Quality over quantity. We’ve all heard this phrase before, but the older I get the more I see the importance of it in my relationships. Every year, I notice my circle of friends growing smaller and, for a while, I thought that maybe I was doing something wrong. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the only thing I am guilty of is getting smarter, and with that wisdom, I have learned that when it comes to friends, it is quality over quantity.
Our generation is one that is highly focused on numbers. We base our self-worth off of the number on the scale, or the number of Twitter followers we have, or the number of likes we received on a horribly filtered Instagram photo. So it makes sense that while we are young, the number of friends we have also plays a factor into our own personal score card.
In high school, everyone wanted to be popular. There was no such thing as being too popular, and even if you were part of the select elite of the high school cool crowd, you always wanted more. Popularity is based on the number of friends you have, not the character of these friends or how they treat you; just the number. If you have a lot of friends you have a lot of plans. If you have a lot of plans, you have a lot of cool things to share on social media. If you have a lot of cool things on social media, you have a lot of likes. You see, it is one big cycle, and before I gained my newfound wisdom, it was all based on quantity rather than quality.
This carried over into freshman year of college. Sure, we had grown up, but now we had to start all over. We had to ensure that our cool factor didn’t drop now that we were starting fresh and we pushed ourselves into forced friendships. We wanted to know about weekend plans, wanted to be included in trips to the mall or downtown, and to do so, we made friends for quantity. It didn’t matter that we had nothing in common with the people we spent our Friday nights with; all that mattered was that there was a group of us and we felt like part of something. The quantity made up for the lack of quality in our friendships, and that was okay.
But then you start getting older and you begin to realize that in actuality, quantity is nothing but a number. And because of this, your circle will grow smaller. At first it will feel like you are losing friends, like it is your fault and you don’t know why. But eventually you will realize that now you only want to be around quality people, people like yourself, people who understand you and care about you and don’t just want to use you to take a cute Instagram photo with. You learn that it is more important to have a few really great people in your life, dependable and genuine ones, rather than a whole lot of people who are just sub par.
When you keep a small circle of friends, your stress levels decrease drastically. It is simple math: less people means less drama. You have a few people that you can trust instead of a bunch who will lie to you, talk behind your back, and ultimately hurt you, because you were just a number to them and not really a friend.
Someone once said, “Make sure everybody in your boat is rowing and not drilling holes when you’re not looking.” Once you find your true group of friends, you will never have to worry about anyone drilling holes; they will always be right beside you rowing because they care about you and your relationship.
So if you are like me and are finding your circle growing smaller, don’t have a panic attack. It is a good thing! You are making relationships based off of quality instead of quantity and you will be much happier because of it.