Anyone who has ever had a fight with, been hurt by or simply gotten bored of a friend may ask themselves: why do I even bother? After all, you actually get to choose your friends. On this, why not just choose other ones?
I have been guilty of having a tendency towards lonerism. The polite term is “introvert.”
I recently had to take a hard look at my friendships. It hurts to admit it, but some of them were no longer serving me. Whether I felt constantly used or ignored, or just unable to be truly open with them, I realised it was time to let go of some of them.
With some other friendships though, I was not willing to give up. I realised that with many of my friends; I tend to only get to a certain level of intimacy. We might talk about our lives; vent about problems, and be good company for movies and parties to name. But it never used to go much further than that. When I was in trouble emotionally or stressed out of my brain, I would deal with it myself rather than “be a nuisance.”
But only sharing good times and a few trivial complaints is not what friendship - deep and intimate friendship, is really about. That closeness comes from a place of vulnerability. Sure, your wit and charm may attract great people into your life. But if you don’t work on it, like any other relationship, it will stagnate and remain shallow.
Once I made room in my life, I also was lucky enough to have new people enter it. I have called them my "soul sisters." For the first time in my life, I have learned the art of being vulnerable, and made the kind of bonds I used to constantly envy between others. It has taken some practise, and I still work on it daily. But now, if something is bothering me, I pick up the phone. If I need something, I ask them for it. If they hurt me or are inconsiderate, I tell them. They do the same for me, and I am truly happy to listen.
When it comes to friendship, quality trumps quantity no question. Ask yourself these questions:
"How good are my current friendships?" "Are these people the type I want to share my life with?" "Do they make me feel safe, inspired and loved?"
If the answers are yes, consider yourself very lucky indeed. If it’s no, then keep looking. Being independent is one thing, but being able to share yourself with your closest friends is what makes life wonderful.
There needs to be a balance between giving and receiving in a friendship.
Friendships are relationships - they require effort and nurturing
If you're feeling miserable in a friendship; move on gracefully.