In many television shows and movies, characters are often portrayed in big friend groups, making us feel like if we don’t have that kind of support system, we’re not good enough.
Don’t get me wrong – big friend groups can be really fun and great. It’s awesome to know you’ll always have two to three people to hang out with and people to fall back on when things get tough.
However, if you only have a few close friends who aren’t in the same group, that doesn’t mean they’re any less than.
As we grow up, enter our 20s, and graduate from school, there’s a good chance that our social circles will get smaller. It happens in phases, too! For instance, you have your fun friend group in high school that splits up when everyone goes to college. Then, you find a new friend group in college, but you stop seeing them as much after graduation when everyone moves around.
If you’ve noticed that the ‘squad’ you used to spend all your time with has begun to dwindle, don’t panic. Instead, take time to focus on your few quality friends, the people who show up for you no matter what. It’s time to focus on quality versus quantity.
While some people view only having a few close friends instead of a big friend group as a negative thing, there are actually a lot of perks to keeping your social circle small. For instance, you get to spend more time taking care of yourself.
When you have a lot of friends that you see a lot, you may feel obligated to show up for each and every one of them, attending to their problems and supporting all their endeavors. While that’s great and supportive behavior, worrying about too many people becomes exhausting, and you can lose sight of what you need.
Having a smaller circle of friends allows you to get to know your friends on a deeper level. You can have nice one-on-one hangouts where you both can open up and be vulnerable. Constantly hanging out with a group of people may lead to one or two friends holding back, while having more intimate friend dates will more likely lead to deeper bonding.
Forming these tighter bonds and closer friendships will also give you more confidence and security. Because you’ve had more time and energy to get to know these friends on a deeper level, you’ll be able to form more trust with them than you would with friends you only see occasionally with a group.