glad you asked!

Think About It…Can You Really Be Close to Everyone? 

The answer is no, you can’t be close to everyone and that is a good thing. Closeness with another person comes from earning trust and if you hand out trust without discernment, it loses its value. Guard your heart and who you share your inner self with throughout life.

No Matter How You Try, People Establish Their Own ‘Tribe’ 

I remember when I was in high school and college, having about 30 friends, and over time, we tended to divide up into little groups or tribes, when shared circumstances and life stages occurred. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. There are only a few people that you will share solid memories, good and bad, within a life, and those are the ones you want to keep around for the long haul.

You Only Have So Much Time, So Share It Wisely 

As I’ve gotten older, my time has more meaning. With everyone working and having families and commitments, the time I have is precious, so I want to spend my time with people who make my day brighter, not ones who suck the energy from me.

Social Media Friends – Do I Need to Say More? 

I just checked, and I have 835 Facebook friends, and I don’t believe that’s anything to be particularly proud of. Social media friendships can consist of those who want to keep tabs on us and some you would not even talk to in person, but yet they exist in your online world. To thrive, we need more than just online friendships; a good conversation can never be substituted by an online ‘like.’ Social media isn’t helping to increase our friendships, but it’s helping me, at least, realize who is important in my life.

Don’t Sell Those Who Let You Vent Short

Think about it – at the end of the day, who do you want to call to vent about your job, your kids, your significant other? Who do you want to tell about your inspiring day and the difference you made? It’s usually just one or two people at most, right? When life has worn you down, who do you just want to sit on a couch with a glass of wine and talk or cry to, depending on what’s going on? The friends who will take your hand and lift you up when you can’t do it yourself, those are the ones to keep.

As I’ve grown up, I have realized that a few good friends are all you really need in life. It’s healthy to have a small, close-knit circle. I feel like the older you get, the more you realize the worth of a single friendship.

I understand that not every conversation had to be life-changing, and that small talk exists for a reason. And now that I’ve finally come to terms with the difference, it’s become easier to let some people come and go, because the friends I choose to call ‘home’ are always going to be there. Friends become the family we choose, so choose wisely and hold them close.

 


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