I was reading a few posts on what it really means to have real friends as compared to actual acquaintances.
In one post, some guy invited around 30-40 people that he knew to his 21st. These were the people that he still hung around with at college. He made a reservation at a bar at 10.30, but not even one single person showed up by 1.30. And not one person even texted him saying that they couldn’t make it, even though he had reminded them and asked where the hell everybody was. It would be so brutal and crushing to have everybody bail and ditch on you like that.
And one person replied with:
That’s the difference between friends and acquaintances though. There are a ton of people I constantly encounter professionally and personally who I get on great with and even grab lunch with on occasion and talk about personal stuff.
If I’m in the hospital will a single one of them come see me? Will they come to my house for a meal or drinks? Will they come grab a movie with me? NOPE. These people are NOT my friends. These are people that interact with me in specific situations where they encounter me, like work or at social occasions where we know the same people.
Moreso when you’re young is this important to understand. Familiarity and regular contact do not = friendship. You’re classmates are around you thanks to the school system. The people in your college dorm are there because that’s where students live.
In reality people have very few friends. People who care about you and who will go out of their way to involve themselves in your life, and you theirs. This is even true of the people who seem to be surrounded by people all the time.
Have you ever lived in a wealthy area where everyone is sickeningly friendly to one another? Watch when one persons finances collapses and they have to move away. The entire community will discard them and forget about them faster than the chewing gum wrapper they binned earlier.
I learned this lesson early (thankfully not because of a specific painful incident like yours though) and since then I have 2 good friends, and the rest I see for what they are - fairweather acquaintances who fit into my life in a very particular set of circumstances and who will be gone just as easily.
That’s just life!
i’m sure that I’m not the only one, but the amount of true friends that I have would probably be less than a handful. I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing though - as long as you’re happy, the number of friends never matters. I always prefer being in a small-group rather than a larger one. The bigger challenge is to just accept yourself. The person I have to hang out all the time with in this life is myself, after all. .
It’s definitely not the best feeling to be alone at times, but I find that just accepting yourself for the way you are and to be happy with yourself makes you stronger anyway. When I was little I used to struggle with the fact that I never had lots and lots and lots of friends - seeing so much on Facebook, back in the day, didn’t help me either. Now I am much more comfortable when I’m by myself and being happy with the few friends I have at the moment.
It’s also probably why I’ve begun to give less and less of a shit what other people perceive of me. If happiness is conditional on other people’s actions and opinions then I would never be content.