Is having many good friends impossible? The question is a difficult one to answer because so much of the question depends on the definitions. What one person considers to be a ‘good friend’ another might consider to be merely an ‘acquaintance’, and one person’s ‘close work friend’ might be another’s ‘casual work friend’. How much contact do you need to have, and at how deep a level, to be considered a good friend? In any given friendship, person ‘A’ might consider person ‘B’ a good friend, but person ‘B’ might consider person ‘A’ to be merely a friend. With that in mind, I believe it is possible to have many good friends.
I think it is possible to have a simple understanding that a good friend is someone you are closer too than a casual friend or acquaintance. It is someone that you can depend on, either for emotional support or some other kind of help, like picking you up from the airport. It is someone that you like spending time with, and perhaps someone that might know or have met your family or met a romantic partner you might have. There are lots of levels of friends, and different kinds of friendships. Friendships from shared interests, friendships from shared work, friendships from shared beliefs or values. I think that most people can agree that good friendships must have some connection, and some relationship that has been built and maintained over a period of time.
I think that good friends are also understanding of one another and respect one another. Given how busy and difficult adult life can be, I think that most people can agree that what is more important in a friendship than the amount of time one spends is the quality of the time. In the Internet age with social media we are much more easily able to keep in touch with friends. It’s strange to think that the Internet age has made connections much easier and widens the horizons of contact but at the same time flattens it out. In the past we might write a long, detailed letter to send to a friend. Now we might spend more time simply liking posts and pictures back and forth and retweeting posts and reacting to stories than having deeper conversations. However, I think that if people can build deep connections, and make time, even just occasionally, to contact their friends, a deep friendship can be maintained across time and distance.
One of the biggest problems to combat is that people can be so different from one another. The amount of time and socialization people need can vary wildly according to personality and how outgoing a person is. People who are very shy might need very little time in person, or a lot of time alone to recharge after socializing. On the other hand very outgoing people might need a lot more time socializing and spending time with friends to be satisfied. Therefore, having good friendships that are considered by all sides to be ‘good’ is difficult. However with good communication and consideration of differences, I think it is more than possible to have many good friends.
merely (adverb) – not more than; only, just
acquaintance (noun) - a person that you know but who is not a close friend
flatten out (phrasal verb) – to stop growing or going up
like (verb) – to add a thumbs up symbol to an online comment, post, etc.
react (verb) – to change or behave in a particular way as a result of or in response to something
socialization (noun) - the process by which somebody, especially a child, learns to behave in a way that is acceptable in their society