Friendship is not a mere word, a bond or just a relationship label for that matter. It is a commitment. A commitment which a group of people makes to always have each other’s back, to always support each other through thick and thin, and to never ever let the others in their group feel lonely. These people are called your friends.

Friends… Now, this is a word which manages to bring a subtle smile on all our faces. What would we even do without friends? Have you ever given it a thought? We all have friends now, don’t we? But, the number of friends we have, varies from person to person and our age too. When we were younger, we used to say that the whole class of 40 students is our friend. Gradually we grow up and we realize what the term friend actually means.

Now, there are 3 types of people. First, we have the Social butterflies. These are the people who talk to everyone. They are always the center of attraction and you can always find them at parties or with different groups. Next comes moderately social people. The people who have a decent amount of friends and a good number of acquaintances. Lastly, but probably most importantly, we have the designated loners. The people who prefer to remain in their bubble with very few friends. These are the people who say that they prefer solitude over the company. And here is where we commit a big mistake. Do you know what we do? We believe them! We believe them when they say that they are strong enough to handle shit on their own.

But you know what guys? Rewind back, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years… Look back and try to locate these people in your past. Who knows maybe once, even they were popular? Once, even they had a whole load of friends. People who supposedly had their backs. But alas! They were stabbed in their very back by their so-called friends. And this brings me to my answer. Disappointment. It is one of the major reasons why some people choose to have fewer friends. 

Jodi Picoult once quoted, “Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”  And never, in my 17 years of existence, have I seen something which hit so deep. People disappoint us and it is then we realize that it is better to have few friends who truly reciprocate our feelings than a whole load of apparent friends who shy away at the first stroke of darkness. We need and deserve people who would go to the ends of the earth for us. You know why? Because we would be willing to do the same for them!

We all wish to have someone with whom we can share our joys and sorrows, someone who will be there for us through the ups and downs of life. Friends, in short, are our extended family. No one likes to be alone. No matter how much anyone says, they simply don’t prefer solitude.

Another reason for having fewer friends would be that you don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not when you have a tight group of close friends. Because these are the people are the ones who would love you for just being you and not some made up version which you may present to the entire world.

Also, people who have a low tolerance for drama prefer to keep fewer friends because, the fewer people you are surrounded with, the less drama you have to endure. Lastly, but most important, the amount of people you are surrounded with is directly proportional to the amount of fakeness you have to endure in your life. The more real you get, the smaller your circle gets. In these 17 years, if there is one thing that life has taught me, it is that the ecstasy of having a few real friends beats the thrill of having a huge group of people who are not even your true friends.   

 Shreya Vijay


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