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I don't *need* friends!

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  • I don't *need* friends!

    Hey people!

    Isn't this a funny title? I figured that I should write about this, because I'm curious as to how/what others think about it.

    I only have two friends, and I only see them at school during lunch. We talk about stuff, just like normal teens, so it isn't like I just sit there and stare right through them like some kind of creep. But now, during my internship, I'm not at school, which means I won't see them. At all, for five months. And no, that won't be the end of our friendship because last internship, we picked up right were we left off, so to speak.

    Problem is that my Mom and Stepdad are convinced that I'm going to be this creepy old woman who doesn't have any friends, never talks to anyone and spends her days playing computer games. (I don't even play computer games now, WTF?) And being jobless, because my boss will fire me when my coworkers complain about me not being social. And living on pizza. And never reading a newspaper because I live in my own fantasy world and don't care about anyone but myself. (I've read the newspaper. Most of it is sensational bull** and depressing tragedy. Uhm, no thank you, I'd rather read a blog.)

    No matter how many times I try to explain to them that I won't end up like that, that I will talk to coworkers and bosses, that seeing my friends during lunch or just texting is enough for me, they're still convinced that I'm egoistic and will end up and die alone.

    Thanks Mom, jeesh.

    On the other hand my Dad, who was a bachelor until two years ago (and yes, he did date before that, online), only sees his friends once a year. They have a guys weekend, in which they fly to some sunny country and go down all the pubs and stuff. He survived, he ate dinner at his Mom's out of convenience (and she didn't mind... Honestly, she even complains about missing him now that his girlfriend/he cooks most of the time) and he had a job and socialized with his coworkers. Only not outside of said job.

    If we were in Grok's time, I'd probably be the very rare lone cavewoman who lived on her own and didn't go nuts. (Would a lone Grok/Grokette have survived anyway? I guess not, because they would've been eaten by wolves or something. )

    I wonder what you guys think about this? Do you have many friends, a few, or none at all? (Would Grok/Grokette have lived in their own? )
    It ain't makin' me any thinner
    I eat a sandwich for break-fast
    And then I have a sugar blast!
    I eat toasted bread for lunch
    And enjoy my mid-day crunch!
    At dinner I eat pasta
    And end my day with a sugar disasta!"

    From the How am I not starving??? thread. Enjoy the read.

  • #2
    I have three friends. I live with two of them, and I'm planning on marrying one.

    I used to have more, but I was always the group's weird guy. We stopped talking.

    The other one I live with can be a bit annoying sometimes, though, but he's a relatively young guy so I toss it up to that.

    The other unmentioned one lives a bit away and is very busy as an EMT.

    I'm sure people can be happy alone. I like to think in Grok times they were the tribe's long range scout. Not sure it can be done well indefinitely, though.

    On the upside, your parents at least care. They just don't understand. Understanding is hard.



    • #3
      I think I've read here and there that most people don't have as many friends as they claim. True, close friends, they have a few.

      I think with the way modern Western societies work, it's important to be able to talk to other people, but you don't have to have that many friends. I mean, there's no requirements. If you are happy and your relationships are healthy, there's no issue.
      Depression Lies


      • #4
        Well, you do have two friends, and if you could call on them when you feel the need to chat or have support, that's great - and more than what some people have. You also have your family, which counts for a lot. I think that letting relationships develop naturally is the best idea. If you meet people, and form relationships out of common interests, etc. that is wonderful, and the way it should be, Those relationships can be very important and have a very positive impact on you, and improve the quality of life.

        I don't think you need to seek them out though, unless you feel lonely, then get out there, join some fun things and engage with people. It's important that people be healthy for you, and not just fill a void.

        If you don't feel isolated or lonely and if you keep your mind and body engaged in interesting things that grow you, mentally, emotionally and physically, you're probably fine. You sound pretty bright.

        I doubt Grok/Grokette would have lived on their own, as there was too much to do to survive back then, but then again, they also wouldn't have been out trying to make friends either and worrying about social pressure. Tribes/Families/Small communities - sounds like you!

        All the best, kiddo. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders.


        • #5
          Friends vs acquaintances. Fall on rough times, and it's easy to see the difference. The only need I see for having a lot of acquaintances is the ability to network for a job or other project. That will be important at a certain point in life. Still and all, I'd rather have one or two good friends than 20+ affable acquaintances.

          That said, I am the crazy old lady who doesn't usually like a lot of people around. The folks where I live are always doing group things, so I accept about every fourth invite just to be polite. I like them - they're good neighbors. But sitting with one or two people having lively discourse over a cup of coffee is more enjoyable for me.
          "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


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          • #6
            I always had very few friends and lots of people I knew well enough to talk with every now and then. It takes quite a bit to be a real friend. Many dropped me after I got ill.

            anyway, I have 1 real best friend. She lives at the other side of the country and we see each other once every 3 months or so. (birthdays and shopping trips) besides that we try to call every now and then. we can talk for hours. (last call was almost 2 hours)...

            Besides that I have about 12 people I love as friend. most of them are people I met through my boyfriend or my brother...
            My brother is my male-best-friend... we do more together than I do with my girl-best-friend

            You'll meet a lot of people in life, some stick and become friends, very rarely one becomes your best-friend and the rest with stay people you like to talk to once in a while... it's normal, especially these days.

            It's nice to have your parents worry about you but they are a different generation an don't always understand that today you just need one or two friends. and honestly once you finish school you won't have time for more friends, you'll have a boyfriend, work, exercise, keeping house, etc to manage...
            My story, My thought....

            It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!


            • #7
              My personal opinion is that most (but probably not all) people will be happier and healthier (psychologically, at least), if they had at least a few good friends who live near them and with whom they socialize on a regular basis. I think that part of the reason why people today are often so unhappy is because modern humans live in isolation. Even though we are surrounded by people--they are mostly strangers and maybe acquaintances. Our ancestors lived in small tribes/band that had close, intimate social relationships.

              I personally need friends, but that's just me.

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              • #8
                It is natural to have a lot more people to talk to at the school or University, particularly when a field school component or other trips are involved. When you start working it is different and more isolating. Most people I know here made their friends in high school/uni and did not make any after that (unless they are super-extroverts), just people to chat to at work. Once you are married and have a child, the family is a unit where most communications takes place.
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                • #9
                  your parents shouldn't be so up in your friend-circle business. At different times in my life, i've had different friends and the closeness between the friendships always change. Up until high school i had mostly acquaintances, i was the very shy person but always friendly but didn't let many in my life. I had about one or two close friends then. Then at university I had completely different people around me, and I met new friends. Yes i was the shy person still, but always friendly. After university i lost touch with my classmates, but i do have my two best friends from college to this day. During my variety of jobs over the years, I met and became friends with new people, and lost touch with many but do have a few that i keep in touch to this day even though i don't work with them any longer. Life is about the different experiences we go through, and how we react to the experiences during those moments. I am grateful for my super close friends, but I am also comfortable being by myself. It's too bad your parents are so up in your business about this, but if you are happy, what's the problem? If you are a decent and pleasant person, you will always meet new people. If things click, friendships will evolve. If things don't click, no problem.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The_Introvert_Huntress View Post
                    (Would Grok/Grokette have lived in their own? )
                    No, I don't think so. I think most of the things you'd have done throughout most of the day in prehistoric times would have been done with, and often in actual cooperation with, others.

                    But I'm not sure that has anything much to do with friendship -- though this depends rather on what people mean when they say "friendship". Friendship seems to be something supererogatory. The Ancients (Greeks and Romans) seemed to have valued it very highly -- more than modern civilisation does -- perhaps because of its supererogatory character *. C. S. Lewis talking about "the four loves": Affection, Friendship, Eros (sexual love), and Charity (disinterested goodwill), writes: "friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself ... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival".

                    Many people get on without this kind of relation in their lives at all. I think that we all need Affection but many manage without friendship. Friendship comes or it doesn't -- and not everyone wants it or looks for it anyway.

                    I'm not sure whether those who're worried about you really mean "friendship". I think they probably just mean sociability.

                    I wouldn't worry about it. You don't believe yourself to be unsociable: I doubt you are.

                    I don't think "egoism" has much to do with the question. A group of close friends could be like a supra-personal ego that shuts out outsiders.

                    If you become lonely or aware of becoming set in your ways and not mixing with others you can always join some clubs and societies, can't you?


                    * Note

                    These were slave-owing societies and perhaps because of that very aware of who was free and who wasn't and very interested in what made you free and what didn't.

                    Notice that the term "liberal" (root: liber = free), which is now tends to be used as a label for a particular political view (one that understands the political relation in terms of contract) originally had a range of different meanings. An older use survives in the term "liberal education" -- i.e. the education suitable for a "free man". This education might be "useless" in practical terms -- unlike, say, metalworking or cobbling -- but precisely for that reason has been valued in the past.

                    There's a lot of snobbery, and downright social arrogance, tied up with this, but the idea of something that isn't useful for something else, but of value in itself is an interesting one. That would be how someone like Aristotle would have seen friendship.


                    • #11
                      C. S. Lewis talking about "the four loves": Affection, Friendship, Eros (sexual love), and Charity (disinterested goodwill), writes: "friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself ... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival".
                      N. Gogol' wrote in the most famous quote from the Russian-speaking world: "There is no human emotion more sacred than the camaraderie" Heh, that's in a book where a father kills his son who crossed to the enemy for the sake of a woman. Lol.
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                      • #12
                        I think most peoples idea of a friend is skewed with all this facebook crap where a 'friend' is especially a random individual who likes your stuff.... A true friend will drop everything to help you, help you move, buy a bag of groceries or invite you over for dinner when times are tough, help raise your kids. These friends you can count on one hand, the rest are nothing more than acquaintances. I got 4, a fishing buddy, a friend from college, and 2 friends from high school. 2 of them live a few hours away and we talk maybe a few times a year but I know if I truly needed them they would be here before the end of the day and visa versa

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DennyB View Post
                          A true friend will drop everything to help you, help you move, buy a bag of groceries or invite you over for dinner when times are tough, help raise your kids.
                          I was thinking of posting something similar. Personally, I usually don't mind not having friends, as most of my hobbies are solitary, and I'm usually content with that. But I'm finding out the hard way that when times are tough, it'd be good to know that someone has your back.
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                          • #14
                            I don't need friends like I need oxygen, reduced carbon sources to oxidize, and water...

                            But since I care about my quality of life beyond mere survival, I very much appreciate having my closer friends to tell stuff to, to commiserate with me, to celebrate with and be proud of me. I love our inside jokes and shared experiences. I consider my two closest friends almost like my siblings.

                            That said, if you don't feel like your quality of life suffers, go ahead. I think human beings as a *whole* evolved to desire social bonding though.

                            Also, it seems like you kind of have those 2 friends case you decide you do want friends.

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                            • #15
                              Often in the West, we're introvert-phobic. I saw a cross-cultural study done among school children in China and Canada. In Canada, the introverted kids were often shunned, in China they were admired. Supposedly the Far East and Scandinavia value introversion the most. The English-speaking countries the least.

                              Don't know about the Netherlands, but if your parents are any indication they fret over introversion.