I could count my real friends on one hand and still have a thumb to spare.
Yep, I have four friends. There are four people in my life that I’m 100 per cent comfortable with, who I check-in with regularly, and who I can’t wait to catch up with.
This is not a sad story – I’m really happy to have four authentic friends. As far as I’m concerned my friendship quota is pretty full, and in such an interconnected world, having a genuine connection with four different people is pretty bloody amazing.
I’ve always kind of laughed about my friendship ‘number’ and thought that I was probably a bit odd, but something Tommy Little said at his Sydney Comedy Festival show on Thursday night changed my mind.
Tommy – who like me is in his thirties – said he only has four friends now. He said anyone in their 20s would be horrified by that admission – and anyone 40 plus would think, “That’s one too many”.
As Little explained, the older you get, the less sh*t you are willing to put up with. You don’t have the time or the energy to nurture a bunch of friendships that probably aren’t that good for you in the first place.
So you find your people and you stick with them.
How to tell. And how to tell if it’s YOU. Post continues…
My four friends come from different parts of my life – they only know each other in passing – and they enrich my life in different ways.
Two of my friends are a decade or so older than me. They’re mothers, they’ve had long careers, and they’re the people I turn to when I need some serious life advice – because they’ve been through it all before me. When I’m going through a rough patch that I feel will never end – these are the friends who can tell me ‘This too shall pass’.
My other two friends are around my age - but they're polar opposites. One is all business - she's the kind of go-getter who inspires me to aim a little higher, and try a little harder, just by being in her presence. While my other friend is more laid-back and more creative in her approach to life - she reminds me not to take myself so seriously.
So with just four friends I have a huge support network I can tap into - with years of experiences and a variety of perspectives.
That's not to say that I'm not surrounded by other people. I have plenty of acquaintances, casual friends and work colleagues whose company I enjoy immensely.
I laugh with these people on daily basis but I don't necessarily want to tell them when I'm experiencing something that could land me on an episode of Embarrassing Bodies, or that sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and make lists of all the things I haven't achieved in my life.
Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew has a genius trick for keeping in touch with old friends. Post continues...
And I understand that friendships are constantly evolving - in 10 years' time my four friends could just be casual acquaintances.
But right now, I think I've hit a friends sweet spot, and that's a pretty great place to be.
Have you found you need less friends as you get older?