A Friend to All is a Friend to None

Over the past year as many of us have taken a step back from our lives and had more time to think, the theme of friendship has been working it’s way through my brain.

I began thinking about this when I reflected on Covid weddings, which for most places have had to be between 10-50 people. I thought about the people in my life, and their families, and suddenly had a thought…

“Am I a good enough friend to be invited to a ‘Covid’ wedding?”

“Do I make the cut?”

“Am I even a good friend??”

I had been struggling with this for a while and then recently someone said something to me about themselves that resonated with me. It was that they are actively trying not to spread themselves too thin, and that you hurt the people you love the most if there isn’t enough of you to go around.

This hit me hard, and I really didn’t know what to do with it.

I am someone who loves to be a friend to every single person I meet. I think people are wonderful. We are all unique and interesting in our own ways, and deserve to be loved and encouraged in all aspects of our life. If someone doesn’t have enough of that in their life, I want to be that person.

I live to encourage and empower others.

But if I try to do that for everyone, in all aspects and areas of life, does that mean that I am actually leaving other people behind?

Instead of truly building into people’s lives, am I just sorta slapping a band-aid on them and kicking them out the door?

I hear of stories and know of people in my life where someone has a couple super tight friends who do everything together, talk about everything, and literally share life with each other. They mean the world to each other, talk on the phone almost every day, and they stay connected in the best of ways. They are so close, they think of each other as brothers and sisters, which is also something I don’t have.

I don’t have that kind of friendship with anyone (other than my wife of course). Does this mean my friendship is lacking? Am I missing out on something that others have?

Even Taylor Swift slapped me in the face with the title of this blog post while I was singing her song “Cardigan”. I feel like this is all I’ve been thinking about lately.

I don’t want my friendship to be lacking, but I also don’t know how to cut myself off from all the other people in my world. There’s so many people in the world the need love and encouragement. How do I manage cutting them out? How do I narrow my field down to just a couple friends? Who do I choose? What if they don’t have room for me in their lives at that intense level? Does that mean I chose the wrong friends?

I think being friends with everyone means that I have indeed spread myself too thin and maybe the roots of friendship with the people I love most aren’t deep enough.

I was feeling depressed about this for months and then suddenly I got an invite to a Covid wedding. With seating limitations, I made the cut. However this managed to happen, I know this made my heart happy in a way I haven’t felt in many months and this friend will never truly know what this meant to me. It makes me feel like there’s hope.

If you have ever felt like I haven’t been a good enough friend to you, I’m sorry. I truly am.

Let me be clear: I am struggling here.

I don’t know who I might be hurting.

I don’t know how to change who I am.

I also don’t know if I should.

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