The Dying Art of Friendship
Some notes inspired by David Brooks, Robin Dunbar and Robin Dyke – with thanks so all my 150 ‘meaningful’ relationship people, my 15 ‘closer’ friends and my five ‘besties’ – thank y’all!
- Maximum number of meaningful relationships most people can have – 150.
- Invitees to an average American wedding – 150.
- People on an average UK Christmas Card list – 150.
- Number of people in early human hunger/gatherer communities – 150.
- Circle of ‘close’ friends – 15.
- Most intimate circle – 5.
- Biggest influence on closer friendship, shared views on music, politics, professors, world view and similar sense of humour.
- Time needed in another’s company to progress from acquaintance to friend – 45 hours.
- Time needed to move from casual friend to meaningful friend – around 50 hours – over a 90 day period.
- To move into most intimate – another 100 hours.
- Hours devoted to intimate friends over a month – 8½ hours each.
- Hours devoted to closer friends – two hours each.
- Hours devoted to the larger friend circle – 20 minutes.
- Extroverts spend social energy across more people and have more but weaker close friendships.
- Introverts invest in fewer people but have stronger ties to them.
- A crucial factor in friendship is social skills – something which is eroding rapidly in the face of our increasingly on-line world/life.
- Our happiness is hugely dependent on our ability to understand and be considerate to others.
- The average person can expect to have a close relationship breakdown every 2.3 years – usually through lack of communication.
- Good friends
- stand up for friends when they are not around,
- share important news with them,
- confide vulnerabilities,
- provide emotional support.
You can’t make Old Friends! And as the Lone Ranger said “To have a friend, a man must first be one.”