Age Helps Us Make Better Choices About People

· June 30, 2017

As we grow up, our circle of friends gets more selective. It’s not that we become antisocial, nor is it that our responsibilities mean we don’t have time to dedicate to our friendships. Simply, over the years, we have learned to make better choices about the people that we want by our side.

When we are young, interpersonal relationships are a mystery to us. There are many emotions to handle, many disappointments to get over and many toxic people to distance ourselves from. With age, we manage to eliminate from our lives those people who offer us nothing and become a stone in our shoe.

“Friends should be sought out like good books. Happiness is not found in having many nor very unusual ones; rather in having a few very good ones that you know well.”
-Mateo Alemán-

We make better choices because we learn

Over time we change, our priorities transform and we value situations and people that previously we overlooked. As we grow older, we understand that quality is better than quantity with respect to relationships. Now we are interested in the people that count, that contribute positive vibrations to our life.

All this is understandable and natural. The time comes when we become fully aware that our time is valuable and wasting it with people who aren’t worth it will mean we enjoy it much less. Our circle of friends reduces until only those we consider special to us remain.


But this reality is not just a reflection. A study has thrown light onto the subject and has shown at what age we begin to be aware of all this. The research was carried out by the University of Rochester in New York. It revealed that at age 20 we prioritize the quantity of friends over the quality. At this age, we feel comfortable with this decision.

Time doesn’t make us lose friends, rather it helps us to differentiate them.

This no longer happens when we pass our twenties and get into our thirties. Here we begin to concern ourselves with having true friends, quality friends that distance us from the toxicity of certain relationships as well as from the sadness and loneliness that many situations cause for us. Improving our emotional balance is essential at this stage.

Although many people may identify with this and this study may offer a clear reflection of what can happen in general terms, there are always exceptions. Depending on our level of maturity, we might begin to cut down our circle of friends at 20, or on the other hand, we might be 30 and still prefer quantity over quality.

With age we value friendship

With age we become aware that many people don’t deserve the label of “friend”. Friendship isn’t just what we had been told it is, it goes beyond that. Which people have been at your side at difficult moments? Who can you call if you need to vent? You can answer these questions right now.

Perhaps, for you, it isn’t difficult to find a name or two or even three. But, for many perhaps there is no answer. If this is the case for you, don’t get weighed down. This means that you value friendship and that the person who will be a true friend to you probably hasn’t come into your life yet. It is difficult to find one, but not impossible.

By this point, the hypocrisy of social networks has most probably come to mind for you. Those spaces where we have 100 friends, 200 friends…, but strangely we don’t even know many of them. The desire to show how sociable we are and boast about it becomes more important than reality. But, over the years, appearances lose their importance.

A true friend comes at the right time. The rest, when they have time.

If you haven’t yet passed through the transition of starting to reduce your circle of friends, perhaps you haven’t yet dealt with the anxiety that people face when they see the quantity of friends they thought they had reduce considerably until they can be counted on two hands or even just one. It is then that you can become aware of the true reality and the lie that you had been living.

Are you someone who prefers quality or quantity? As we’ve seen clearly, there’s a moment of learning when we go from having many friends to truly valuing the meaning of the word “friendship”. Everything is a process, and it is the natural course of our existence that enables us, over the years, to value those people who will always be at our side whatever the circumstances.