With social distancing still “the new norm”, and many of us unsure of the last time we hugged any of our friends, a new study* by Interflora has revealed the secret to long-lasting friendships; have two separate friendship groups, a mix of five personalities, and don’t forget to celebrate those all-important friendship milestones.
The new study of 2,000 Brits reveals some good news for those under the Government’s current ‘rule of six’ measures – as one of the secrets to long lasting friendship is to have two separate groups made up of just five friends, so no one will feel left out! But, it’s key that a friendship group is comprised of five different personalities to really make it work – including ‘the sensible one’, ‘the organiser’, ‘the joker’, ‘the party animal’ and ‘the dramatic one’.
And what do Brits look for in the ultimate friend? 70% of respondents believe being honest is the most important trait in a friend, with 61% wanting to know a friend will always be there for them. Despite this, a third of people will never share how much a best friend means to them, and 39% would never buy a best friend a gift when it’s not their birthday.
Interflora’s research also shows that on average we have 201 Facebook friends, but 55% never see most of their Facebook friends, and 68% claim they don’t consider many Facebook friends to be actual friends.
Interflora, who commissioned the study, comments on why we should be celebrating our closest friendships. Erica Nicholson, Senior Brand Manager at Interflora, said: “With government restrictions still in place, Brits want to know that their friends will be there for them, now more than ever. However, 1 in 3 people have never told their best friend just how much they mean to them.
“Our study found that, on average, Brits have known their best friend for over 23 years – in many cases that will be longer than they’ve been with their partner yet, unlike romantic relationships, there are no official friendship milestones to celebrate that achievement. We want to change that!
“Our ‘Recipe for Long-Lasting Friendship’ reveals the habits of the strongest friendship groups and celebrating friendship milestones is key. But don’t worry if you don’t have all of the ingredients though, what we really want, is to encourage people to let their friends know just how much they mean to them, and what better way to do it than with a truly one-of-a-kind bouquet of flowers expertly hand-crafted by a local artisan florist?”
Interflora’s newly revealed Recipe for Long-lasting Friendship** shows that celebrating friendship is a key ingredient to achieving a long-lasting friendship. Using new research, Interflora, together with friendship expert, Kate Leaver, has analysed the dynamics of the very best friends’ relationships to develop a ‘recipe’ that will help to achieve long-lasting friendship.
Speaking about the Recipe for Long-Lasting Friendship, Kate Leaver, friendship expert and author of “The Friendship Cure”, said: “Funnily enough, I do belong to a little friendship group of 5 people, so even I fit these statistics. Evolutionary psychologists believe that our brains can handle 150 friendships, but they would agree that it’s your closest 5 who really matter. Other studies have suggested that people who have 3 to 5 friends are the happiest and most satisfied with their lives. That old adage is true; we’re lucky if we can count our closest mates on one hand. I think it’s really important to remember that.
“The point, for me, is that we realise it’s ok to have just a handful of really close friends. We tend to interact with so many people online (as this research shows, some of us have hundreds of Facebook friends, many of whom we never see) that we forget what counts as real friendship. We don’t have the time or energy or love or brain capacity to maintain hundreds or thousands of close friendships. It’s vastly more important to nurture and protect and celebrate a few very special friendships.
“Which brings me to my most important suggestion: celebration. We do have Galentine’s Day every February 13th – a day to eat waffles and proclaim love for our girlfriends. International Friendship Day is the 30th July. But other than that, we don’t have any regular festivities in the calendar specifically for friendship. Don’t wait until Facebook presents you with one of those little slideshows telling you how long you’ve been friends with someone; do it yourself. Get nostalgic, explain what you love about someone, write cards, share food, bake, sing, cuddle, drink, dance, send flowers that mean something. Do it your way – just do it!”