It's OK to not be a Bestie with everyone
Recently, we were introduced into a whole new group of people as a family, due to changing schools. We are all finding new faces every day and remembering one out of fifty names (faces is more like one out of twenty). It’s been exciting, but a tad overwhelming at times too.
I was chatting with my daughter about friends, and she, in not so many words, told me she was feeling comfortable with friend A, B and C. I asked about D, E, and F and she basically said they were fine people, but she just liked spending time more with A, B and C. Not that there was something wrong, or bad, or that needed fixing with D, E and F- just that she really enjoyed a few specific friends and wanted to spend her time there.
What a novel idea! Sometimes I think when we meet new people, we go into discovery overdrive. The questions, the meet ups, the plans- pretty sure we just met yesterday and I think I already forgot your name??? My child, she is wise, that one. Just because I meet you, does not mean I need to immediately know your life story, plan your kid’s birthday party or even be Facebook friends (GASP!).
As adults, especially in this ever-evolving social climate, we need to be ok with just being friends. Right now, maybe we have a ton in common and it seems like bestie matching t-shirts are a good idea, but fast forward to next year, and our lives could be completely different. I need to say this: I like you, but I don’t have to be your bestie. Isn’t the point of a bestie that they are kind of one of a few, if not the only?? Just because you are not my bestie, does not mean that I don’t want to spend time with you or think you are awesome. Can’t we just be friends?
It should be ok to not include everyone in all things, all the time. It should be ok that some people choose to spend what free time they have with the select people they enjoy and get along with the most. It should be normal that those who invest in relationships for years, are the ones who get that prestigious title of “bestie”.
I look forward to broadening my friends and acquaintances- it’s not that I don’t want to meet more people. It’s just that I don’t want it to be all or nothing. There has to be room for just friends. I don’t want to hurt your feelings if I run into you at that restaurant, and I am in a small group that you weren’t included in. I don’t want you to expect that I will always loop you in when a happy hour or coffee pops up. Things happen organically, and forcing interactions does not a bestie make.
My eight year old wanted to invest in what made her happy. I did not challenge her, but rather really thought about the brilliance of her definition of friendship. Technology sure has changed this game and as I get older, the expectation of friendship shifts. Most of us are so busy with our own day to day, our families and homes and jobs, that we barely have time to chat with our besties, much less friends or new acquaintance.
Friendship is an art. You can have close friends, old friends, new friends and as many besties as you have the energy for. You’re a grown up (or a wise eight year old) and are in control over who you want to invest in and how much. Don’t spread yourself thin for things you don’t want, and don’t feel bad for being someone’s friend as opposed to their bestie. Either way, they’re lucky to have you.