I distinctly remember being in high school with a brand new social media account and mindlessly adding "friends" to it. I was obsessed with having thousands of friends and being like this super socially active person.
Because of the easy access of technology, making it so easy to interact with just anyone; it took away the act of nurturing quality friendships. Over the years, I have come to realise that I am not a social butterfly. The older you get, the more valuable time becomes and you don't want to spend it with people who aren't investing the time that you would be. I have also been feeling less social and just wanting to allocate quality time doing things that feed my soul and truly make me feel good.
Here are some reasons why I have been feeling less social and why you might be too.
You don't have the emotional bandwidth
Oftentimes when we are overwhelmed, it may not mean that we don't want to continue these relationships, but that we literally don't know how to while managing our stress levels. When you mentally aren't ready, you tend to choose to stay away from having a social life.
Your priorities have changed
Recently some of us have started to re-evaluate our lives **cough cough pandemic cough**
If you have kept friendships out of convenience, politeness, or simply because enough time has lapsed, you may now be realising those friendships just aren't a priority anymore. I can definitely say that my priorities in life have changed and you can't expect all your friends to be on the same journey as you.
Is a shrinking social circle a bad thing?
Not necessarily. Changing circles usually speak to different needs across our lives. Some people may meet those needs in one phase but not the next. Priorities, values, and even something as simple as location and interests can also change.
Quality over quantity matters when it comes to friendships. Negative friendships increases your stress levels, elevates blood pressure, increases depression levels, and can even affect how your immune system operates. That to me seems very highly unnecessary.
It is also important to remember that just as much as you would want to distance yourself from others, others might want to do the same to you. You cannot force people to include you in their lives, but you can check to see if there's anything different that you can do to stay connected. Overall, a shrinking social circle can happen naturally throughout life. If you feel satisfied with your smaller friend circle, it's nothing to be concerned about.
But if you are consciously completely isolating yourself, remember that prioritising social time with the people you care about is important to support your physical and mental health.
Having people you can confide in, laugh with, and share experiences with one of the best parts of this life.