How to create long lasting friendships
The 5 tiers of friendship
Strangers make up the majority of the people that we encounter in our life’s, this is anyone and everyone. People in this category could be the people who you have seen at school or work, or it could be the person who is serving you dinner at a restaurant. The reason why people are in this category is because there is little to no interaction between both of you. You might of made eye contact or even know each others names but, you have never really had a conversation with them. If all the people in your life are at this stage, they are not filling your social needs which could leave you feeling very lonely.
You probably have a few acquaintance’s in your life that you have spoken to once or twice but you don’t really know anything about them, it’s always small talk and you never speak for to long. You might say hi to them if you cross them on the street but nothing more than that. The reason you are usually in the presence of someone at this level is because you see them at a mutual friends party or gathering but, you wouldn’t invite them yourself.
Friends are the people who you spend a good amount of time with, often only a handful of people but, the quality is there. You’ve shared some memories together and plan on having more. You feel comfortable around each other but, conversation is only surface level in which you don’t delve deep into other people’s lives. This can provide you with moderate social fulfilment and feelings of belonging but, it doesn’t seem to last very long unless you push the relationship to the next level of friendship.
Most people don’t have close friends but, if they’re lucky, they might have one or two, these are the people that you think of straight away when you’re planning a party. This friendship tier has to take the test of time for someone to be classed as a close friend, at least a year to even consider it. You feel so comfortable around these people that you can open up around them and share deep dark secrets about yourselves, you want to spend more time with them laughing and chatting away. Having a few close friends will definitely fulfil your needs for social Interaction as long as you put the effort in.
Some people don’t even make it to this level because they don’t know the formula to get there which we are going to teach you later on, so keep reading. With the exception of our families, most of us don’t have that tight knitted connection with anyone. If you do it’s probably your partner but, on rare occasions it can be a super close friend. A way of noticing if someone is in this category is if you and someone are packaged together, Your right arm, the person who you can’t be seen without and if you are on your own, you are bombarded with “where are they?” it’s like Ant and Dec, laurel and Hardy or Kim and Kanye.
Formula for friendship
The four components of friendship are:
This is how much common space you share with someone else, how physically close you are when you interact with the person you have in mind.
Someone at a score of one would be a person that is so far away that you can barely see them. Three would be working out in the same gym. A proximity of five would be someone in the same room as you. Seven would be sharing the same table at lunch and ten would be sleeping in the same bed as each other, for example sharing a bed with your significant other.
The next part of the equation is the duration of time in which you spend with a person, how long the interactions last between the both of you.
On this scale, a one would be like saying thank you to the cashier at the checkout when you finish shopping. A three would be if someone came up to you asking for directions and you help them on their way. Five, is when you sit down to have lunch with someone and begin to have a chat whilst you are eating. A duration of seven would be when you spend several hours with someone, usually engaging in an activity together which you both enjoy. A whopping ten would be when you are spending majority of your day with this person, again, this is usually your partner due to you both living together.
You might spend a long time with someone when you see them but, you only get to see them every year and that’s why frequency is so important. This is all about how often you get to meet up with someone.
A one on this scale would be a one time interaction with someone who you have never met before. A three would be someone that you get to see every one to three months probably a mutual friends party. A score of five would be when you see someone once or twice a week. A seven is when you interact with someone three to four times a week and to get a ten out of ten, you would need to be seeing someone pretty much every day.
The last component and probably the hardest to comprehend is intensity, this is because it focuses on how much emotion is sparked during interaction with another person. This is usually feelings of joy, love and positivity but, on some occasions relationships can be built on strong emotions such as vulnerability and struggle.
A one on this scale is like when you ask someone for the time, there is no emotion to it. A three is when you are talking to someone and for the most part it’s quite serious but, now and again jokes are being made and you both start to laugh. A five is when you are in a conversation with someone and throughout the interaction you keep chuckling with each other. A seven is when a person pays you a genuine compliment and you can tell that it is real and it comes from a place of love. A ten is when you have that feeling of euphoria when talking to someone, you zone in on that person and forget everyone else is there. When it’s time to leave, you both go your separate ways feeling a lot brighter than before.
Now that you understand the factors which make up the formula of friendships, a very important question remains… how exactly can you use this formula to analyze and improve the current relationships in your life? It’s simple and this is how.
Add up all of your points to see which level of friendship you are at with someone:
- Stranger requires: 0 points
- Acquaintance requires: 10 points
- Friend requires: 15 points
- Close friend requires: 25 points
- Significant other requires: 35 points
For example, let’s say there is a girl that you share a class with, that would be five points for proximity. You’re in the same class as each other but, you rarely interact with one another so that’s two more points. Every time you have had a chat with her, you have made her laugh and she’s payed you a genuine compliment so you would get around seven points for that. Unfortunately, every time you do get to speak, it’s time to go to your next class so you only would get a three maximum. Altogether you get 17 points on the entire scale which would put you literally in the friend zone, if you wanted to deepen this friendship and push yourself to a close friend or significant other, it wouldn’t be that hard. You could invite her to have lunch with you to bump up your score over time.