There have been loads of studies done recently on this very subject and some surprising facts have been revealed. In a study at the University of Kansas, done by researcher Jeffrey A. Hall. He studied 112 college students and 355 adults. Hall's study revealed that it took the students on 43 hours and the adults 94 hours to turn acquaintances into casual friendships showing that adults needed more than twice the time to warm up to strangers as did the students. Then it took the students 57 hours more to turn those casual friendships into friends. The adults needed, on average, 164 hours to accomplish that same level of friendship. So long much longer did it take to turn those friends into good, even best friends? For the students, it was accomplished in 119 hours. For the adults, it took an additional 100 hours. In going from friendship to close friend, the adults actually did better than the students. Human adults need more time than kids to warm up to people but less time to take those friendships to a deeper, closer place.
While we all want to have friends, we have to be willing to put in the time and effort. Friendships don't just happen. They take a little work. Time, on its own, doesn't breed intimacy. Talking, as it turns out, is kind of hit and miss, as well. Interestingly, shared activities don't always deepen the bonds of friendship, either. The students did, however, seem to be a bit chummier when they engaged in small talk; current events, pets, movies, sports, etc. But these same students became more distant over time. The small talk wasn't enough to build or sustain the friendship.
So what does it take to build a friendship? There's no magic formula, no matter how hard we might wish for one. Research underscores that friendship is an investment in time. But time spent getting to know one comrade means that it's time you can't spend getting to know someone else. In the end, what this tells us is that we all must pick and choose who we want to cultivate as our friends. leisure time spent getting to know others can be thought of as an investment in our future. Studies abound that prove good friendships make us happier and can increase our longevity. And not all of our efforts pay off. Some relationships peter out over time. All any of us can do, then, is to focus our attention on those relationships with which we feel the strongest connections to. None of this makes any difference, though, if we aren't willing to put in the time to see where these acquaintances take us.
I hope you'll join me here tomorrow for a fun blog on random thoughts. Until then, I wish you all PEACE.