I am writing this blog post after speaking with a young girl, who is having trouble with friends. I know she is not alone in this. Many young people struggle with self-confidence, and perhaps a little encouragement would help them from making decisions they will later regret.

It is better to have one or two true friends than to have an abundance of false friends. I see the wisdom in this more and more as I age. When I was younger it seemed mortifying to be on the outside of the popular group. I did have a few very good friends, and we had a great time together, but I always somehow thought there was even more enjoyment to be had with the popular group.

After graduating from high school, I moved across the country and found myself in a new group of friends.  We were definitely considered the equivalent of the popular group. It was very different from what I had known, and I admit it was exciting at times. I never did feel quite comfortable, though. It was a lot of work emotionally and mentally to stay in step with this group. I had a couple of close friends, with whom I felt like I could be myself, but I often felt like I had to play a part, like acting, with the others. As much as I learned about myself and the world during this time in my life, I often wish I hadn’t felt like I needed to pretend to be someone I wasn’t.

Now that I am older, I can look back and see clearly the mistakes I made in trying to make other people like me. It is important to have friends who will be honest with you, help you to grow, and even challenge you, but it is destructive to be around people who want you to change who you are to be more like them.  I no longer have the effort in me to pretend to be someone else. I love to spend an afternoon with a good book, I hate horror movies and movies with a lot of swear words (it’s my opinion that if they have to use the “F-word” every other word, the script is just bad), I am not an “outdoorsy” person, I believe in God, and I enjoy spending time with true friends. This is me. I am not going to think less of myself because I don’t fit in with some groups. We all have different interests, beliefs, and desires. We all fit in somewhere. When we find the group where we belong, we will find the truest of friends, no effort required.

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