Why You Don’t Need That Many Friends
Christmas presents are expensive and Netflix is my main squeeze anyway.
I hate most people.
Alright, maybe hate is too strong. I dislike many individuals. Of those individuals, I dislike the majority of them quickly and definitely.
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not a mean person. I’m actually understanding, personable, and friendly. Almost sweet. At least that’s how I start every encounter with a new person. A blank slate.
But the minute someone is rude, insulting, ignorant, or even just kind of annoying, it’s a wrap. You either looked at me the wrong way, didn’t hold the door, answered my “How you doing tonight?” with “Two Long Islands and a Margarita,” or did any of a multitude of other things that legitimately piss me off. At that point, I don’t like you and there’s a 99% chance I never will.
As a result, I’ve never had a ton of friends.
Plot twist? I’m pretty fine with it.
Aside from the times I have no one to shop/eat/drink/waste time with, I don’t loathe the fact that I can literally count all of my best friends on one hand.
At times, being a twenty-something Millennial with social media access to literally thousands of people who are technically potential friends makes me feel like something’s wrong with me. Am I too picky? Too tough to get along with? Do I just kind of…suck?
Or is it everyone else that sucks?
But every time I get to wondering if I’m socially inept, I end up determining the same truth: I simply don’t need nearly as many friends as it feels like society tells me I do. And logically speaking, odds are you don’t either.
Think about it. Do you find yourself biting your tongue with any of your “close” friends? Is there one individual that your entire friends group secretly can’t stand? Anyone you dread seeing, lie to, or want to smack? Every friendship has ups and downs, but if you thought “yes” to yourself to any of the above, it might be worth reevaluating whether or not that person is really your friend—or if you need them in your life at all.
Let’s go back to prom. I know, you probably blocked it out of your mind. But it’s okay, we’ll do this together.
You’re a few months away from graduating high school, and no matter where you and your classmates are heading (college, a job, Europe, whatever) there’s a solid chance you’re not going to be forced to see each other again. That sounds brutal, but that’s kind of what school is; you’re all obligated to see each other every single day just because you live in the same town and happen to be receiving an education in the same building. When those common threads of home and academic obligation are cut, you’ll only have to see them by choice.
And when you signed your friends yearbooks like “LYLAS BFFAE!!!” you thought you meant it. But prom is when you actually decided who you’d keep in touch with.
Remember that one girl you were friends with for all four years of high school who all of the sudden became a pain once prom invites went out? You thought this girl was your ride-or-die, but then she wanted you to spend an extra few hundred on a party bus, return your dress because it was too similar a color to her dress, find a new date who was shorter than her boyfriend, and made after-prom plans at someone else’s reclusive beach house because the plans your group agreed on didn’t seem fun enough? I bet you didn’t talk much after graduation.
And why? Once you’re not forced to be pleasant every single day to people you don’t necessarily like, you realize you don’t want to be pleasant with them in the first place.
And that’s okay! Life is short. You’ll meet countless new people when you get in and out of school, jobs, and relationships. Why waste time with the people you can’t stand? You’ll already have to feign niceties with your obnoxious bosses, unfortunate first dates, and every customer who tosses their dollar bills—still crumpled—on the counter instead of handing them to you. Why waste energy being friends with not-friends?
Maybe I am antisocial or mean or irritable. Or maybe you could be happier by being more selective about who you spend your time with?
Okay, I’m a little mean.
FEATURE PHOTO TAKEN AND OWNED BY D. SHARON PRUITT.