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i caught up with one of my close friends for brekky this morning and somewhere in between our giggly gossiping and food-scoffing (we’re both very enthusiastic foodies) we stumbled into a pretty deep conversation about friendship. it made me reflect on the way my perspectives have developed as i’ve grown older and had more experience with people and life in general. with the rise of social media has come the strange but widespread belief that the longer your list of friends, the better off you are. i won’t pretend i wasn’t a believer for at least a year or so or that i didn’t unashamedly add every person i’d ever had any fleeting connection with to my list of ‘friends’. but a few years ago, things changed. i realised that ‘friend’ isn’t a term to be thrown around lightly and that people should have to earn the title as you should have to do in return. this led to a huge ‘friend cull’ on facebook, which involved a good week or so going through my excessively long list of ‘friends’ and deleting everyone i had no meaningful connection with (which was an embarrassingly high number – i went a bit overboard on the adding when i first got facebook). it was actually quite a refreshing and detoxing process. i then applied the same principle to real life (because not everything is about online social media – shock horror) and had a long hard think about my relationships with the people around me. i was sad at first to realise that there were few that i trusted completely and fewer that hadn’t disappointed me in some way or another. i tend to be a very involved and doting friend and i felt disappointed that my moment’s reflection revealed only a few who i felt would do for me what i would do for them. but in my endless search for the positives in life, i brought my thinking around to reach the conclusion that i shouldn’t lament that there are few that i count as ‘true’ friends but should rather celebrate the fact that i have them to begin with. there are plenty of people out there who feel lonely even though they are surrounded by people. suddenly i felt so lucky and privileged to be able to name even one person who i love like family and who loves me as if i am part of theirs, let alone the 10 or so that i have in my life. from that moment, i made a commitment not to spread my energy over large numbers of ‘acquaintances’ but to focus on the people i value most and put the time into them that they deserve. it is one of the best and most rewarding realisations i’ve ever made as my closer relationships have since blossomed and continue to provide me endless amounts of laughter and happiness. always take the time to sit down and identify the people you value and then make sure that is exactly what you do – value them. what is a great life if you have no-one to share it with? to all my beautiful friends, i love you!! thank you for everything you add to my life.