Being in your twenties is tough. It's the first time in your life that everyone is on a completely different path from you. I personally have no idea where my life is going. Some people are engaged. Some are travelling. Some are at work. Some are at university. Some are having kids. I'm doing none of these things. I 'work' from home, where I'm trying (and failing) to do multiple jobs, including being a freelance content writer, voiceover artist, and presenter on both social media and TV. It's tough, but it's what I want to be doing. Well, for now at least. I decided what I was studying at university wasn't what I want to do for now and that I'd take the big leap into trying to achieve my dreams. I'm getting there (I think), slowly but surely. But I've written all about this before and this isn't what this post is meant to be about.
This post is all about why I believe it's more important to have no friends/a few close friends, compared to having a big group of friends/lots of friends, when the reality is that you're more than likely only really close to a few of those people and hardly ever speak to any of the others unless it's in the group chat or at a social gathering. Of course, you may be reading this and have a big group of friends and are genuinely really close to all of them; in which case, amazing! This is more of a generalisation I've made about friendships that I've been a part of and from talking to others. But I'm more than aware that this isn't always the case.
I wouldn't say I have no friends. I have friends. I have some friends on social media. I have some friends in real life. I guess some friendships can often be overlooked, though. I think at one time I felt like I had no one. I had recently lost a couple of my closest friends for various reasons and I guess because I had spent the majority of my time with them and if I wasn't with them I was on my own, I felt that I had no one else to turn to. But there are always people you can turn to. We all know multiple people. Even if we're not really close to those people or have only spoken to them once or twice, we still know them, or, at least, we know of them and you can always message those people. If there's something you want to go to, such as a gig, message some people you think might be interested. Sure, they may say no, but that's okay. But this isn't a post about making friendships and how you can do that as an adult (I'll write one of those in the future), so I'm going to stop waffling and try and get back to the point I'm trying to make.
I guess I've been hurt by people before. I remember being in a big group of friends in school and there were many occasions when they would all hang out together and I was never included. I can completely understand that you can't always be included in everything, but for every single one of them (more or less) to make arrangements to meet up and to leave me out every single time just wasn't on. Why did they do that? Was there something wrong with me? Did I do or say something that made them hate me but they felt they had to keep me around in school to try and not hurt my feelings? Because it did hurt my feelings when I assumed they were all up to nothing and then went on social media and saw them all hanging out together. But of course, I could never mention this to them because they would more than likely laugh it off and claim it was a last-minute decision or that they didn't think I would want to go (some excuses they gave me on a few occasions when I did ask about it). But how can something be a last-minute decision when there are over ten of you and you all manage to get together at the same time on the same day last minute? We all know that's pretty much impossible to do because everyone's always busy doing their own thing and not everyone in a friendship group can always make something that's last minute. So what's the truth? Did you hate me? Or was it really just a last-minute decision that I was (rather conveniently) always left out of?
I guess there came a time in my life, which I'm fairly certain I've opened up about a few times on here, where I hit rock bottom and I pushed any friends I had away. In some cases, that was needed because some of those people were never really there for me and I had always needed to do that. But some of them were genuinely there for me but I didn't want to reach out to them for help or to admit I was struggling, so I pushed them away but my contact with them slowed until it eventually came to a complete stop. And then when I eventually got out of this, I had to try and re-build my life and that included friendships.
It's tough doing this, particularly as an adult. But I guess as you get older you learn more about what your values are and you naturally drift towards people who have the same values and interests as you. And because of that, it can become easier to look at your friendships and realise who you can really rely on and who you may be no longer need to keep as a close friend, particularly if you've gone through something difficult and there were some friends who checked in on you whereas others didn't.
I actually found that when I had no close friends and throughout the course of the pandemic where we couldn't go anywhere, I became more myself. I stopped feeling like I had to live up to other people's standards or be more like them to try and fit in. I finally became me again. And I enjoy being me. Sure, I have my faults. But doesn't everyone? I'm finally me again and I know what to look for in a friend. I know to keep my inner circle small and am more than aware of how to spot who's really there for me and who's just with me for their own gain (although, what that gain is I don't know). I guess a blessing of getting older is that no one really feels that they have to act a certain way to impress others as a way of becoming friends with them. No one cares if someone's cool or not because we're no longer in an environment where there are certain groups you have to fit into. Everyone's just doing their own thing and minding their own business.
I'm interested to know your thoughts on this. Do you agree that there can be times when it's better to have no friends or hardly any friends as a way of getting to know the real you and ensuring that those around you are really there for you? Or do you think you should always have friends, even if those 'friends' don't have your best interests at heart? Please let me know in the comments.
Can having very few friends be a blessing in disguise?
Love Beth xx