“I don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends to be certain of.”
We all have different social circles. And more importantly, we have different sizes of those social circles.
Certain people find it easy enough to communicate in a large group of people, say half a dozen or so. I don’t have that capability. I have often tried entering such social groups, but for me it has always been a dull experience.
I admit, being a part of a large group has its advantages. You get to know the views and opinions of different people, get exposure to information about different subjects, and possibly build better connections which may help you in future. But for me, these perks aren’t lucrative enough.
Whenever I have interacted in groups larger than three or four, I have faced certain problems. One of the most infuriating ones is the lack of attention given to each person.
In a group of three, all the people get the chance to be there. They get to participate actively in the group. The persons will talk to each other specifically. You, as an individual, are noticed. Your opinion is asked for. Your views are considered. However, in larger groups there is no such concern. Unless you’re the one doing the talking, no one really notices you. Instead of a discussion between people, the situation begins to resemble that of an audience and a performer.
I feel that there is a lack of personal relevance in bigger groups. In a gathering of three or four people, you constitute more than a quarter of the entire group. If you decide to leave, people will notice you. They may ask you to stay a while longer, they may not. But you don’t just fade away. In larger groups, however, you could disappear and it is unlikely that people would notice you’re gone. Call me crazy, but the value of my presence matters to me. If people aren’t affected by your presence, then they’re not worth spending your time with.
“Not everywhere we fit is where we belong.”
It’s not that I have just two or three friends, or that I recommend that number to be the ideal amount. No, it’s simply that I believe instead of adding all your friends to one group, it’s more comfortable to have multiple groups with a small number of people. Your number of friends would still remain the same, but you get to interact with each other on a more personal basis. Of course, it is possible that others may not agree; I do need my opinion to be unanimously accepted by everyone. I am simply pointing out the less used methods of socializing and mentioning their advantages.
Probably the most of important aspect of your social circle, and undoubtedly the most difficult one, is choosing your friends. The thing you have to watch out for are those people that are there when they need you and disappear when it’s the other way round.
When I, for instance, choose my friends, I do not bother about whether or not other people consider them a good influence. I do not care for their views, for more often than not, they are judgmental. I do not need my friend to be an excellent learner, or the most courteous person. I don’t need to gain anything by my friendship. My criterion of choosing friends is not impacted by such views of the society. Rather it depends on the person’s fulfillment of my conditions.
I keep in mind two deciding factors when choosing my friends. The burden of the two conditions is evenly divided, and both are essential for a person to be my friend.
1) The person should be entertaining, and I should feel comfortable around him or her. This responsibility lies on the other person. It is up to him to be interesting and facilitate a friendly atmosphere.
2) I must be of considerable importance to that person. If a person does not value my presence and company, then he is treating me as an acquaintance rather than a friend, and I will reciprocate in a similar manner. The responsibility of being important in the other person’s life falls on me.
There is hardly any universal formula for drawing your social circle and deciding who would be in it. But I hope that what I’ve talked about helps you in making one most suitable for yourself.