Go Deeper Not Wider
We’re in a friendship crisis. Three quarters of Americans are not truly satisfied with their friendships. Paradoxically, in an age of Facebook and always-on connections, a growing body of research is proving what many of us already feel deep in our gut: we’re actually lonelier and more isolated than ever before. How can this be?
Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert says that the number one predictor of happiness is the strength of your bonds with your friends and family. It’s not about the number of people you associate with. It’s about the quality of those relationships. But can you do both? Can you enjoy quality relationships with lots of people? The hard truth is no. That’s why we need to go deeper, not wider. It’s great to “know” a lot of people and to maintain a vibrant network. Remember, however, that it’s not about how many people you know but more about the ones you are deeply bonded with. And there doesn’t need to be that many! Keep this in mind…
You might be a superhero (I like to think I am but others may disagree), however, in order to have deep friendships you have to let your Kryptonite flag fly to those who matter most. Psychologist and relationship expert Beverley Fehr says that the primary hallmark of friendship is intimate self-disclosure—or showing vulnerability. Showing vulnerability is how we get closer with people and requires gradually revealing more intimate information about ourselves. This gradual reveal helps increase trust, support and loyalty— therefore, going deeper, not wider.
Written by Lisa Smith
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