How Many Friends Are Too Many? – 5 Signs To Look For

How many friends are too many varies from person to person because we all have different personalities, but not only that, it varies a lot from one life stage to another.

When you are young, and all you do is play and spend time with your friends, even when in school, you can sustain more real friendships compared to an adult that has kids, a spouse a job, and some older parents that they should take care of or even compared to someone in their 20s when the career is a big time-consuming factor.

So I will try to talk about different life stages, and also about the different friendship levels, there is a clear difference between close friends and circumstantial or surface-level friends.

How many friends are too many?

Most people have 3-5 close friends on average and many more acquaintances they don’t intentionally hang out with as often. However, the number might be deceiving since the difference between intimate friends, close friends, and casual friends is not so clear for most people.

As a rule of thumb, you have too many friends when they get in the way of work, school, family life, and other obligations.


Of course, this is not as straightforward as it seems since some people focus too much on their careers and feel like any time spent with their friends is a waste of time.

You should see your friends only in your free time, and even then, you should keep a bit of free time for yourself. We don’t talk about college friends or friends you have at work since then, it is a bit different.

So it is hard to see the difference between having too many friends or spending too much time with a few friends. The first step is to realize what the problem is before finding a solution.

Five signs you have too many friends

Depending on your context, some of these signs might simply mean that you have a way too busy life, you don’t like spending time with your friends, or you spend too much time with the ones you have, so you will have to apply your specific circumstances and see if which sign is relevant to you and which one is not.

1. You have to refuse one for another constantly

If you find yourself often in a situation where to be able to hang out with a friend, you have to delay or reschedule hanging out with another, it is a clear sign that you have too many friends or they are too needy.

It can happen from time to time, especially because most people have more free time during the weekends, so those are days when most people want to hang out with their friends, and it can overlap from time to time. But if that’s the rule, not the exception, you should rethink your priorities, which friend is important in your life, and how much time you should spend with them.

2. You always have to make sacrifices to hang out with your friends

As the first point, from time to time, it is ok to sacrifice a bit of productive time or other time to be able to hang out with your friends. However, whenever someone invites you to hang out with them, you have to cut down on other important things for you, it will quickly become a problem.

You have to be careful with this one since you will always have something to do, if you have five free hours a day, you can choose between playing a video game or hanging out with friends. In this case, I would not consider sacrificing the video game time for friends. The first step is to define what is important to you and what you can give up on for meeting your friends without regrets.

3. You get invited to several places to spend the holidays

You know you have too many friends when you have three or more friends from different groups who invite you to spend holidays like New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and so on with them.

Most people spend those holidays with one group of friends or family. If you receive more invitations, that can mean that you are very popular or you have too many friends, these two overlap many times, and it can seem like a great thing, but many times you have to spend too much time with friends and sacrifice other important things in life to be in this situation.

4. You feel like completing a task when you meet with some of your friends

When instead of enjoying every time you hang out with friends, it starts to feel like you have completed a task only because you don’t want to refuse them, that can mean that you have too many friends or you don’t refuse the ones you don’t enjoy spending time with.

5. First reaction when a friend calls you

When a close friend calls you, do you happy to answer the phone, hoping that they will ask you if you want to hang out with them, or do you roll your eyes? If the second one is what you do, and you really consider that person a friend, it can be the case of too many friends or a way too busy life.

What to do when you have too many friends?

The first thing you can do is to see if all of them are real friends or just acquaintances that you consider friends, but you don’t really know them very well.

I know it sounds bad, but you have to prioritize some friends over others based on which one you consider to be the closest.

You can reduce some of the least important types of hangouts. If you want to start reducing the time you spend with your friends, not attending their birthday party will be much worse than refusing them when they invite you to have a coffee.

Read Also: Bragging Vs. Sharing


There is not a clear answer to how many friends are too many, but there are some signs you can check to know if it is your case.

Also, many times it is not the number but rather the quality of our friends. If we spend too much time with friends that we don’t consider as close, we might feel like we have too many friends.

I hope this article helped you realize if you have too many friends and what you should do in that case.