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The other day I was wondering just how many friends the average person has, so I did some quick research, and to my amazement, I found a decent article that explained that the average amount of friends a typical American has today is 2 close friends.
Personally, I have 1 close friend, and he is 15 years my senior and we have been friends for the past year. We're going to best buds for life as we see eye to eye on everything. I had other person who was a friend for 3 years, but I had to terminate that friendship do to his poor character that I grew to understand over time. Personally, I could have more friends, but I'm sort of a closed off person, and I'm very selective of who I become friends with. For example, all my friends in my lifetime workout and hit the gym! Guys who are in street gangs, do hard street drugs, or are out of shape and don't care about working out and staying in shape, I just don't hang out with.
Anyhow, here is the article:
"Some people may have hundreds of friends, while others may have only one or two close friends. There really is no perfect number of friends, though a handful of close friends is probably the average. Interestingly, while Internet social networks may make us feel that we know hundreds of people, research is showing that we feel more isolated than ever before. A 2006 study published in American Sociological Review found that people in the U.S. had fewer friends than they'd had 20 years prior. In 1985, the average American claimed to have three close confidants (which could have included spouses or family members, in addition to friends), but by 2004, the average American had only two close confidants. One in four people reported having no one to talk to at all.
A lack of friends, or a dwindling of the number of them, can certainly be unhealthy, not to mention lonely. According to a University of Chicago study, up to 20 percent of us are unhappy at any given moment due to social isolation [source: Seligman]. Evidently, isolation and loneliness also can affect our physical health. One study found that laboratory mice that were put into isolation were more likely to develop cancerous tumors [source: University of Chicago Medical Center]. Among humans, loneliness has been found to cause stress, which is known to be a risk factor for heart disease and other conditions.
The University of Chicago study also showed that lonely subjects displayed significantly less activity in the ventral striatum section of their brains than did people who said they had strong social networks. The ventral striatum is part of the brain's reward center and is activated by such rewards as food and love. It's also connected with learning. Subjects in the study who were not lonely also displayed greater activity in the temporoparietal junction, which is the section of the brain that's associated with empathy"
http://curiosity.discovery.com/question ... erson-have
That said, I wonder what the friendship count is in other countries. Say in another country such as France, if the average amount of friends a person has is 4, I wonder if one could consider that a more friendlier country?
Well, I have zero. Had 5 in high school, but we all went to different cities for uni and lost touch. Been a hermit since then.
Adult friendships don't interest me anyway. From what I can see it's just guys watching sports and talking about money. Those carefree days of building snow forts, prank calling girls from school, and playing GTA into the wee hours of the morning are over.
This is so true. And being from the New England region, I do miss those snow forts.
16 years ago, the Best Picture of 1999, "American Beauty", telegraphed the message of Happier Abroad to the world.
Beware of long term engagements with AWs, you may find yourself in a coffin.
AB discussion thread
BTW, despite settling down with an AW, myself, the warning is still in effect.
My best friend Doug, I have known since high school. It been 28 years. He's been married the last 20 or so years so we haven't spent much time together as he works as a foreman, one of his most notable projects was the Oakland Bay Bridge retrofit.
My other good friend is my boy Stacy. We haven't talked in a few years, not really sure why but it is what it is. I met him in high school but we didn't start hanging out until the early 90's (after graduation). He is a year older than me, so he is the Class of '87, I and my friend Doug are Class of '88.
My other good friend is Thomas who I got back into DJ'ing and he's also a fellow car nut.
I'm one of those people that tend to have friends for different things. By boy Doug is a car/truck guy, was a serious heavy metal fan in high school. Via my DJ'ing I opened him up to freestyle and new wave (KROQ for those in Southern California). With Thomas we mainly talk about cars and DJ'ing with some other subject matter thrown in, he's a Gulf War vet.
Other friends I talk to often are Mechanical Engineer Jay (via email usually when its not full on his end) and my boy Sam, who is a also a Gulf War vet (injured).
Through him I know what being homeless feels like. He's spent the better part of the last three years homeless. He finally got some vet housing nearby a few months ago.
That article didn't define what a friend is. Americans use the word friend loosely. Most friends are just acquaintances. Not real friends.
Yeah friendships in childhood were far better. Kind of like the ones in the movie "Stand By Me".
See my thread about why childhood friends are more pure and natural than adult friendships.
http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... hp?t=21498
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.
Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!
"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
For starters, I feel for you and your situation. All BS aside, the one place I was able to meet male friends without even trying was joining a gym. Just an idea for you....
That said, I also remember the old days in the late 90's when me and my late best friend would order pizza and stay up all night in his basement watching MTV, or playing Streets of Rage on the Sega Genesis. We also rode the GT freestyle bikes back then and we were deeply into riding into the wee hours in the morning while religiously stopping in the WAWA to recharge our bodies.
Here is the deal though and how I look at it... At some point people need to experience personal growth and leave the teenage years behind and forge a new life as an adult. We're all grown men now, and as grown men, the whole earth is now our playground!
So for example, as a grown man, I don't want to be stuck in a basement eating pizza playing video games like the old days even though it was fun at the time. As a grown man I want to travel with friends and have fun, say, in Egypt exploring all the underground chambers and pyramids, or hiking around Machu Picchu. The problem however, is that too many guys let themselves get locked down by the BS in life such as serious relationships with women, or having kids too young.
Seems like for most people they build themselves a self imposed prison which is why their life sucks big time.. S***, life really isn't that hard here in America so as long as you use your brain and don't get yourself into any major obligations.
If more U.S. guys would remain child free bachelors up to at least 40 we could all have more fun as adults as we would have the money and time to cultivate ourselves.
Friendships were better when we were younger because we had few, if any, real responsibilities. Therefore, we had the time it takes to cultivate friendship.
So going back to my last post, as adults, we need to keep major responsibilities to an absolute minimum.
Most guys blow off their friends the minute their wedding reception ends. Men used to belong to a ton adult fraternal organizations, elks moose, ancient order of hibernians, knights of columbus, rotary, masons, country clubs, etc., but activity in all of this in way less than it used to be. You get married, both parents work, etc. I had many many decent friends who quietly quit returning calls or emails after they got married. Big mistake because most of the dudes got kicked to the curb, their crime, being nice guys and nice husbands. Wifey watches all that cable junk reality shows and wants stud muffin to come over and nail the MILF.
I friend deserved getting kicked to the curb, he was a scum bag.
Yes, this is true, I had two good friends from college who the minute they got married, I almost never heard from them again!
It seems as if guys don't want to remain friends with people after they tie the knot and get married. Then if they get divorced, they realize they have NO friends and wish they kept in touch with their male friends after they got married.
I know some guys who after getting a divorce have bought a pet like a cat, or a dog or even a rabbit. These pets are their substitute for friends. Nothing wrong with having pets, but real life friends are better to have than making a pet your friend.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
I'm surprised at the candor of that article. Most of the time, the US matrix wants to make you feel like you're some kind of demented, maladjusted fiend if you're not surrounded by a gaggle of friends.
I, too, am down to zero friends. In my case, it wasn't by choice. I work as a full-time pro musician; and when I had to stop work due to medical problems a few years ago, that was the last that I saw of my (so I thought) good buddy and several other friendly acquaintances that I had through local gigs. Professional music is one of those lines of work where your life pretty much revolves around the work, and your whole identity and personal friends, etc., all come built in with it- kind of like with military, medical people or career academics. Anyway, I digress.
Once I finish rehabbing my condition and start playing out again, I'll probably fall right back into that scene all over again. Whether or not any genuine friendships come of it, remains to be seen. Knowing most Americans these days, though, I'm not holding my breath.
For several years now, I've been a total ghost in the US, and stick with my friends abroad via Facebook. One of these days, I'll be down there with them in person.
Old saying you can count your real friends on one hand... I certainly can and would say 4 in 40 years, the rest are more acquaintances who always want something or borrow this or that and if you were stuck abroad they would never wire you money (not that I would ask).
I thought this was interesting, so I figured I share it.
Well, the other day I went out on a date with a foreign woman here in America who has lived here in America for many years, and her most serious question to me was that she noticed that American men have few friends, or none, and she wanted to know why...... I gave her the best explanation that I could and let it end with that. That said, there is clearly a problem if an outsider can come to this country and notice the problem.
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