About two and a half years ago, during the pandemic and my college years, I noticed a significant decrease in my social circle. In just a few months, the number of close friends I had went from over 10 to only three. Initially, this change was tough to handle as experiencing a fallout with multiple friends at once can be overwhelming. However, looking back, I now see that this change in my friend group taught me the importance of valuing quality over quantity in friendships.

Throughout our lives, we are conditioned to believe that having a group of friends is essential. Movies and shows like Mean Girls and Friends highlight the importance of being part of a squad at different life stages before settling down. This societal pressure to have a large and active friend group can create insecurities that linger into adulthood.

Prioritizing quality friendships over quantity can lead to meaningful connections in our lives. This shift not only helps with insecurities but also enables self-discovery and focusing on personal needs, which can be challenging in large friend groups. After consciously nurturing deep friendships for over two years, here’s why investing in closer friendships is more rewarding than having a broad network.

A small social circle allows for self-investment

The substantial decrease in my social circle in 2021 initially brought emotional distress as I mourned the lost connections I thought would last. However, this change had a positive impact on my personal development. By deepening my relationships with the three remaining close friends, I underwent significant changes in my priorities. Instead of compromising parts of myself for popularity, I shifted my focus. I took my first solo trip, entered into my first romantic relationship, and landed an internship at my dream company—pursuits that I had long desired but put off for social reasons.

Your time is valuable, regardless of your current friendships. While the idea of having a group of friends may be appealing, it’s crucial not to give up things that matter to you while seeking connections that align with your values. Investing more time in fewer friendships allows room for self-discovery and personal growth.

Having fewer friends allows for deeper connections

Prioritizing quality in friendships revealed my preference for meaningful conversations with friends, which brought more satisfaction than surface-level interactions. This newfound self-awareness influences all my future relationships, enabling me to be a more attentive and supportive friend than when I was part of a larger group.

Being there for someone you genuinely care about builds trust and strengthens bonds. In larger groups, stretching yourself thin can limit your ability to support friends during tough times. While enjoying fun times with friends is important, it’s the depth of connection during challenges that solidifies friendships, making it worthwhile to focus on a select few relationships.

Handling conflicts one-on-one is more manageable

Dealing with conflicts involving multiple friends can be complicated and emotionally draining. Learning to address conflicts maturely is vital for maintaining long-term friendships. Resolving disagreements directly with the individuals involved, without involving others, fosters growth and enhances friendship quality.

High-quality friendships offer long-lasting trust and connection

Nurturing deep friendships demands time and effort. Building trust and intimacy in relationships is a fulfilling journey that requires dedication. Prioritizing quality friendships ensures that the time invested in nurturing connections is worthwhile and leads to lasting, rewarding relationships.

Investing in high-quality friendships means giving time back to ourselves and our personal goals, connecting with our friends on a deeper level, and building connections that will follow us into the next stage of our lives.

By consciously choosing quality over quantity in my friendships, I’ve experienced profound connections that have enriched my life. The friends I invested in over two years ago recently dropped everything to visit me, highlighting the depth of our bond. These meaningful relationships formed through intention, patience, and thoughtfulness are the ones that truly matter.

While community is significant, seeking quality connections rather than sheer numbers can lead to more fulfilling relationships. Creating a supportive community, whether through shared interests, workplaces, neighborhoods, or other avenues, is crucial for personal well-being. Combining community with deep, meaningful friendships is a rewarding pursuit that requires intention and effort but is ultimately worth it.

Choosing depth over breadth in friendships brings many benefits, allowing for personal growth, meaningful connections, and lasting relationships that shape our lives. Despite initially desiring a larger friend group, I’ve come to value the authentic friendships I have, steering clear of societal pressures to conform to a specific social norm.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *