You gotta have friends

I don’t have a lot of friends.  I know a lot of people, but I don’t have a lot of friends.  This has been true my entire life, and probably because of a variety of factors:

  1. I have wildly high expectations of people (myself included).  This isn’t always good or healthy, and in recent years I have learned to cut people some slack, to recognize that humans are imperfect, and to accept mistakes as part of the process of living.  Still, I continue to have moderated high expectations of people.  And I don’t necessarily think this is bad – but it can limit the friendship field a bit.
  2. I share my soul with the people I consider my friends.  I reveal everything, hide nothing, and explore the reality of situations.  I expose my heart, and I ask my friends to survey the landscape with me.  And doing this often requires that the other person dig deep inside themself, too – and possibly risk probing around areas that might be uncomfortable to explore.  This kind of raw, unfiltered honesty can frighten and/or intimidate some people; many people would prefer to have a superficial conversation as opposed to a deep one.  And that’s completely fine for them – but not for me.  So this second factor of complete honesty and deep curiosity can also reduce the potential friendship pool.
  3. I’m a pretty hardcore introvert.  (And a quick introvert/extrovert lesson: Being an introvert simply means that I get more energy from internal means than external ones.  So, I need “alone time” to recharge, refuel, and feel good.  People are fun, but to introverts they are also draining.  I can last about 90 minutes at a large party [2 hours if I’m having a good time], and then I’m spent; all my energy is zapped out of me, and I need to get away, be alone, and get restored.  I’m not a shy person [hopefully this blog has cleared that up for anyone who was questioning] 😉 and I’m not afraid to speak in public, or to be around other people, or to leave my house, or anything like that… I just need alone time [and sometimes lots of it] in order to feel grounded, and energized, and whole.)

So I don’t have a lot of friends, but that’s actually okay with me.  I do have friends; and the friends I have are amazing.  They are high-quality, make-me-think, have-my-best-interests-at-heart, genuinely-care-about-me, tickle-my-insides-and-delight-my-soul kinds of people.  The people I am fortunate to call friends I strongly value, deeply cherish, and genuinely love.

Today, I had lunch with one of my friends.  Our time together was brief, relatively speaking (only 50 minutes); but in that near-hour, I smiled broadly and authentically.  I laughed, several times.  I reflected on meaningful topics of conversation.  My own thinking was challenged; and I also challenged back.  I spoke my truth, and felt completely comfortable doing so.  I was unfiltered, unabashed, unmitigated.  I was ‘me’, in the most authentic sense of the word.  And I felt 1000% comfortable, being ‘me’.  And that, that is the gift of a genuine, deep, trusting friendship.  My lunch today was amazing.  My friend is amazing.  My good fortune to have so many good people in my life is amazing.



About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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16 Responses to You gotta have friends

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    What is there to say?
    Just YES


  2. Christine says:

    Stef, get out of my head!! Your post is eerily relatable…


    • Stef says:

      I think many of my experiences actually aren’t uniquely “mine”, but are rather personalized reflections of the broader common human condition we all share… and are therefore relatable to different people. I’m glad you are one of them. 🙂


  3. They say it’s not the number of friends you have but the quality of the friends you have. I have a small group of friends too and I am fine with that because they are the best! 🙂


  4. barb19 says:

    I know exactly what you mean Stef, and you are very fortunate to have a handful of quality friends with whom you can be yourself, be totally comfortable and at ease with.
    I have three friends like that and I value them like gold – I always feel fulfilled and elated after spending time with them – in fact, I feel energized!
    Hold on to friends like this – they are precious.


    • Stef says:

      Barb, they really are precious. I treasure them, and feel so blessed to have them in my life. I’m delighted to hear that you have a few friends like this, too. They are wonderful! 🙂


  5. Beautiful. I totally agree – I only have a few very close friends, but they are absolutely amazing people who I know I can depend on 100% and totally be myself with. Cheers to good friends!


  6. Joss says:

    Are you sure I didn’t write this post? so my comment can only be ‘ditto’.
    walk in beauty.


  7. Hi Stef,
    I can relate to this, you’ve read some of my thoughts.
    be good to yourself


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