Throughout my recovery, I realised that I’ve change a lot. I also came to a realisation that although I have over a thousand friends in Facebook, not all of them are interacting with me, nor have really made an effort to get in touch despite many times that I have tried reaching out.
I decided to clean up my friends list and culled the people I haven’t interacted in the past year. I’ve also evaluated if the friendship was worth keeping or if I still want the person in my life.
So it goes down to:
Yes, as of date, I now have 156 friends. Every once in a while I check on everyone and say hello give it a few months, if the connection is still there, I leave it as it is. After a few months, and we haven’t really interacted or haven’t met in person, I just remove them from my friends list. I find it easier that way.
I learned to value relationships that really matter. The magic number is 150. It’s called Dunbar’s number, it’s the ideal number that one can maintain stable social relationships. It was discovered by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.
I find that if I go beyond 10% of this number, it’s difficult to maintain the relationship.
Why are friendships important? They are important because they give us another perspective. Not all our thoughts are correct, we need others to give us another way of looking at a problem or an idea we ourselves find conflicting. Which is why it’s crucial who we want to surround ourselves with. If we don’t we’ll find ourselves in bad company. Birds of the same feather flock together, and it’s true. Like minded people tend to like each other.
I avoided people that don’t add value to my life. Although time seems to be infinite, we only have 24 hours in a day. I would rather spend it on people who I love and loves me back.
Friendships also help with our health and makes us live longer. According to a recent study from Harvard University made in cancer patients, those who have more friendships were likely to live longer than those who didn’t have close friendships.
We are social creatures after all and like our ancestors, we survived because of the communities we form. This sets us apart from other species. In the book Sapiens, it described how societies were formed and how it was crucial for us to build bonds with other people. From tribes to civilisations, we thrived.
I’ve been an expat for eight years that I somehow grew accustomed to make friendships wherever I am. It makes you learn that you can be at home wherever you are. Thankfully in this age, we can easily connect to people with similar interests.
All of a sudden, being alone became tolerable.
Though it’s easier to connect with friends online, it’s still important to connect with people face to face. Nothing beats a real hug and besos.
Pictures taken from a recent night out with friends in Speakeasies.