12 Reasons Why it’s Okay to Not Have Many Friends (Less is More)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

friends walking at sunset in a park

When we are young, we often think of having many friends as being a measure of personal value or worth. One thing that we realize as we grow older is that the number of friends you have doesn’t really reflect on you as a person or on your worth. In fact, having a large group of friends can actually detract from your overall life experience. What? Am I saying that it’s okay to have only a few friends? Yes, that’s precisely what I am saying.

As it turns out, having a small group of friends or even one or two friends can actually be beneficial to you. I have gone through multiple phases in my life when it comes to friendships, but I must admit that in my younger years, having many friends was important. Nowadays, I far prefer my 3 closest friends and have no real desire to expand on that group.

Ready to find out why it’s a good idea (and most certainly okay) to have only a few friends? Then, let’s delve into the various reasons why it is okay to have only a handful of friends.

12 ways having only a few friends can be beneficial to your life:

1. Your social life can be simple and familiar.

When you have a lot of friends, there are many occasions, outings, and meetups that you need to attend. Life can get complicated when there are a lot of friends involved. If you want a social life that is simple and more your kind of pace, opt for a small group of friends that’s like-minded and with similar interests.

2. You can actually get close to and get to know your circle of friends.

One of the biggest problems that people have when it comes to large groups of friends is that it seems like there is no time to actually talk to people, get to know them, and actually get close. Friends might be “surface” or shallow friends, which in the end is more like having a group of acquaintances. If you want to derive value from your friendships by actually getting to know people, make sure that you keep your friend group small and manageable.

3. It’s easier to keep up with news and dramas.

When you have a few friends, it means that you can catch up on all of their news easily. You won’t constantly feel like you are grappling at information to keep up to date and informed – which can happen when you have a lot of friends. 

4. You can always have all your best friends with you, at most events.

When there’s a movie to go to, a concert to attend, or a picnic to go on…who do you take? If you have a lot of friends, you can’t take absolutely everyone with you, and when you don’t invite everyone, people can become offended or hurt. You can safeguard against this problem by making sure that you only have a handful of friends. That way, you can invite all of your friends, and it shouldn’t be a problem at all.

5. There’s more time in your life for you.

If you have a lot of friends and a busy social life, you might find that you don’t have much time for all the things that you find truly important in life. This could rob you of valuable and rewarding life experiences. When you have fewer friends, it results in having more time for you. And we could all do with a little (or a lot) more “me time”. 

relaxing tea and cake while reading a book

6. Your personal “stuff” is kept to a small group of people. 

There’s nothing worse than your personal information and drama being spread around town. When you have a large friend circle and something goes wrong, everyone will end up knowing in a heartbeat. If you prefer having your personal challenges in life kept on the low down and don’t like to overshare, having a small group of trustworthy friends is far more preferable.

7. You have more time for responsibilities and chores.

If you have many friends, it means that you have a busy and active social life. This can really get in the way of your daily chores and responsibilities. Having a few close friends will whittle down the outings and help you balance your social life with your work and home life.

8. Your role in the group is established and secure.

In some friend circles, there’s a definite pecking order. Hopefully, this is not something that you have to deal with. When you are part of a small group of friends, you don’t need to continuously prove and establish yourself. Once the group knows you and is comfortable with you, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary group drama that might unsettle the group or see you falling from your seemingly secure position. 

9. You won’t become emotionally drained. 

Have you ever come back from a meet-up with friends and felt as if the life has been sucked from you and that you should start sending therapy invoices? It could mean that you have too many friends leaning on you for support. 

If you are part of a large group of friends, you need to make time to be emotionally supportive to most members, if you want to be of value in the group. If you have a lot of friends, this can become emotionally draining. When you only have a few friends to focus on, you can give them your full attention and won’t feel utterly drained. 

10. You have fewer obligations to tend to.

When you have only a few friends, there are only a few things you have to do. Attending birthdays, celebrations, and big events are few and far between. Having a big group of friends means quite the opposite. If you don’t have time for extra obligations in your life, having only a few friends is better for you. 

11. People in small friend circles feel more understood and appreciated. 

It’s hard to feel heard and appreciated when you are one person in a large group of friends. Chances are that you won’t get everything that you need out of friendship, and you might feel like you are overlooked or underappreciated. If you only have a few friends, there’s a greater chance of you feeling understood, appreciated, and cared for. 

having fun, laughing

12. You save money.

Just how much money do your friendships cost you? You probably think that friendship is free, but it’s not really. There are always costs involved. If I think back to the days of college when I was studying, I had more friends than I care to remember. And because there was always something to do and somewhere to go, it was almost as if I was bleeding money at the time!

Having many friends costs money. That is an undeniable fact! Think about all the money spent on transportation, birthdays, gifts, dinners, drinks, and so on. The fewer friends you have, the less you will end up spending. 

In closing

If you were wondering if you are missing out on life if you have a small group of friends, don’t worry – you’re not. Having a small group of friends can be best for your mental and emotional health. Take stock of the above-mentioned reasons why it is okay to have only a few friends and allow yourself to relax and enjoy the few people you are close with.  

If you have a large circle of friends and would like to experience these benefits, perhaps it’s time to look into reducing the size of your close group of friends and selecting people that can add value to your life. Whether you have a few friends or many friends…enjoy them because they are a blessing! 

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.