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It is better to have more or fewer friends?

August 6, 2016 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
More or fewer friends? A teen reflects on her friendships and asks which works best.

QUESTION

Hi,

I am a teen girl with plenty of friends. It wasn’t always like that though; I used to be pretty alone. I feel like I was more studious and focused without my friends. But just in case, I’d like to know the pros and cons to both friendship and being a lone wolf.

Thanks, Rosa

ANSWER

Hi Rosa,

I’m glad you’ve found some friends. Generally, the most content and successful people have balance in their lives between work/school, family time, their social lives and “me” time. You’ll find that sometimes in your life, your focus may emphasize one area or another. For example, during finals you will probably devote more time to studying, whereas during summers, more time to friends.

Since you’ve experienced going from no or few friends to having many, you may need some trial and error to get the balance right for you. In terms of needing more or fewer friends, everyone is different. Some people are more extroverted, meaning they get energy and happiness from being around friends and family. Others are more introverted and feel more energized with less socialization and more alone time. Most people fall somewhere in between.

Your question has no right or wrong answer. To figure out what’s right for you, consider your immediate and future goals.  Good grades are important for getting into college, although you might not need straight A’s to fulfill your ambitions.

While going to one extreme (having too many friends) or another (being a lone wolf) can be dicey, life is a series of choices. We learn and grow as much from making mistakes as doing things well. I have a feeling because you seem very thoughtful and self-aware that you will make more good decisions than not. Nobody juggles life perfectly. Taking a step back to evaluate circumstances is an appropriate way to figure out what works for you.

Signed, Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: MAKING FRIENDS, Teen friendships

Comments (3)

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  1. A. says:

    I’m a teen too and I believe that having a small amount of trustful friends is better than having a lager amount of them who doesn’t care about you.
    Unfortunatly I have neither.

  2. Tina says:

    Hi Rosa,

    I agree with what Amy had to say. We all have a different stance on whether we want one friend or if we want more than one. Although being able to have a balanced life between work, friends , and family, it is not relevant on if it is better to have more or fewer friends.

    Having many friends or having only one to two friends all depends on you and if you feel that you have the need to be surrounded by people. Just as Amy pointed out there are two types of people extroverts and introverts. Sometimes extroverts are surrounded by many friends while others can have just one friend. Like I said before, how many friends you have depends on you.

    However, although you could have lots of friends think about whether or not those friends are your ‘best’ friends or just ‘good’ friends. What this mean is out of the friends you currently have are all of them people you would share everything with and call when you have an emergency? If your answer is yes, than perhaps you are the kind of person who likes to have a lot of friends. If your answer was no, than that would mean that you are the type of person who wants only one to three close friends that you can share everything with.

    There is no right answer to whether having more or fewer friends is better. It all depends on you and how you perceive the people around you. Maybe having more friends is more beneficial to you and maybe having a few is better because of the connection you guys can make. Like I said before everything is up to you to decide.

    Tina

    [Last name deleted by moderator. To protect yourself from spammers, please do not use last names on this blog. Thanks!]

  3. Tammy says:

    There really is no correct answer, I think it depends on your personality. Some people enjoy and are fulfilled by having many casual friends while others prefer fewer but perhaps, ‘deeper’, friendships. We all have our own style.

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