How many friends do we need to live well?
Science distinguishes between fellowship, friendship and familiarity. Close friendship is one in which you know and accept what is ugly in you, and share feelings and joy.
According to studies, close friends are rare: each person has between one and six such relationships. The most common thing is that it is only one.
When there are no friendships and the only person suffers from anxiety or depression, this condition is equivalent to the damage of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
To avoid this, science has come up with “recipes” for how and where to make friends to avoid feeling lonely. Learn more in the video above.
Among these tips:
- Find a group and leave home: Living with other humans restores the aspect of ancestors weakened by modern urban life. “Do we need to be available to the streets as well? This availability to experience the city, this availability to experience the extraordinary,” says historian Luiz Antonio Simas.
- Time investment: Close relationships generally take an average of 200 hours to develop. But researchers warn that a memorable trip or encounter can interrupt this.
- Not prioritizing online conversations: Social networks reduce the urgency of conversations, because each person responds at their own time, and connections are weaker online, says neuroscientist Alvaro Machado Dias. “The human factor,” he says, “needs practice to gain intensity (…) just as you need practice for anything.”
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