People can be unnerved by how little I engage in conversation. It’s a trait I’ve had for as long as I can remember. My mother used to tell other parents “She’s counting her words.” I’ve never been a talkative person. It’s difficult for me to keep in touch with people I don’t see every day. It’s one of the reasons why I have few friends. But you know what? That’s perfectly fine. In a world of extroverts and a culture that prides itself on being busy, having few friends can come up as a red flag. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that fewer friends works for me, and I have a few reasons why.
Know what you want
I love my Californian friends. I worked with them, grew with them, loved them like family. The other wonderful thing about them was we got to hang out once every month at book club meetings. This meant we would share a meal, talk about books, and catch up on life. Seeing these lovely people once a month was something I could look forward to. A few hours was perfect.
I’m an introvert and being around people exhausts me to no end. I could sit down to eat and chat and be ready for bed by 9pm. I know that I’m terrible with people who always want to hang out. What I do now is email my closest friends. I’ve also made a ton of online friends. These suit me much better than people in real life. I can chat and be silly all in my own living room. I spend time talking to these people about video games (a post about that is coming soon!) on an app called Discord. All of this suits me just fine!
Treasure the best
As I stated above, I email my dearest friends. I think it’s important to focus my energy on the best of the best. They’re a part of my past that I refuse to let go of. I can’t remember where but I heard a saying that summarizes this relationship. “If you’re friends with someone for 10 years, you’re going to be friends for life.” I hope that’s the case with these guys because they’re so enriching to my life. While I know I won’t be there physically to engage with them, I can be there in spirit!
Don’t sell yourself short
I know what it’s like to stretch yourself thin for people, especially people that I can’t stand. It’s exhausting both mentally and physically. I’m going to be 32 years old soon and I know what I need out of my interactions. There are certain topics and I steer clear from and topics that I would love to talk about for hours. My priorities have changed so much in the last 10 years! My current circle of friends leave me satisfied and not craving for more attention. Find people that make you love who you are, not people that want to change you.
Make friends for the memories
Humans are social creatures but that doesn’t mean we need to drown ourselves to meaningless conversations. Sometimes that office party or that Christmas get together can’t be avoided. But if we take our free time and spend it with friends we love, is it a waste? I’d like to think not. I would rather spend my time with people who encourage me laugh!
I’ve had toxic friends in the past. Thankfully I realized what they were and ended the relationship. It’s never easy to end things with people. The important thing to know is that toxic friendships take all forms. Maybe it’s a friend always asking for favors or money. It could be a friend who craves constant attention. It could even be someone that treats you well and then talks badly about you behind your back. Manipulative behavior doesn’t help anyone. If someone doesn’t treat you well then you have no reason to be their friend.
Whew, I’m just getting over a terrible stomach bug so please excuse the late post!