April 3, 2008
By Ankit Patel, Hoffman Estates, IL

Wikipedia defines friendship as “a term to denote co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more humans.” It also says that “the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem and affection.” These things indicate that a good friendship requires some degree of closeness and with a group of friends that included more people, this intimacy would be harder to attain. For this reason, I would much rather have a small group of close friends than a wide circle of friends.
In order for a really strong friendship to develop between two people, they must be able to understand each other really well. Whenever I have a problem, the first people I turn to are my friends. Close friends will usually understand what you are going through, even if you yourself don’t completely know what is wrong. And when someone knows what you are going through, they can help you resolve the issue and can help you get through it. Close friends care about you and want the best for you. Although friends that perhaps aren’t as close also care for you, they can’t be there for you in the same way that close friends would be. Even though they might want the best for you, they cannot help nearly as much because since they don’t know you as well, they cannot relate to your troubles.
Another disadvantage of having a larger crowd of friends is the fact that you cannot grow to trust them as much. Trust is gained through time and getting to know the person. However, with more friends, it is much more difficult to get to know each individual person as well, therefore making it tougher to form an intimate relationship with them. Friendships that lack this vital trust cannot progress beyond a certain point. There is only so much that you can tell someone without being able to fully trust him and believe that he will keep this to himself. In my past personal experiences, when I have not been able to completely confide in a friend, I had a tendency to hide things from them. This eventually led to the friendship fading out and me growing farther away from my friend. Close friends, on the other hand, I have been able to keep for many, many years because I have been able to trust them and be totally open with them. Trust is a major factor in communication, which can either make or break a friendship depending on the degree in which it exists.
Yet another reason I prefer to have a small group of close friends rather than a large circle of friends is that a smaller group is easier to meet up with. The more people in a group, the harder it is to see everyone included in it. With only a few close friends, it is easier to find time for everyone to hang out and do something they enjoy. This time that you spend with friends is crucial for the friendship to last. When friends are not able to get together like this, they see each other less, which leads to them not knowing each other as well. Eventually this lack of contact would lead to the friendship dying out.
Friendship means different things to different people. For this reason, not everyone expects the same from a relationship like this. Some just want people to have people with whom they can do something they enjoy with, while others look for friends with whom they can also share and figure their problems out with. Although I can see how some people would rather have a large group of friends, I believe that, for me, having a small group of close friends is better. I also have friends that I talk to just for fun and keep to just share some enjoyable times with, but it will always be most important to me to have my close friends around me.

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