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How many friendships do you need?

  • 3 min read

Friendship is something special and difficult to describe in a few words. Man is a social being. If we go far back in time (read: during the emergence of Homo sapiens about 125,000 ago), humans already lived together in groups. But living together in the same group or having the same job, being in the same class, having the kids at the same preschool, etc. does not mean that friendships automatically arise.

Friendship is based on a click, trust or similarities. Some friendships have been around since kindergarten, some arise spontaneously and some disappear. Friendship is a very broad concept and therefore has many different levels. In this article you can read the importance of friendship, what the effects are of friendship and how many friendships a person needs on average. 

The importance of friendship

Most people have already experienced how nice it is to have one or more good friendships. Someone who understands you, who you can laugh with, someone who supports you when you need it and someone who listens to you. We humans are like social beings, we need to be in contact with people and share our feelings. While family can sometimes feel like friendship, the bond between friends is usually different. Often there are few or no boundaries and there is no condemnation, where this can sometimes occur in families. In addition, people also like to be there for someone. When a friend is having a hard time, needs your advice or just wants to talk, it's a nice feeling to be able to mean something to them. 

Yep, the bond between friends and family is different. In the happiness book Happlify your life you can also read about friendship and family. This is the image from p. 82 (week 25).

Family vs friends

Social and emotional effect of friendship

Friendship has a positive effect on people and mental health. It makes us happier, gives us motivation and boosts self-confidence. Friendship makes us feel less lonely. Several studies have shown that friendships contribute to the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. Friendship can also provide self-improvement, friends can sometimes hold up a mirror and confront you if necessary. In addition, it provides a feeling of 'belonging to something', which is what people need.

Friendship is important

How many friendships do you need?

Friendships are important in life, but how many friends do you really need? This is different for every individual. Maybe you have a lot of different friends, but you're not that close to everyone. Maybe you have one that you share everything with, or you do n't really need friends at all. That's really not exceptional either. So how many friendships you have really depends on your own personality.

Making friends
Because every person has different needs, putting an exact number on the question 'how many friendships do you need' is rather black and white. Research has shown that a person does need 2 to 5 close friendships. You will probably find that you do not do the same things with every friend. Perhaps you have deep conversations with a friend, while you prefer to take action and go out with the other person. Since we as humans also have different needs, it makes sense that not every friendship is created equal. And the intensity of contact with friends also differs. Friendship can mean for some that you see someone twice a year, for others a friendship can only arise online, for example on a forum .

Long story short

So follow your gut feeling and don't wait to give your friends appreciation for their role in your life. Every friendship is special!

1 Response

Hanneke

Hanneke

November 25, 2021

Vrienden zijn voor mij een eerste levensbehoefte!

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