Not Having Many Close Friends Is Okay.
Social media is great for making people feel alone in the world, but the truth is, not having a lot of friends is okay and great.
There has been a lot of research done on exactly how many friends you need to feel satisfied, but a post from The Atlantic put them together to give people step-by-step guidance on how to make new buds. By all accounts, three to five close, confidants are all that any of us can expect or hope for in this life, but many of us want more .
The Atlantic mentions what seems to be more important than expanding your circle of close friends – the sheer number of people who constantly support you that you might not consider – acquaintances. There may not be many people visiting you in the hospital, but having a network of people you seem to know is just as important to your social well-being as best friends.
Our real “social media” can reach 250 to 500 people, and that’s no reason to sneeze. You may not be able to tell the barista you see every morning about your recent breakthrough therapy (at least I hope you don’t do that without leaving a HUGE tip), but friendly social interaction has a big impact on how you day goes by. You spend most of your life with acquaintances at work, with neighbors, in church, or at a basketball game. Treating these acquaintances with friendliness and respect will make you feel like a part of a larger community, which will also satisfy the need for communication.
And some of these acquaintances may one day make it into your special top five:
A recent study from the University of Kansas found that it takes about 50 hours of communication to go from dating to a casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a “real” friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend.
This is a lot of basketball games. But it’s worth it.