Think of your deepest and most valued relationships. Now count them. How many do you have? Ask yourself if they have as much depth as you want them to.
Are they enough to satisfy your social appetite? If they were your only followers and friends on Instagram or Facebook, would you still be content?
I fear many of us have given up on having quality relationships. There are many causes: infatuation with internet approval, overwhelming drive to be popular, or maybe the desire for others to look at you as an influencer. Although there are many causes, there is one common side effect – a lack of satisfaction with being known by only a few.
I want to make a case for being unknown but well-known. Here are some benefits of being established with a few close people instead of spread thin with many.
- It gives you a chance to be genuine. Authenticity takes time and work. In an age of soundbites and tweets, we don’t have much tolerance for depth. But, character is formed and satisfaction comes with a commitment to know each friend beyond the surface.
- It fosters contentment. Being known deeply by a few will always be more satisfying than having vast, yet sparse friendships. True relational contentment comes when we are well-known by the people we trust and love the most, and that tends to be a small number.
- It’s realistic. Our time is limited, and at the end of the day, we can give all of ourselves to only a handful of people if we want to do it well. Being known deeply takes time, and lots of it. I would argue if it’s more satisfying and gives you the best opportunity to grow as a follower of Christ (because you’re authentic with those close to you), then set a realistic expectation for yourself. Anticipate that only a few throughout your life will truly get to know you on a deep level.
These are just a few reasons, but they’re thought provoking. Think about your relationships. Are you known deeply by anyone? Have you spread yourself too thin?
Consider these things and make some changes if you think something’s missing. I am sure you will be a more complete and satisfied person.