Monday, January 23, 2012

Do you need more friends?

my card and friendship bracelet from Rachel - yes, I squealed like a teenager when I got it :)

I took a really deep beath and had to be really brave when I blogged that I needed friends.

Because nobody ever says, "I really would like more friends" or "I wish I had a special friend".

Until Rachel in MWF Seeking BFF.

When I stumbled upon her blog I was attracted to this well-adjusted girl who was going around OPENLY admitting she didn't have it all figured out in the friend department.

I love that about her.

That she knew this about herself and was brave enough to put it out there.

And if you spend some time on the blog, you'll see lots and lots of women admitting the same thing.

Me included.

And here I thought I was weird and was the only one who felt that way.

In the book she talks about some formula (and I'm way too lazy to go fetch my Kindle and look through the highlights) by which you calculate your "maximum happy number of friends".

Anyway, this number is 150 social connections.

She did the calculation and it showed that she had space for 20 friends.

Interestingly, I work with a guy (we mentor other people) who said on a course we went on that he only has space for 6 friends in his life at any one time so he doesn't even bother trying to be friendly with more people.

Yes, I was horrified!

There's a kernel of truth because imagine if we just hung onto all our friends from primary school (grade school) and kept gathering and gathering people? I would think the relationships could all only ever be at quite a superficial level.

It's like that fact I learned at a networking course in 2010. I feel I need to put the date because it's obviously changed by now, 18 months later. People have on average 64 friends on FB and only connect and talk to 6 of them. That ratio felt right to me then and still does now.

Of course I'm way too lazy to calculate anything except real money :) BUT I do know I have space for friends.


If you read that post I linked to up at the top, you'll see I took a more passive route to my search for friends early last year (praying and waiting) and then I like to think I ramped it up towards the end of the year by getting off my butt and actually meeting 3 blog friends in person.

It paid off for me because God indeed deepened three friendships, another three got worse (and I don't hurt about them although I should, if that makes any sense) and He brought a wonderful, new friend into my life.

This is besides the blog friends I met in person so all in all a fabulous year, friend-wise.

But over to you.

Have you ever admitted that you need or want more friends?

How many do you think you can handle comfortably?


  1. I've never been great on the friend department, even at school I struggled to form close friendships. I was just never the popular girl others wanted to hang around with. I got along with people, but struggled to really connect. In high school I had 3 very close friends. Unfortunately those 3 friendships are long gone. As adults in South Africa we made some really close friendships too, but because we moved sadly we're not quite so close anymore. We still talk every so often, but the close "best friends" situation is no longer there anymore.

    At the moment I would say I have 2 very close friends who I speak to pretty much every day, 1 (from school) who became a fairly close friend and a few more who I think will eventually become close friends, but they are really new friends.

    I'm happy with how it is right now. There is a real sense of trust, of full acceptance there and it feels right. I take time to really trust people because unfortunately I have also had a few really toxic friendships and got horribly hurt in the process.

    I would be able to have space for more I think.

  2. I have some really close friends who I have "met" through blogging although we have never met. I have another friend I have only spent a couple of hours with, and really connected and can't til they come back to Ireland this year.

    In real life most of my friends are through church, and it is great to have your faith in common with your friends, we can pray and support each other.

    I have however been hurt by some I thought I was close to, but they seemed to "drop" me with no explanation.

    I am always open to meeting new friends - either through blogging or in the real world. (Although blogging is VERY real for me!)

    I was at a conference where they discussed having your blogging tribe - but as yet I only really have the two who I would consider I was that close to.

    What about you? Do you have a blogging "tribe" (support network)?

    If you are up to getting to know another blogger, who happens to live in Ireland, keep me in mind!

  3. i definitely feel like i need more friends, but i only want the ones where the friendship is "easy". by that i mean that i don't want to have to feel guilty for not calling every day, for wanting to spend time with other people, etc. i do have a few friends where we can pick up like no time has passed and i like that. i like those types of relationships. i'm definitely not saying that i don't want to work at relationships, but i don't want any that are filled with guilt. you know?

    i can't wait until i get that book ;)

    (and again with not being able to leave comments! boo!!)

  4. I totally want more friends. Real friends though...not acquaintances.

    I just hope I can be a good friend back. It's hard!

  5. For a long time, I would have told you I have three best from college, in Alabama, and two live here.

    My college friend is like a sister. We obviously don't get to see each other very often (especially since our kiddos were born), but we both make a real effort to keep in touch and support each other.

    One of my friends here, I told her a couple of weeks ago that - aside from my husband - she is the person I can be most honest with of anyone I know. And that's a good feeling.

    For a couple of reasons, my relationship with my third friend is changing. It has been so hard for me to deal with over the past six months.

    And then I have my mommy friends. I wouldn't classify any of them as "best" friends, but I really value being able to hang out with them, confide in them about a lot of things, and just relax from similar circumstances.

    With the exception of my third friend...and I really hope that situation will right itself one day...I am pretty happy in the "best friend" department.

    I would love to have more friends in the "social" department (does that make sense?). At the same time, though, my free time is pretty limited at this stage in my life, so I don't know how good of a friend I would really be.

    I do feel really connected to my blog friends, though. I never would have anticipated that, before I started blogging, but it really is true. In such a forum, you can eventually meet those people with whom you share certain core's just a shame we don't live closer! ;)

    Can't wait to read the book!

  6. I think becoming a parent has made me a hermit. Seriously, my friends have to practically drag me out of the house to socialize. When friends call, I get annoyed and wonder why can't they just text me.

    I guess it's because I have very limited free time and in the evenings, I just want to melt into the sofa and read a good book or watch some mindless television.

    With that said, I do have a handful of good friends who I adore. We all get one another and I know I can count on them for whatever I needed.

    I don't think I could handle too many friends right now, which is why I keep my circle of friends fairly small.

  7. I'm definitely in the 'need friends' department. Thinking back, I've always only had one or two bff and, like it's always said, "old friends are hard to make", and those two bffs are far away now.
    I always imagine that once we're finally parents it'll somehow be easier to meet friends because I/we will actually be in a category that has other people in it. Haha, except that, by the time we're parents, the other parents with kids our kid's age will be at least 15 to 20 years younger than us.
    The new couple of friends I've made are not close friends, really. It really is much harder when you're older.

  8. I can't bend my head around having a specific predetermined ideal number of friends.

    I have friends. Some I hardly ever see but I know that when I do there won't be any awkwardness and it will be like we've seen each other just yesterday, even if it's been years!

    I don't panic or kill myself trying to get to everybody I consider a friend. when they're meant to be there they are, and people know that I will be too.

    What I do miss is "the one" that you share everything with. And I do mean everything. In a way I guess Sean is that person for me because with the exception if Nicola he's the only other person I speak to every sibgle day and about anything. Anything except him - hahaha - which is why I guess I still feel I need that one. ;-)

  9. I have to be honest with you and say that in real life, I find it very, very hard to open up to people. Which means that I don't really have many friends.

    People who know me say that once you get to know me, I am this "wonderful" person, but in actual fact, I have a very bad habit of being "sort of posessive" over friends, which I have learned in the past few years to let go off, but also means to me that I don't really have a close friend any more. I have a lot of acquaintances on Facebook, a lot of blog friends (who I really connect with through my blog), school acquaintances who thinks we are the worlds best friends and obviously then family.

    I love the fact that my hubby is my bestest of best friends, and although there is a lot of womanly stuff he might not always understand, there is so much other things he makes up for, the rest, I have my blog buddies to ask advice and confide in ;)

  10. I've told my husband twice or thrice that I need more friends but nowadays, I'm comfortable with the amount of friends we have.

  11. Oh I really do need new friends but am finding time a huge stress on my seeking for friends. BTW we should really meet again this year and I do count you as one of my true friends.

  12. I have lots of friends, but I think it's because I don't really categorise it. So the boundary between friends and acquaintances is very blurred for me. I "get" different things from each friendship, some friends give me adventure, some help me analyse emotions, some I go to with spiritual conversation. Some friendships are superficial, and there's space for that too. I don't expect any one person to encompass all those things. I never judge friendships or have expectations, I just let them be how they are. If I don't have enough in common with a person, it will eventually fizzle out naturally, no need for an action to be taken. I do have one quite "high maintenance" friend, and that can be tough, she needs me to be a lot of things to her and she's not open to meeting other people. I find her hard work at times. I would love to see her have a breakthrough and realise that the whole world is full of wonderful people to be friends with!

  13. I know that I need more "family" friends - like people with husbands and babies and who want to have cookouts. I have three real best friends - and we always joke that three is the limit! :)

  14. I've been thinking since I commented on this post last I saying I'm A-OK in the friend department? Not exactly.

    I think the biggest thing that's missing - apart from things settling with my one friend (which is huge) - is "couple" friends.

    As a married couple, we've never really had another couple that we liked to get together with...all four of us. J and I might get together with one of my friends and her hubby, but I long to have a situation in which my friend's hubby is friends with J, too.

    And on that note, it really saddens me that J doesn't have many friends. He has a life-long best friend, but he lives 7 hours away. They talk every couple of weeks, but we don't see him often. I have tried encouraging J to get together with someone from work...or invite another family over...but he just doesn't act on it.

    As much as I enjoy the opportunity to meet my friends for coffee a couple of times a month, I really wish Hubby had the opportunity to make that kind of connection. I know it would be so good for him, and ultimately, us.

  15. I actually dont think I do want more friends - I dont actively avoid making friends but this year is about focusing on the ones I already have.

    I say this because like your colleague I dont have time to give each friend the attention I feel the deserve. I would rather have a handful of friends who I spend quality time with and enjoy that trying to get to 100 friends but rushing the time we have.

    Does that make sense?

    David and I are totally opposite on this and it has made for a fun wedding list - he wants people he hasnt ever mentioned to me cos they are his "friend" and I am saying but we have been together for 3 years and we have never seen them?

    I suppose it depends on your definition of friendship to a large extent!

  16. I just LOVE your friendship insights. I MUST get that book. I was always more of a quality vs quantity kind of girl. But, I am open to MORE friends now. In fact, MORE is the new black...LOL.
    I have no idea how much I can handle. I'll just keep going until it gets too much?


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