HomeFriendshipsTHERE ARE ONLY FOUR STAGES OF LIFE. THE OLDER YOU BECOME, THE FEWER FRIENDS YOU WILL HAVE.
THERE ARE ONLY FOUR STAGES OF LIFE. THE OLDER YOU BECOME, THE FEWER FRIENDS YOU WILL HAVE.
June 20, 2017
Life is short and limited.
We are only here for a brief period.
People’s lives in society follow a standard procedure consisting of four stages:
1) People go to school when they are young.
2) People spend their twenties either having fun or trying to figure out what to do with their life.
3) In the thirties, they focus on working and career. They also might get married and have children or will start having children.
4) In their sixties or seventies, they retire and either enter a retirement home or live with their children.
These are the four stages of life for humans in society. There are people who do not follow this and go another way such as monks who join a monastery, or entrepreneurs who get lucky and retire early. These people are free of these four stages. But most people, the majority of people, have to go through these stages.
And there is nothing wrong with these stages, they provide structure and balance to life. They give us a sense of order to follow.
But as you will notice from a social perspective, the amount of free time you have to make friends, decreases when you enter the third stage. It decreases for two main reasons. The first is that you are now working forty hours or more per week, and when you add in the amount of travel time, one has very little free time left over.
The second main reason is that when you have children, you give up a huge proportion of time looking after them, cooking for them, washing their clothes, taking them to school, going to their soccer matches, etc. And this is a worthwhile sacrifice of time because children are the future.
But the obvious result of both these deductions to one’s free time is that one then has a lot less time to socialise and maintain current friendships, let alone make new friends.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, as this is the way society is.
But the problem that then comes is that people see Instagram stars who load up their feed with pictures of themselves partying and having a busy social life. And instead of looking at reality and realising that these ‘social superstars’ are not a fair and accurate representation of real life, people start to feel inferior or wish their life could be like that.
Your life cannot be like that.
Not unless you are willing to temporarily leave the pattern set by society in order to have a few years where you are really popular and have a lot of friends. But this comes at the expense of other important achievements or milestones.
If one really wants to become a ‘social superstar’, the best time to try it is the second stage of life, when one is in one’s twenties and before a mortgage and children, which require a stable career and source of income that takes up a lot of time.
But being realistic, such a goal of becoming popular will not leave one feeling fulfilled. One will only feel empty at the end of it.
People I have spoken to who were hardcore party animals or went out to a lot of nightclubs over a period of several years have all said the same thing to me, that they “got bored of it” or “want to do something else apart from partying and clubbing”.
So it seems to be a phase that some people have to go through, where they want to party a lot, and become really popular. Maybe because it seems cool, or the grass is greener on the other side and there is the thought that this is a great phase.
But in reality, once you become popular, you see it is not a big deal. It is not as great as you once thought it was.
While previously you may have thought that people who did not go out a lot were like that because they are not ‘cool’, you now realise that maybe the reason some people do not go out a lot is because they know that being popular is a waste of time. There are more worthwhile pursuits in life.
If you still feel the need to go through this phase and become popular, then go for it so you can experience the journey for yourself. You will learn a lot on this journey, but you will come out the end with the same realisation that other people who experienced this journey have. Which is that being popular is not a great achievement and leaves you feeling empty. There are more important goals in life that will leave you feeling fulfilled.
But for those of you who want to skip the time and effort involved in the journey to become popular, just to realise at the end that popularity is not that great, I am here to tell you that right now. Popularity is not a big deal. If you have a hole within you, or you are feeling empty, you need to find another way to fill that hole. Popularity will not do that for you.
A few close quality friends, who support you and encourage you; that is useful and worthwhile. A hundred ‘friends’ who you hardly know and only hang out to take pictures with to upload on Facebook, that is not worthwhile. That is a waste of time and energy, as well as internet data.
And as you can see from the description of the four stages of life, it is not realistic to want to be popular throughout your life.
So for those of you who are not popular, and you are in the third or fourth stage of your life, you should not feel bad. This is normal and there is nothing wrong with it.
And if you are in the first or second stage of your life and you are not popular, this is nothing to feel bad about. Being popular is just a phase, which is not realistic to maintain for your entire life. Spend your time focused on your studies, or hobbies instead. Popularity is not something to be chased or glorified.
Having a lot of friends throughout your life is not realistic.
At each of these stages, you will meet different people, and make different friends. Not all of them will follow you from one stage to the next.
Your personality, preference for people, and respect for yourself; will all change as you get older and this will affect the type of friends you have.
The amount of spare time you have, especially as you get to the later stages of life, is limited. This means the amount of time you can dedicate to your social life is also limited. So you should spend this time with people who pull you up and make you feel good about yourself. Do not spend time with people who make you feel bad just because they are ‘cool’.
Become friends with people who are supportive of you.
You have limited time to spend on your social life and friendships as you get older. Being popular, especially as you get older, is just not realistic or reasonable. The older you get, the fewer friends you will have. So pick your friends carefully. Be selective of the people you spend your limited spare time with. And don’t feel bad if you do not have a lot of friends.