Friendships play an important role in our lives, providing emotional support, company, and personal growth.
And whilst some people prefer to have a wide circle of acquaintances, others prefer to focus on developing a smaller, more intimate group of close friends.
Being popular and having a ton of casual friends might feel fun and exciting, but will it add value to your life?
That’s why in this article, we’ll explore the reasons why having a few close friends is better than having many acquaintances.
1) Deeper connections
One of the first reasons why having a few close friends is better than a lot of acquaintances is that you can form much deeper connections!
Here’s the thing, if you’re spending time with 20 different people, how much can you actually get to know them?
On the other hand, if you have a small group of very close friends, there’s an opportunity to get to know each other much more intimately.
You spend enough time to know each other’s histories, likes and dislikes, vulnerabilities, and much more.
But when you’re spreading yourself thin across multiple groups of people, you only scratch the surface!
So, whilst it feels nice to be popular and have lots of people to call up when you want to party or go for a drink, in the long run, these relationships might not stand the test of time.
2) More chances of growth
Another reason it’s better to have a small group of friends rather than many acquaintances is that your own personal growth will benefit…
Just as I mentioned in the last point, when you get to know people on a deeper level, and you start opening up to them, you’ll actually discover a lot about yourself in the process.
Not to mention, good friends will encourage you to be your best self because they know you, they know what you’ve been through, and they want to see you do well in life.
They’ll offer constructive criticism and support, and they won’t be afraid to challenge you on limiting beliefs!
Acquaintances, on the other hand, won’t invest in you in the same way.
Sure, they’ll be fun to hang out with on a casual basis, but you could miss out on those deeper conversations that you can only have with people who truly understand and know you.
3) Trust and loyalty
Now, there’s no denying that building trust and loyalty takes time.
When you only have a few close friends, you’re likely to see them in different phases of life – through the good and the bad.
You know you can trust people when their loyalty withstands the trials and tribulations of life.
However, with acquaintances, you’re probably not going to experience all these rollercoasters of life together.
You don’t have the same depth to the relationships, which means you probably won’t turn to them in your times of need (and vice versa).
That’s why it can be harder to build trust with them (and why it’s better to focus on just a few close friends who you can rely on).
4) Quality time
There’s a major difference between hanging out and “passing the time”, and actually spending quality time with people.
The former can be done with pretty much anyone you get along with.
The latter is done when you get to know people intimately and spend time enjoying their company, but also developing the relationship and strengthening the roots.
That’s what quality time does, and it’s much easier to have that with close friends rather than acquaintances!
With people you only casually hang out with, it might be more sporadic and less in-depth.
But when you’re with a close group of friends, you can go deeper – you’ll spend time doing things you all actively enjoy, whilst forming new memories together.
5) Less social pressure
Have you ever found it draining trying to keep up with all the social events going on?
When you’ve got a ton of acquaintances constantly calling you up to go to parties, hang out after work, or whatever else they’ve got planned, you might struggle to fit everything in.
Not to mention, FOMO (fear of missing out) might kick in if different people invite you to places and you’re not always able to make it.
On the other hand…
When you have a few close friends, this pressure disappears.
You get more of a say in making the plans, and your interactions will be much more authentic and based on things you and your friends mutually enjoy doing!
6) Financial benefits
Continuing on from the last point…
Keeping up with a big group of acquaintances can be a big drain on your bank account!
Let’s face it, one drink never means one drink. And if you’re hanging out with different people every day of the week and the weekend, it’s quickly going to affect your finances.
But that’s not all…
It’s also harder to say no and explain your financial situation to people who don’t know you on that level.
When you have a few close friends, you won’t think twice before saying, “Sorry guys, I’m a bit tight on money at the moment so I’ll have to give this weekend a miss.”
The truth is, good friends will understand and support you through it. If they know you’re struggling financially, they’ll organize something free and fun, like a picnic in the park.
Acquaintances, however, could accuse you of being a killjoy, or even make you feel guilty for not joining in.
7) Emotional support
Now, we’ve spoken a lot about how having a few close friends builds:
- Deeper, more intimate relationships
- Trust and loyalty
- Personal development
But here’s the thing – you also get tons more emotional support.
Think of it this way:
You’re going through a divorce, and mentally, you’re stressed, run-down, and in need of some support and TLC.
You tell your acquaintances at the office, and while they offer their sympathy, they don’t really know you or your ex-husband enough to really lift your spirits.
Now imagine you tell a close group of friends who have known you for a long time.
They know your personality, your ex-husband’s traits, and what your marriage was like. They can validate your feelings, offer their own perspectives, and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The point is:
There’s a wealth of differences between these two scenarios. The first only scratches at the surface of your pain, whilst the other gets down to the root of the problems and offers you the emotional support you need!
8) Long-lasting friendships
And finally, the reason why having a few close friends is better than having many acquaintances is that you’ll have more long-lasting friendships.
In the long run, these are the friendships that’ll be with you for life; from major life changes to the mundane moments that you’ll look back on when you’re old.
These are the people that’ll support you, keep you grounded, and remind you of who you are when you’re lost.
Acquaintances, whilst fun and exciting, won’t usually last a lifetime. If they do, it’s because your relationship evolves into a close friendship.
So, have casual friends – there’s nothing wrong with it. But don’t sacrifice or give up on forming a close group of people you can trust and grow with.
After all, they’ll add value and joy to your life, and they’ll be there with you to the end!