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Research suggests there may be an ideal number of close friends we should have, what is that number for you?

Today, you will read about studies that try to identify the optimal number of close friends a person should have in order to feel connected and happy. If you had to choose such a number, what would it be, and why? Have you experienced changes in your friendships during the pandemic? If so, how would you describe what is different now? How do you define “close friendship”? What distinguishes it from other friendships? How many close friendships do you have? Do you agree that three to six close friends is ideal? The article says that “research suggests the size of a person’s online network may not have any meaningful impact on their perceived well-being.” Does this data reflect your experience? Do you feel that your internet friendships are as satisfying as your in-person ones?
Jeffrey Hall, a professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, said that “your personality and the characteristics of your life are going to make a difference” in the number of friends that you want and need. How do your personality and the characteristics of your life influence your friendships? For example, are you an introvert, like the author, who might be satisfied with fewer and closer friendships? Or do you like to have a lot of different friends who bring out different parts of you? Do you feel satisfied with the friendships you have? Do you feel supported, cared for and heard? Do you and your friends have fun together? Do friendships ever feel complicated or confusing? What advice would you give someone who is struggling with friendship?
alan20 · M
To be honest it's as far from ideal as I could get - zero. There's a few people I can chat to but on a fairly superficial level. I have my music!

 
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