Lots of friends vs Few good friends

When I was in high school and university, I had lots of friends.  These people were important in my life then because they were people I knew and hung out with everyday and had fun with. Knowing lots of people and hanging around them doesn’t mean that I was popular. I was simply just part of a crowd.

As the years have gone by, I have noticed that my “friends” have fallen neatly into 4 different categories (including new people I meet):

#1 – Close friends. These are the few friends that I kept in touch with and feel comfortable speaking to them about my feelings. They are people I can rely on if I need help.  A few of my close friends are relatives as well like my cousins. I have friends in this category who live overseas and we don’t see or speak to each other often, but still consider each other close friends.

#2 – Normal friends. These are the friends that I occasionally meet up, call or email with but don’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing my heart with. They are friends to hang out with when I want to have a good time. I feel comfortable being myself around these friends.

#3 – Extended friends. These are friends I meet with when someone organizes a big gathering (eg a reunion) or when a friend from group #1 or #2 above attends as well so I tag along.  Or they may be work colleagues that I see often but don’t feel like letting down my guard because of the need to act professional. Some of these people are people whom I may not want to say hi to if I saw them on the street and vice versa, so to avoid an awkward conversation. I may have them on Facebook or MSN but by no means talk to more than once a year.

#4 – Acquaintances. These are people who I have newly met or have met many years ago but don’t know well at all.  They are the people who if I see them face-to-face, I may just give them a knowing smile. I work at a big organisation within a small industry so many colleagues and work contacts fit into this category.

I used to wonder if there was something lacking in my life when I saw shows like Sex and the City or How I Met Your Mother where a group of close friends hang out a lot.  I never had that. My close friends don’t know each other and the funny thing is they probably won’t gel well if they did.  I always found it awkward getting a group of friends who don’t know each other together especially if I know that they are very different people and am sure that they won’t get along. I never liked going to my friend’s parties where a whole big group of random people get together and never see each other again. It is so awkward making small talk..etc so I don’t want to do that to my friends.

As I grow older, I feel satisfied that I don’t have lots of friends or one big group of close friends. Just a few quality friends here and there is enough. Do you agree? I would love to have your views. How many best friends do you have?

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6 Responses to Lots of friends vs Few good friends

  1. angrygaijin says:

    Yeah that’s interesting. I’ve thought about it a lot myself.

    I think these days it’s hard to really have a group of close friends who all know each other and hang out with each other. I have a few (3 or so) best friends, I guess, and then other extended or normal friends who I might see in a group if there is some sort of gathering or something. But must of us are friends from high school and only hang out now because of that. That is to say, after high school, there’s little chance at work or university to form groups etc I think. But I even now a lot of us are doing our own things and maybe don’t meet as much as we did.

    So I agree that having a few quality close friends and family is an excellent way to go.

    ..lol, I’m tired…did that make sense?

    • ACW says:

      Yes lol it made a lot of sense 🙂 So do you see your 3 best friends often and do they know each other?

      • angrygaijin says:

        Phew! I kept re-reading my post to see if I was making any sense at all.

        Yeah, they know each other… and two of them will hang out with me in a group. But we don’t really see each other all too often because of distance or because we’re all doing our own stuff career-wise, etc.

        • angrygaijin says:

          But it’s definitely not like a (in terms I can better understand) ‘Friends’ or ‘Seinfeld’ group where we’re all hanging out together and everyone is friends.

        • ACW says:

          Yea….I’ve always wanted to understand whether ‘Friends’ or ‘Seinfeld’ group of friends is realistic? Do people really meet up so often and have such a close group of friends? Maybe its just for a good show because they don’t seem to have any time for themselves…haha

  2. angrygaijin says:

    Yeah for sure I think that the ‘Friends’ thing is not so usual, at least in our age of globalization and social technology, of people being further spread out through a city, country, or even the planet.

    In Friends and Seinfeld it doesn’t really seem like anybody has a job or works either, lol.

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