So you think you’ve got friends?

I once read an article that summed up “friends” wonderfully. I’m going to attempt to explain it here, and hope I don’t completely bastardize it. I also once read that the body can only understand 150 relationships. Since you meet new people all the time, you end up forgetting relationships prior.

Lets say you have 10 “Friends”.

5-Actual Acquaintances. You’re on each others facebook, you talk small talk if you run into them at the store, your kids are in the same class. They observe your life, but don’t truly care about it. Your failures and wins equal about the same to this person. They are on the fringe of your circle. This is about as “friend” as you get. It covers 50% of all your relationships.

3-Friends. You go hang out at the bar, watch movies, get together one-three times a month, you call and text, but not all that frequently. You have a superbowl party, and invite them. You might tell them some things, but not the real important stuff.  They cover about 25% of your relationships.

2-Close friends. Call and text frequently. Hang out more than other aquantainces/friends. You get a promotion, you call these people to help you celebrate. They will be the people who help you move, and that you call when upset/happy. These cover 20% of your relationships.

1-Best Friend. These are the people who you can call at 3am when something life threatening is going on. They will pick you up in the middle of the night when you had a bad day. They know all your secrets. They are invited to the most intimate parties. You see each other frequently, and keep in constant contact. They are the person you call when something happens. These take up 5% or less of your friends.

Now, I could do the math, but I’m not going to. If you can, at max, have 150 relationships, including family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc, most of your relationships are acquaintances. Your 650 friends on facebook? Do the math. 80% of people you know or meet, don’t really mean anything to you in the long run. And only 5% really matter.

So when you blow off actual friends for pseudo-friends, remember the math. See who matters. Or maybe one day you’ll be in that 80% that don’t matter.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/mar/14/my-bright-idea-robin-dunbar

http://lifeisalesson2belearned.blogspot.com/2012/02/acquaintance-vs-friend.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-tell-difference-between-friends-acquaintances-481467.html

http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-acquaintance-and-friend/

 

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5 thoughts on “So you think you’ve got friends?

  1. Ha! Yes, I learnt that some of my friends were most certainly in a less close relationship with me than I’d thought, when I was in hospital for a long time last year and they said they ‘wouldn’t’ come visit. Not “I’m a bit busy this week, maybe next week”, not “I’ll see what I can do”, but wouldn’t. It was heartbreaking at the time, but now I see it as showing me how much my friendship meant to them.

    1. Ive tried to explain this to people I know and they dont get it. They think they have 900 close friends. Im like, how many of them do you know their middle name? Their brothers name? Their birthday? Their favorite color? Food allergy? Its just unrealistic. I barely have any friends. Lots of acquaintances, though.

  2. I guess “close” is a relative term. Actually, my sister is one of my close friends. I have problems with friendship. I don’t really trust anyone, even my friends. Hm…..(forgive my rambling)

    1. That was so not a ramble. Rambles consist of at least 100 words that spin off in other dimensions. 🙂
      My SIL and MIL are some of my only friends. My SIL is the closest thing to a BF I have. People just suck.

      1. Lol. I have a best friend, but she’s so fragile and emotionally messed up that it is sometimes a difficult relationship. But, I love her and wouldn’t want to be without her. Who else can I complain to about my sister?!

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