A few days ago my husband and I were doing some everyday task, and chatting. I was “complaining” at him about people expressing interest in being my friend. I told him that I don’t want too many friends and that I need to slow down my friend-making for a bit. He thought it was funny.
I am actually serious, though. My husband and I share a bunch of friends, which we have over whenever we get a chance on the weekends. I work 7-4:30 most weekdays, and am lucky to be able to cram a workout, decompression time, a shower, and food in after work each day. I don’t have much time to hang out or talk to people on work nights… and then during the weekend, we usually go to one of our family’s houses to see them… and then try to have time to see our friend, or maybe I’ll see one if my friends.
And then, I generally try to get at least one day a week to “hermit” (yes, as a verb). This is necessary time for me to basically chill out and rest without having to worry about anything at all involving people. If I don’t get this time to myself, I tend to get cranky or have a stressful workweek the following week.
I try to be the best friend that I can possibly be, so I don’t like to spread myself too thin. I want to be available for each of my friends to call if they need me. This is a lot easier to do when you only have 4 close friends versus 14, because life happens. People are constantly going through ups and downs, and need varying amounts of support during the time of their lives. I want to be there for each of my friends equally when they need somebody.
Plus, I tend to be picky about who I make friends with anyway. There are very few people (even within my friend group) who I feel comfortable baring my soul to… I don’t necessarily need to feel like I can bare my soul to them, but I do want to be friends with people who care about me and my well-being at least to a certain extent. If it looks like it’s going to be a one sided friendship, I tend to avoid that friendship in the first place.
Anyway, I like to think that I limit my friends for non-selfish reasons. I don’t want my friends to feel like I’m ever avoiding them, but I do need a substantial amount of time to myself. By limiting the number of friendships I have, I have the ability to fully focus on them when they may need me the most.