Friday, 29 July 2016

Why It's Okay To Not Have A Ton Of Friends.

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As a twenty-something female, possibly one of the most difficult things to say is 'I don't have a lot of friends'. But there, I've said it. It's out in the open now. I've admitted to it. I don't have a ton of friends, and truth be told, I never really have. Granted I do have friends, a small number of whom I consider to be some of the greatest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing - but I can count them on one hand. Does that make me weird? Does that make me an unfriendly, unapproachable person? With the norms that are constantly projected on to us you'd almost think so, and I almost thought so for many years, but I think I've finally reached the point where I can admit that I don't have a lot of friends - and say with confidence that I'm alright with it.

A handful of years ago I would find myself sitting watching re-runs of Friends and feeling envious that I didn't have such a friend group of my own. That's when it starts to get really easy to think that you're some kind of problem. You're just this awful person who can't hold any friendships, and who doesn't deserve any friendships. But it's absolutely not the case at all.

Growing up, I was sure that the friends I had around me were the friends I would have around me until I turned old and grey. Fast forward a few years and those days are long gone, as are those friendships. No one was to blame, life happens. People change, and unfortunately friendships aren't always built to last forever. A friendship break-up isn't an easy thing to go through - I've had my fair share of them, and I can confirm that they can cause you to cry into a bucket of ice cream much more than a romantic heartbreak could ever hope to. Nevertheless, these things happen.

When you reach your twenties, friendships become a lot more complex. Suddenly, everyone is leading their own life and this thing called effort has to be practiced by both parties on a regular basis. There's suddenly a lot less time to spare to focus on your friendships, and a lot more time taken up by jobs, life admin and responsibilities.

Other factors that come into play include how you adapt into adult life when you actually start leading your own. It has only really been within the past year that I've come to the realisation that I'm an introvert through and through. I thrive when I'm alone and in my own surroundings, and feel comfortable in a small group of people. There are people in my life who haven't quite understood that, and that's okay. But those friendships ended quite quickly. Don't even get me started on making friends in your twenties - seriously, how do you do it when you barely have enough hours in the day to do everything on your to-do list? (I'm still waiting for someone out there to create a Tinder-like app for gal pals).

I work full-time during the week, spend practically every other waking hour working on my blog, and any free time I manage to find is spent with Adam, family or the friends who understand. Truth be told, there are even some weekends that I just prefer to be alone. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. My mother always tells me that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime - and I've learned that the people who understand where you're at in life are the ones who will be there for life. It's the friends that you may not see or even speak to for a month, but when you catch up over a cocktail, nothing has changed and there are no hard feelings. I'm extremely grateful to have one or two of those people in my life.

Not having a ton of friends doesn't make you a terrible person. Society may make us believe that having a huge friend group is the norm, with shows such as Friends and How I Met Your Mother, and squad goals such as Taylor Swift's girl gang conveying what we could have. But the fact of the matter is, there is nothing wrong with having a small group of friends. It doesn't mean that you're a loner with no social skills. It means that you're an adult with a life, responsibilities, a job and perhaps a relationship. It means that sometimes, you just need and value your alone time.

Above all, it means that you've finally perfected the albeit small group of friends that you love and who love you in return. Who you understand and who understand you. Who you invest time in, and who invest time in you. When you've got that, you'll be set for life.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Katy Belle.
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