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Is it okay not to have many (or any) friends as an adult?


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No, I don't think it's unhealthy unless you're feeling conflicted or neglected. I have friends I know are out there and, at some other time in life when I feel I can nourish an ongoing, active friendship, I can reach out to. But right now, I definitely feel the "pull inward" and don't feel guilty about it in the least.

 

Blessings,

Lisa

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No, I don't feel unhealthy, but I'm not usually an introvert. I'm wondering if that's weird not feel like it's unhealthy :001_huh:

We are involved in outside activities, so we're not in seclusion. I am just not feeling as if maintaining/creating friendships will make me happier at this point in my life.

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I know I feel perfectly content having just a couple of good friends. Then there are the others I smile at and say good morning to and chat with sometimes. I just don't need much, and I don't want a really busy social life, or life will get too un-simple for me. :) With 4 young kids (6, 4, 3, 2), 2 hours of homeschooling in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, and getting meals ready and keeping house, and spending some time with dh in the evening, it's really enough. Life is good. And I don't feel like we're busy, busy, busy all the time.

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I really question this with genuine curiosity. I am looking to pull inward, but not because of depression or bi-polar reasons - just to simplify life. Does that sound unhealthy?

 

Wondering what the hive thinks :)

 

I am an extreme introvert.

 

I do think it is unhealthy. While I don't believe the culturally supported extroverted = better, but I don't believe that being bereft of quality friendships is a healthy design for living.

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SpecialMama is honestly my best friend irl, and I can trust her with absolutely anything. I'd rather have one friend like that than a dozen casual coffee friends that I can't confide in. Even so, there have been times I've pulled back from her, and that in my case is absolutely about depression/elevated pain levels. If we don't talk at least once a day, its usually a bit of a red flag, one that even my husband recognizes as being such.

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I would hate to have not many friends.

 

I don't think I'm 100% an introvert or an extrovert. . I'm somewhere in the middle.

 

I have a bunch of friends. We have a lot of fun together; do stuff together; get our kids together for playdates; pray for each other, etc . . . In fact, I have more friends now than at any time in my life.

 

I would consider my DH my absolute best friend in the sense that he knows the most about me.

 

There are things, though (i'll admit this online, LOL) that I hide from everyone about me. . .primarily things from my past, etc. . .I don't know if that's good or bad. :confused1: Do people need to know everything about you to be a really good friend? I don't know. My friends sure don't, and I still consider them great friends.

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...yes, it's OK. Of course! If nurturing friendships is more draining for you than it is enriching, then far be it from me to say that it's unhealthy for you to pull in. However, having gone through an inward pull of my own fairly recently, I will share that I think it's a little risky to do so. My husband is my very best friend, but he's not my only friend (far from it). And, relying on him for all the needs that my girl-friends fulfill might end up being fairly disappointing. It also might be wise to try to explain to your "now" friends that you are feeling a need/desire to tunnel right now. Otherwise, those friends may have trouble being there for you, down the road, should you decide it's time to reveal yourself again.

 

Oh, and that brings up a final point. When I turned in, it was because I felt fragile and somewhat vulnerable in my life. I was processing a lot, emotionally, and I simply did not have the energy for anything else. But, it wasn't a decision made out of fear, or disappointment, or unmet expectations. You might want to carefully examine (if you haven't already) whether there are any external forces you are running away from to drive this new desire of yours.

 

Ultimately, do what feeds your soul. :001_smile:

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It is my understanding pulling inward is fairly common around menopause. I am certainly finding that my experience, and I'm not an introvert. Out of curiosity, would you be of that age?

 

:grouphug:

 

That is interesting - I am just at the start. I had no idea that they might have anything to do with each other. Thank you for mentioning that.

 

And thank you, Doran, for your comment....I can relate to what you said too.

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I absolutely ADORE my friends. I have a few that I can confide in about anything, and I have many that are very close and I adore. Then I have acquaintances.

 

BUT, there have been times in my life where I have felt it was time to pull in to focus on myself and my family. I'm an extrovert and struggled with feeling I needed those times. But I need them periodically. It doesn't mean I don't love my friends.

 

But that's me. What's right for you is right for you.

 

I do feel that life is richer when we're blessed with great friends, BUT, I have almost NO family (two mentally ill siblings and an 80 year aunt who lives 1200 miles away) so perhaps that's the difference?

 

I need and adore my time alone. Some people prefer that all the time. What is right for you is right for you. If you feel you need time alone, then you need it. :001_smile:

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I absolutely NEED and crave my alone time. It is very hard for me to get DH or others to understand it! I have lots of friends but I need my ME time too. If you feel drained by social contact - that is your nature. If you feel energized by social contact - again that is your inherent nature. I think if you feed your soul what it needs, it is never wrong or selfish. You have to take care of you!

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As a Christian, I believe that one of our primary purposes for being here is to serve God by serving others. "Love thy neighbor" and all. So, from that perspective, I don't believe it is good to "withdraw" from a society so to speak. How can you love others if you don't know them? How can you serve others if you are not in relationship with them or at least in contact with others somehow? Of course, there is a matter of degrees and not everybody needs to have a million friends, but in general, humans were made for relationship and that requires interaction. For me, the more I love God, the more I WANT to share (everything and anything) with those around me. But...I am a natural extrovert too, so I certainly do embrace that commandment with enthusiasim. I'd just be sure not to be focusing my whole daily effort on only me and mine, how ever that would look for you.

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As a Christian, I believe that one of our primary purposes for being here is to serve God by serving others. "Love thy neighbor" and all. So, from that perspective, I don't believe it is good to "withdraw" from a society so to speak. How can you love others if you don't know them? How can you serve others if you are not in relationship with them or at least in contact with others somehow? Of course, there is a matter of degrees and not everybody needs to have a million friends, but in general, humans were made for relationship and that requires interaction. For me, the more I love God, the more I WANT to share (everything and anything) with those around me.

 

I think I need to draw my focus inward for just a bit to ready myself to interact more with others at some point. I have some thinking to do, thank you for all of the responses :)

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