Did you hear about the man who had 500 friends on FB, and 200+ followers on twitter and LinkedIn and so on? But when he met with an accident and was admitted in ICU only his wife, kids and a close friend were actually waiting outside worrying about him.

This, of course, is a fictional story I read somewhere but it brings me to a very real question.

How many friends do we actually have?

Do a small exercise. Go to your social networking account and check out how many friends do you have in your friend list. 100? 200? 300? Or maybe more?

Now go through that list of friends and tick off the acquaintances, the relatives and family. You may now be left with work friends, old school / college classmates or your society neighbours or maybe your classmates in yoga class and so on.

How many of them are actually your friends? The ones with whom you would like to pick up the phone and chat, the ones you can open up to or share your thoughts with. I am sure this number is hardly handful.

The number of likes on our vacation pic makes us so happy or the number of loves on our little ones fancy dress pic makes us feel so proud.

But seriously how many of them were actually interested in our life and how many just clicked on the ‘like’ button out of habit. We will never know.

Not only in our virtual life even in our real life this happens. We go through the journey of life meeting many people and making a lot of relations along the way. Some of these friendships stick with us for a long way and some are lost along the path.

But don’t get deceived with the number of people around you. Some maybe friends and some maybe masquerading as friends. I am saying this as a personal experience. I am a very social person and get along with people easily. Sometimes I think I open up very soon with people and it backfires on me. There have been cases where the person has been very sweet and lovable to me but behind my back the very same person has been talking very bitterly about me. This experience used to make me question myself, ‘What wrong have I done to this person that he / she harbours so much hatred or bitterness for me’. I used to spend endless hours going through our interactions to understand what went wrong. Nothing really made sense.

But this experience has taught me a valuable lesson. Firstly, don’t try to please everyone around you. It is an impossible task. And secondly, don’t get deceived by appearances and sweet talk. Everyone who is being nice to you is really not a friend. Choose your friends with great care. Don’t go about sharing your problems with all.

Remember only a few in our list of friends are really interested in our problems. Others are hearing us out and are secretly glad we have these problems.