I Don’t Need More Than A Few Close Friends

For me a small few who understand me on a deep level replenishes me.

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I’m going to start by saying that people aren’t lining up around the block to be in my crew — at least not that I know of. I’m a homebody, maybe a little stand-offish sometimes. I don’t like big gatherings, I don’t like to party, and I’d choose the corner of my couch on a Friday night over virtually anything else. And while I’ve pretty much always been this way, the last three years have only intensified my feelings. So while some people love their long list of bridesmaids and besties, I prefer a very small circle of close knit allies. Just a couple of real, steady, foxhole people who become my lifelines. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because in this life stage, having four kids under the age of ten and pushing my 40s, exhaustion and stress are plentiful. I need to do whatever I can to maximize my sanity and replenish my energy. Which for me means minimizing people. People are complicated for me as a hyper-sensitive introvert. Interactions can be difficult and loaded. I wish I could be someone who loved group gatherings, large celebrations, and a huge friend group, but I am not. It’s just too much.

For me a small few who understand me on a deep level replenishes me. I need one-on-one relationships that lack potential dramas of a group dynamic. I am grateful I finally know what I need, and have found a way to create a friendship network that feels really special and supportive. I think I spent too long pretending I liked large groups and it just wasn’t for me.

Never having a packed social calendar or multiple group text threads to respond to helps to keep my stress low. Instead I have found daily calls and periodic walks with a couple of wonderful people who now feel more like family ground me. A recent study suggests it take just one meaningful conversation a day to make you happy. Sounds like I’m on to something.

My friends’ support lifts me up everyday. Because my circle is so small, my people always know what is going on and they’ve always got my back. It’s a quiet, also introverted, selection of allies that walk through life with me in a way that feels comfortable and safe. And I truly could not do it without them.

Sometimes I feel a little odd, watching so many around me enjoy the company of huge, loving social events and thriving while juggling a multitude of non-familial relationships. I often wonder if there is something wrong with me — something that causes me to miss out on social opportunities for fun and joy. But then I remember that joy looks different for all of us. And while it may not look grande, loud, or crowded, I have found mine. And for that, I feel very lucky.

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.