A few years ago, one of my closest friends stopped talking to me. She just stopped. When I asked why, she simply said, "You have too many friends." Too many friends? Seriously?
I didn't really understand what she meant until now.
I focused so much of my energy on saying hi to everyone, meeting everyone, impressing everyone, being friends with everyone. I was so focused on establishing these surface-level relationships that I didn't have the energy to dig deeper.
Think about it this way: you have a bucket filled with a finite volume of water and 10 smaller, empty buckets. You can choose to fill each of these with a small amount of water, or you can opt to fill 3 of them to the brim. The same goes for relationships; if you divide your love and energy amongst all you meet, you will be left with several friendships hanging on by threads. If you choose instead to give your all to a few, you will reap the benefits of a select number of strong, unbreakable bonds.
Which will you choose?
As I said, I have a history of choosing the weaker option. I'd like to make it clear that I wholeheartedly regret this. I wish I had the heart to let some friends go, and the strength to hold others a little closer. I guess what I'm trying to say by sharing this with you is to avoid making the same mistakes I did:
1. Stop wasting your energy.
Why continue to exhaust yourself over something that doesn't make YOU happy? If you give everything you have to someone and it's not reciprocated or they walk away, at least you have the peace of mind in knowing there was nothing else you could have done.
2. Fights are healthy.
Every friendship will be challenged by disagreements at some point. Don't let that scare you away; these miscommunications and arguments only prove the strength of bonds that don't break under pressure.
3. Quality over quantity.
It's rare to find friends whose presence just makes you happy to be alive. If you find one, two, or a few of those people, don't let them go. If they make you happy, why look further?
4. Don't forget to say "I love you".
Your friends need to know you appreciate them, just as you need to know they appreciate you. Maybe straight-up saying "I love you" isn't your style and you'd rather give a pat on the back or send a "drive safe" text. Regardless, remember to remind those special people just how special they are to you.
5. Nurture the friendships that help you grow
The best relationships - platonic or romantic - help you find your best self. You should never feel like a friendship is degrading your character, morphing your morals, or changing your behavior in any way other than what you feel is right. Plant your roots in whatever it is that keeps you seeing the sun.