18 Advantages of Having Fewer Friends

In today’s society where the number of Facebook “friends” a person has is often used as a point of pride, huge social circles and a phone full of numbers can seem like the holy grail of socializing. But we shouldn’t underestimate the value of having fewer friends, particularly for the less extroverted among us. We’ve collected 18 excellent reasons why ‘quality over quantity’ might be preferable when it comes to friendships.

Deeper Connections

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No one can expect to make deep, meaningful connections with hundreds of people at once, so why not concentrate on a few cherished individuals that fit your personality and lifestyle the best? Psychology Today says this leads to deeper bonds with a select few and more ‘quality time’ with your favorite people.

Greater Trust

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Forbes asserts that trust is crucial to successful relationships, including making and keeping close friends. Trust is easier to establish and maintain with fewer friends because you have more time and emotional energy to invest in each one. In short, everyone needs a bestie they can rely on!

Less Drama

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People generate drama, so it makes sense that fewer people means less drama. With a tighter, more trusted social circle, you have less chance of encountering a ‘drama queen’ and are much less likely to be caught up in gossip or conflict- making for more harmonious friendships (Snapreads Magazine).

More Time for Self-Care

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True friends are worthy of your time and assistance, but having too many can lead to insufficient time to focus on yourself. You’re a person too, so ditch the mob of acquaintances and focus on a few favorites, and you’ll have more time for personal growth and self-care, something Verywell Mind recommends for overall well-being.

Greater Emotional Support

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Close friends provide the most reliable and effective emotional support during challenging times. The Mayo Clinic states, “You may feel a greater sense of belonging and well-being by nurturing close, meaningful relationships that will support you through thick and thin.” Such friends will be more encouraging, helpful, and emphatic.

Better Communication

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Ah, communication- the key to every good relationship! By having fewer friendships, you will be able to communicate more effectively with the friends you do have, says Medium. This is because you have more time, not so many distractions, and fewer obligations to others.

Reduced Stress

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Having a huge number of friends may sound awesome, but it can be stressful and hard to manage. The American Psychological Association also reports that talking to a close friend (as opposed to a mere acquaintance) has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, blood pressure, and anxiety.

Selective Influence

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The National Library of Medicine states that your social circle profoundly impacts decision-making and contentment, particularly during adolescence. Surrounding yourself with a select few positive influences will prevent you from being confused or negatively impacted by the opinions and behaviors of less genuine friends.

Increased Loyalty

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Close friends are not only more likely to offer support through tough times but tend to be more consistent and devoted. During challenging times, when you rely on your friendships the most, a few loyal friends are more likely to ride out the storm with you and less likely to vanish when times get tough.

Higher Quality Time Together

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Having too many friendships at once can lead to ‘spreading yourself too thin,’ making the experiences you have interacting with your friends shallower and less fulfilling (Hindustan Times). Heartfelt conversations and shared adventures take time and effort, so try concentrating on having such moments with a few special people.

Improved Mental Health

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Mental Health First Aid explains that our mental well-being improves when we have meaningful connections and close friendships. Good friends increase our self-confidence and overall happiness by reducing feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression.

Enhanced Productivity

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Fewer, close friendships offer better support and increased motivation, while requiring less time and energy to maintain. This means we have more time to concentrate on work, other hobbies, projects, or personal goals. Good friends also provide much-needed encouragement!

Healthy Life Balance

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Having fewer people to worry about and account for means fewer expectations, demands on your time, and unwanted social obligations. Everyday Health reveals that the social ‘sweet spot’ is around 3-6 close friends; studies show this number provides a perfect life balance.

Less Social Pressure

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We should all be able to feel free to be ourselves. This means that you should have confidence in yourself to decide what you want to wear, what music you like, what religion you follow, and so on. When you have a smaller social circle, there is less pressure to conform to other people’s values and fewer expectations or unwanted opinions.

Focused Attention

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When you are a part of smaller social group, it’s easier to give attention to each person. This will provide you with stronger and more fulfilliong relationships because you’re able to engage more deeply with each of your friend’s lives.

Less Social Fatigue

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Having fewer friends means you won’t get the dreaded social fatigue. Without the pressure of having to keep up with a large social network, it’s easier to enjoy parties, events, and social interactions. You’ll also feel less drained at the end of the day.

Quality Over Quantity

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A close circle of friends usually means that your relationships are of a much higher quality. You can invest more time into each of your friends and you’ll develop stronger and more meaningful connections. This means that you can all provide better emotional support and your friendships will become stronger and more valuable.

Reflects Personal Values

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Choosing to have fewer friends can be a reflection of personal values and priorities. It allows you to align your social life with what you find most important, whether that’s deep connections, shared interests, or mutual support and understanding.

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