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How many friends can a person have?

Topic #193: How many friends can a person have? According to a theory called Dunbar’s number, we may have a…

Topic #193:

How many friends can a person have? According to a theory called Dunbar’s number, we may have a maximum limit to how many people we can maintain relationships with – around 100 to 230 people. As the theory goes, our brains simply can’t manage more.

How many good or close friends do you think a person can have? What happens if they try to maintain more than that? Is there a fixed number, or are there things are person can do to be connected to more people? What about social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

39 Comments

  1. Can we ever truly call anyone a close friend? In nearly all of my working life I moved around about every three years or so, still working for the same company but in different parts of the world. I would tend to class people more as aquaintances, who you strike up a friendship with whilst you are working with them. However once you move on the degree of contact dimishes as the years roll on….

  2. Friend of Facebook goes with all a different definition that is ” More comments – More friendly one is” :(
    I believe friendship grows from acquaintance which is nurtured with honesty, faithfulness. Wicked people do have friends with a selfish goal and fleeting nature. Thus one can agree that qualty plays a major role than quantity, although no parameters exist for the dimensions or numbers of friends.

  3. I have never had the experience of having too many friends. I will say in my lifetime that I have had many, many acquaintances, but friends have been few. I have connections with lots of people via Facebook. I appreciate them all but I can’t say that they are real friends.

  4. Depends on the personality. There’s people who thrive on it and are very social. Some people are so social that they’ll consider anyone they met once as a good friend because of first impressions.

    I on the other hand am not so social. I can only handle a small group of people. Soooo if 100 to 230 is considered the highest, mark me down for like… 25 – 50 friends for me. That’s more manageable. hehehe. ;)

  5. I stop counting. But real ones I could say are few but I can depend on them. Keep inspiring.

    1. No good in counting friends. Better to just be a friend. And see what happens. Good friends remain true…but never take them for granted.

      it’s taken me a lifetime…almost 62 years…to figure it out. ;)

  6. I don’t think there is a “set” amount. I’d agree with the other commenter that it depends on what one defines as “friend.” I blogged about this just 2 days ago, and noted how friendships have changed in my own life. http://justalittlemel.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/how-to-unravel-the-tie-that-binds/

    Each of us doesn’t have a set number, it’s a question of how TRUE of a friend you can be to those people. I say you can have as many friends as you can truly care for, love, respect and lift up!

  7. This is a difficult question because this can be based on personal perceptions and interpretations. You might consider someone as your friend, say, four of them as your closest. But you never know if one of them doesn’t consider you as a real friend, or stuffs like that.

  8. Quality matters more than quantity :)
    More friends means nothing if all they are good at is asking you for money everyday. And sometimes, just having one good friend that has an quality of 10 people works great too.

    With social networking, the world has shrunk. I believe now you can have as many friends as you want if you just want numbers and a superficial relation. However, there will be a limit to how many quality friends that you can maintain good relation with. Most likely no more than 20. Also, what makes a “quality friend” rather subjective to different people.

  9. Well, I think a person can have many casual friends. But real friends, the ones who’ll stick with you through everything are few. I’d say no more than 5.

    But that’s just my view. I know people who say they have far more real friends than 5 and usually I disagree with them. I look at how well they know eachother and whether you can count upon them in times of need. I think those people usually can’t.

  10. All these definitions of friendship remind me of that old joke: a friend will help you move, but a real friend will help you move a body…

    Hardly any of my facebook friends would fit this definition – but I hope I will never be in a position to test this hypothesis :-)

  11. friends can be in great number.. but a true friend is hard to find and is always one.. but in today’s world no one has a true friend.. everyone is stressed out and selfish…

  12. I also think so..that no one can maintain all his/her friends if they are out of count..it is obvious that each one have a single or couple of best friends and can take care of them

  13. friends on FB are different from d ones in real life.its always gud to hav more friends but most of them turn out be acquaintances in the long run. . .

  14. The question isn’t how many friends, but i think how many REAL friends.

    But to answer this qt., I’d say…as much as they’d like. It’s up to them.

  15. It’s an interesting question! Like most people here, I know lots of people but probably only have a couple of ‘friends’ who I could trust and I feel we actually ‘get’ each other. There is a real understanding and compassion there, which is quite rare and very precious if you find it! It is easy to meet people and be friendly but it is more difficult and challenging to actually find true and loyal connections.
    Here are some articles about friendship,
    http://the-lady-lounge.com/?s=friendship

  16. The problem is: where you live? How you live?

    And more – a guy that says someone can’t handle more than 230 relationships with other people never meet a good teacher. I have almost 400 students, and with at least 300 I have a relationship, I know their tastes strugles and styles. And add to this more dozens of friends and acquaitances in the fan clubs and geekery in general, and I easily can say more 200 people that I relate in a way or another.

    I have at least ten friends that I can count more than brothers. People that leave their houses in the middle of the night if I need, people tht are true. But I see the world as a tribe and these boys s my clan.

    If I grew to believe people are mischievous and to don’t trust, if I was rasied to believe I need be a winner, I will not be able to see things the wy I see.

    Thanks gods to my “hippie comunist” parents and my “disfunctional country” (or at least is how the Oslo shooter called my country).

    sorry for any mistakes in my english

  17. ummmm person can have a lot nd a lot of friends bt that is nt that thing the importan thing is that u do have freinds it dosen’t mean that have one freind or two that u r nothin no sometimes having one at least is a big thing ..so is not about hw many friends u have no it’s nt nd it will never be like i said is enough that u do havr friends.so a lil advice if u haver freinds keep them love them care abt them make them always nd always in u’r heart..coz trust me we all in this world need friends.XD

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