A PSYCHOLOGIST has revealed the exact number of friends you should have in order to be successful – and having too many is as bad as having one.
Oxford University Anthropologist Dr Robin Dunbar researched human relationships in the early 90s and concluded that humans can maintain relationships with 148 people, due to the size of our brain’s neocortex.
148 became known as ‘Dunbar’s Number’, and while it may seem like a lot of meaningful relationships, it includes family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances.
In 2016, he introduced the concept of ‘Dunbar’s Layers’ – a biological and sociological model which took into account the closeness of each relationship.
The closest layer is just up to five people, and these will be the relationships that mean the most to you.
Think about the TV show Friends – Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Chandler, and Monica each have five close friends, and they seem pretty happy.
The top end, 150 (or anywhere between 100 and 200), are the casual friends that you may invite if you were throwing a large party.
The 50 friends may be the ones that you would certainly call ‘close’, but may not see in person that often.
The group of 15 are your pals who you confide most things to, and that small five usually includes your family members or most intimate pals, who are your closest support group.
So who would be in each of your layers? Maybe it’s worth reaching out to your wider layers that you haven’t seen for a while, and invite them for a coffee – perhaps they’ll end up in your closer circle.
most read in fabulous
SACK Archbishop for exposing Meghan’s wedding claims, Piers jokes
Cleaning fan shares 5 places you forget to tidy & tips to make home smell amazing
Queen Mother left Harry MORE money than William in her $20m will to protect him
HUG IT OUT
I pay strangers $80 an hour to cuddle me – my husband doesn’t mind
You can meet friends in the most bizarre circumstances – check out the women who became friends with the girls that stole their boyfriends.
Do you ever ditch YOUR friends for your dog? Turns out, it’s more common than you think.
And here are sisters who admit that they wouldn’t be friends if it they weren’t related… and their reasons will surprise you.