Michal Walther
June 28, 2016 10:52 am
NBC

I’ve never had a vast network of friends, and for a long time, that bothered me. For years, I made the mistake of correlating my friend-count with my worth. I would watch shows like How I Met Your Mother and Friends and wonder why I didn’t have the kinds of friendships they did. I would analyze the various characters on each show and compare them to myself. It didn’t take me long to accumulate a long list of reasons as to why I didn’t have many friends.

I assumed that something was wrong with me — I must not be cool, pretty, or outgoing enough. I didn’t possess that “best friend” quality, whatever it is. Sure, I had a few friends, but I still considered myself unwanted and an outcast because I wasn’t like the people on the TV shows I watched. The friends I had didn’t want to hang out with me every day, and I didn’t want to either; not to mention, we didn’t have a special bar or hangout place. I was doing friendship all wrong.

It’s taken me years to learn that I will probably never have a sizable group of really close friends. I’ll most likely only ever have one or two friends, but that’s not because I’m unwanted or unworthy of friendship; it’s because I’m an introvert and can’t manage to have more than a few friends at a time, and that’s not something to be ashamed of. As an introvert, I require a lot of alone time as it’s how I regain my energy. I would much rather have one or two friends whom I can invest wholeheartedly in than a large group of friends where the relationship status always remains mediocre at best because I’m simply too mentally and emotionally exhausted.

It’s important to know that one scenario is not better than the other. Just because I prefer to only have a few friends doesn’t mean that you’re wrong for having a lot of them. I used to think that having a lot of friends meant that you were cooler and more valuable to society. However, I don’t think that’s actually the case. How many friends you have has absolutely nothing to do with your value. We have value because we’re human, no exception.

We have to stop using TV shows, movies, and social media as references for how our lives should be. So many of the pictures and captions we see have been fabricated. Instead, let’s start focusing on what our individual selves require and turn our attention away from how others are living their life. I’m okay with not having a long list of friends, because if I did that wouldn’t really be me. The true me loves having just a few close friends. And that’s okay.

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