Why I Only Have 2 Friends
I remember pre-adulthood when the number of friends a person had almost determined their self-worth. Or at the very least it felt like it. Like, the more invites you got to go places and stuff like that… the better off you were. And the need for it almost created this desperation — this desperation to belong…
But I guess when you grow older, at least for me, I realized that persons worth have nothing to do with the number of people they’re surrounded with, or who they’re surrounded with, or how many times a week they hang out
with friends. It has nothing to do with anyone else at all. While others may help boost and re-assure you — your sense of self-worth has everything to do with you. And I think realizing that, is one of the most liberating things, because you stop seeking validation externally (which can be dangerous) and you start seeking it internally instead. And also, I think enjoying being alone is just a by-product of growing older. But anyway. So, I’ve been on both sides of the “friends spectrum”. I’ve had big groups of friends, and I’ve had pretty much no friends. And I sat down the other day and I was like — if I don’t include family, or collogues or any romantic person how many people do I consider my friend-friends? People I would call at any time and open up to? People who I know are always there for me and genuinely want what’s best for me? There were a few more criteria, but you get it. I landed at two. Maybe three. Depending on how I go about determining it. But likely two. I want to talk about some of the reasons why I have fewer friends. this is not to try to encourage you to have fewer friends or more friends. However many or few friends someone chooses to keep in their circle is none of anyone else’s business. Although here I am spilling all my business. Anyway, whatever floats your boat. This is just what floats mine.
First reason: I simply like alone time. Although I value my friends very highly and love them dearly, I also value me-time very highly and love it dearly. And yes, really, it is for selfish reasons, which in this instance, is fine. Anything that protects your peace without harming anyone else is encouraged. I just like doing what I enjoy and to explore my interests and creativity by myself. I like going to the park and bring a sandwich with me and just watchdogs get to know each other. I like strolling around with my camera. I enjoy cooking for myself and eating by myself. Now although I do enjoy doing these things with others as well, doing it alone allows me to experience things and to think for myself, without any input from others. Like, if I go to the dog park alone, perhaps I don’t want to hear what someone else thinks about this dog or that dog, which one is cute, and which one isn’t. Perhaps I want to build up my own opinion of which dog I think is cute without having someone else comment on it. Like, it’s a silly example (no it’s not, dogs are not silly) but it applies to a lot of other things in life as well.
This brings me to my next point which is that: learning to enjoy my solitude has created more trust in myself in terms of making decisions for myself. I think when we have lots of friends and people in our lives, we’re quick to turn to them whenever there’s any turbulence in our lives, and we allow ourselves, consciously or not, to become influenced by their opinions, oftentimes before we’ve given ourselves a chance to understand what’s going on first, and it’s not always a healthy kind of influence, we’ll get to that. I think when you learn to sit with any issue or thought by yourself first, you’ll learn to make better decisions for yourself. Because usually, although not always, we know ourselves and what’s best for us more than anyone else does. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask people for advice, I do it often, but don’t run your life based on what someone else thought or said, without giving yourself a chance to figure it out first. I’m still trying to cool down on the “what do you think?” “what do you think?” to try and find my inner voice. What do I think? And so, why is that important?
Another reason I think it’s important is that not everyone is worth sharing aspects of your life with! Whether it’s your turbulence or your joy. I think people have this fantasy idea that everyone wants what’s best for them. Not everyone does. I’ve had “friends” who’ve just tried to pick apart and trash anything I’ve been excited or happy about. I remember telling some people that I was doing Youtube full-time, and some of the response I was met with was pure negativity and skepticism. There weren’t many encouraging, constructive conversations at all, although there were some. It mostly just went like “oh… really? Okay… but what’s going to be your real job?”. And if I wasn’t someone who trusted myself and trusted my judgment, which, again, I believe a huge chunk of that has grown from spending time alone, I would’ve never gone full-time. You’ve probably been in a similar situation, where there’s this person or multiple people who you don’t even want to share the news with, good or bad because you know their reaction and response will just be a pure disappointment. Gently and politely kick those people out of your life. Like, personally, if a friend tells me they want to go to the moon, I’ll start googling right away “how to get to the moon” and try to help them achieve it. My friends can testament to this. And if you don’t have someone in your life who focuses on the possibilities, or even if you do, you better be that person for yourself.
I talked to one of my oldest friends the other day, we’ve known each other for over ten years, and we talked about why we think we’ve stayed friends for that long. And not only stayed friends but how we’ve kept it so peaceful despite going through so much together. Some of the things were things that I think should be obvious in any kind of relationship, but one thing we talked about was something I haven’t thought of before and it was really interesting. We’ll get to that. But, as for the “obvious” but not always so obvious reasons, we both felt like we’ve always been able to talk to each other about anything and everything. We’ve never held in any irritation or thought, or worse, talking to someone else about it instead aka gossip. And on top of that, we’ve never judged one another, despite being very honest with one another. Every conversation we’ve had has simply felt safe. Now to the thing, I hadn’t thought of, and that was that, as adults, we don’t have anything to offer each other but pure friendship. When we were younger, there were more so-called “benefits” in having each other in our lives, like, having someone to hang out with in school, having someone to help you in class, having someone wing-women you when you thought a boy was cute, having the first person to get their license to drive you around and so on. But now? We’re self-sufficient, there isn’t anything to gain that we can’t give to ourselves. Just being a good friend. Yet, we choose each other.