Science explains what friendship should be

How should I friendship? How many friends should a person have? The case is complicated. sometimes We tend to associate the quality of friendship with the number of friends we have. Also with proximity, the amount of time we spend with our friends or depend on them. Nothing is further from reality.

“Many of the relational models we see in the typical chain of friends, carried over to real life, would be toxic because they tend to be very closed circles, with very little intimacy for their members and With some kind of tacit agreement that prevents growth outside the group. And reality is more diverse, dynamic and infinitely changeable“, Explain to ICON Clinical Psychologist Violeta Alcoser. This refers to the most successful series in recent decades, such as friends also The Big Bang Theory.

As clinical psychologist Maria Hurtado confirms, “Real friends It can be counted on the fingers of one handSociety, especially social networks, prepares us to have a diverse group of friends or followers. According to a 1990 study by psychologist and evolutionary biologist Robin Dunbar, humans We can handle up to 150 social relationships, but only five of them go deep. s Other studies cited by El País Clarify a point We only need three to five good friends to enjoy a full social life. Why then do we have so many people on our social networks?

Networking and friendship

“The main problem of our society is that The idea is instilled that the more friends you have, the better. That is why you give great importance to likes and the number of followers you have on social networks. Quantity is valued more than quality when it should be the opposite,” says Hurtado.

“The interest in recent years to have several virtual friends and whom I love is not really a need that arises from the individual himself to enhance his well-being (in fact, they do not promote well-being, quite the contrary), but As a result of the manipulation we already have data and evidence. From a mental health point of view, the ideal option is to restrict the use of social networks and prioritize real relationships, face-to-face conversations, and healthy friendships, even if they are few,” notes Alcoser, on the other hand.

Now, is a more “superficial” friendship necessary? Psychologists think so It is important to have friends with whom you can joke with confidence, but without going into intimate matters. “As we grow, we increase the number of relationships and friends, spouses and later bosses, co-workers or clients play their part. They are all crucial to our lives,” they explain.

for experts,True friendship is “a friend who listens, who offers solutions to our problems without judging us, who is honest and forgives us if we make mistakes.” On the other hand, “Those who approach you out of interest, see you as a competitor, are not there when you need them or reveal your secrets are not true friends.”

How does the passage of time affect friendships?

It is common, over time, for the closest friendships to diverge or end, but you can also resume friendship over the years. In any case, It’s not a bad thing to lose friends, because friendships tend to be replaced gradually. Friendship and its forms has evolved According to individual needs and the vital moment you are going through. As our lifestyle changes Independent friends prevail With which we get to know in different fields, as well as the different groups that are relevant to our current situation and with which we gain more quality relationships.”

Time, however, is an essential component of a good friendship. You have to spend time with friends to form a lasting bond. According to Jeffrey A. Hall, a professor at the University of KansasIt takes about 200 hours with someone to achieve closeness and intimacy friendship with them. Now, if we want to have five good friends, the investment is up to 1000 hours, which is approximately 42 days.

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