How long does it take khổng lồ make friends — for someone you meet who’s a potential frikết thúc, to turn inlớn an actual friend? If you’re out of college và not a young adult anymore, you know that it sure feels lượt thích it’s a process that takes an awfully long time.
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Well my guest has actually crunched the numbers on this question & has the numerical figures lớn answer it. As well as a whole lot of insight inlớn the dynamics of friendship that are harder lớn quantify. His name is Jeffrey Hall and he’s a professor of communication studies who counts friendship aước ao the topics of his retìm kiếm. Today on the show, Jeff explains the three levels of friends that 3D the sort of friendship hierarchy, how many hours it takes for someone to move sầu from one level to the next, và why it’s hard khổng lồ accumulate these needed hours as an adult. We also talk about how sheer time isn’t the only factor that’s needed lớn transform an acquaintance inkhổng lồ a cthất bại or best frikết thúc, và the other factors that need lớn be in play as well. We then shift into lớn discussing another element that influences the friendship-making process: the expectations each friover has for friendship. We discuss how expectations for friendship differ according lớn sex and personality, and what happens when two people have differing expectations for what it means lớn be friends.
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Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, & welcome lớn another edition of The Art of Manliness Podcast. How long does it take to make friends? For someone you meet who’s a potential frikết thúc to turn into an actual friend? If you’re out of college and not a young adult anymore, you know that it sure feels like it’s a process that takes an awfully long time. Well, my guest has actually crunched the numbers on this question, has the numerical figures lớn answer it, as well as a whole lot of insight on the dynamics of friendship that are harder lớn quantify. His name is Jeffrey Hall, he is a Professor of Communication Studies who counts friendship among mỏi the topics of his retìm kiếm. Today on the show Jeff explains the three levels of friends that makeup this sort of friendship hierarchy, how many hours it takes for someone lớn move sầu from one màn chơi to lớn the next, và why it’s hard to lớn accumulate these needed hours as an adult? We all talk about how sheer time isn’t the only factor that’s needed lớn transkhung an acquaintance khổng lồ a closer best frikết thúc và the other factors that need lớn be in play as well.
We then shift in discussing another element that influences the friendship-making process, the expectations each frikết thúc has for friendship. We discuss how expectations for friendship differ according khổng lồ sex & personality, & what happens when two people have sầu different expectations for what it means khổng lồ be friends. After the show is over, check out our show notes at aom.is/friendshiptime.
Jeffrey Hall, welcome to lớn the show.
Jeffrey Hall: It’s good lớn be here. Thank you.
Brett McKay: So you are a Professor of Communication Studies who has spent a lot of your career researching and writing about friendship, how did you over up on that track?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, I actually, I kind of remember where I started, long time ago when I was an undergraduate student, I realized that one of the things that was really motivating for me as I was trying to lớn understvà big questions, like a lot of undergraduate students bởi vì lượt thích, what’s the best use of your time? How vì chưng you really wanna spover your time on this life? And I rethành viên at that time having some really, really excellent friends, you know, people who I wanted khổng lồ spend time doing road trips with or exploring Los Angeles with, or just spending hours just talking. And I said khổng lồ a friover of mine at that time, something to lớn the effect of, you know, I think that the feeling of really having a wonderful conversation with somebody and spending time with them that way is almost as good as sex. And they looked at me lượt thích this look on their face like, no way, that’s not even possibly true. But at that point in my life, this feeling of what it meant lớn really connect with people and feeling like people understood you, became a motivator that’s been with me my whole life.
Brett McKay: And so from there on, you just decided, I’m gonna study friendship?
Jeffrey Hall: Well, that was actually a little bit… Took a little more time to get there. And my very first project that I did in graduate school that was about friendship was actually specifically on men’s friendship. I was in a fraternity, I was actually fraternity president when I was an undergraduate student, và one of the things that I experienced there was that men had these really deep friendships, they spent unbelievable amount of time together doing all manner of different things. And one of the things that was really odd though, is that they were also very concerned with what other men thought that they were gay, they were very cautious about that, and they also used a lot of slang at that time lớn kind of derogate feminine behaviors. And so, my very first project I did in graduate school about men’s friendship, started looking at this idea of men using those kindomain authority language to defover themselves against intimacy. So as they felt greater intimacy with other men, they also use that to lớn kind of as a shield lớn say, Look, at least you know I’m not attracted lớn you, I just really, really lượt thích you as a person, và that kind of tension for masculinity with men and how all that came about was really kind of the origin point of my academic work on friendship.
Brett McKay: Gotthân phụ. Alright, so you’ve written some papers recently where you’ve sầu studied the amount of time and bandwidth investment it takes lớn make and maintain friendships. But before we get to that, I think it’d be useful to lớn break down the types of friends that we all have, and I think all of us intuitively understand that not all friends are equal, some friends are closer than others, so how vì chưng sociologists break down the hierarchy of friendship?
Jeffrey Hall: That’s right. So they actually look at three different categories of friendship that they have sầu pretty well secured and say, these are definitely ones that we would Gọi friendship. One is that you might reserve sầu for a best friend, cthất bại friends or best friends is categories that people use often interchangeably. Really kind of referring lớn people who you’re very cthua khổng lồ emotionally, và also find your preference over all other people that you know. The second kinda category is ones that would be broadly just you know, as friends, right? So these are people who you would definitely Hotline a friover if you are asked. They may be old friends that were once very cđại bại to lớn you, but aren’t as cthua thảm to lớn you now. And then the third category would be casual friends and casual friends are kind of a curious category, & one that I think that people kind of know in the sense that they’re not quite acquaintances, ’cause you kinda know them và you would say that they are a frikết thúc, but they’re not necessarily people who you would really kind of be as part of your choice of who you might hang out with if you had a lot of time to lớn spover with people.
So these would be people who would be part of larger organizations you’re at, so teammates or work mates. These would also be people who long ago were closer lớn you, but not as much anymore, kindomain authority ceremonial friends, is what they’re called. And they’re all this kind of collection of people who you come out in different sort of places in your life & are your friends, but you wouldn’t really spover time with them exclusive necessarily.
Brett McKay: Yeah. So, I think of a casual friend, lượt thích the guy you see at the gym all the time, and you might…
Jeffrey Hall: Exactly.
Brett McKay: Talk about something, you’re not really friends… I mean, you’re friends, but you’re not.
Jeffrey Hall: That’s right. And I would say one thing khổng lồ kinda difference the guy you talk at a gym & all the other people at the gym, is all… The other people at the thể hình you wouldn’t even Call a frikết thúc & you wouldn’t even bother talking lớn them. Similarly with people at work, right? There are people who are my work friends, & then there are people who I work with, và they’re not necessarily the same group of people.
Brett McKay: Gotphụ thân. Okay, so in the depth of friendship, whether it’s a casual frikết thúc, a friover, cđại bại friover, it depends on the time you spover with that person, we’ll talk about that here in a bit, but sheer time isn’t the only factor. I mean, if it was then, like you said, all your co-workers who you see pretty much… You probably spover more time with your co-workers and your family, they would be friends, but lượt thích you just said, some of them are friends, but most of them aren’t. So what… Is there a certain type of interaction that needs lớn happen between people so that you can move from acquaintance lớn casual frikết thúc & then casual friend of friend?
Jeffrey Hall: It’s very interesting is that people tend khổng lồ judge others really fast. Before I did retìm kiếm on friendships, kind of at the same time I was doing retìm kiếm on what’s called person perception, and it’s the ability that people have khổng lồ judge a person’s personality or make estimations about characteristics about them with just a small bit of information, just a single conversation. And recent research that I was really impressed by argued that this kind of ability of person perception also guides our friendship choice in a way that we almost immediately have a sense of whether or not this person has potential. So, in the same way that when you’re interested in someone romantically, you have a pretty quiông chồng estimation of whether or not you’re interested in them pretty quickly. With friends it’s very similar in the sense that we know how similar they are to lớn us, we know what kind of personality that they have sầu, we know whether they respond well to what we have to say.
And this is something that happens swiftly, & then something clicks. The cliông xã that happens is not only… The funny thing is, the cliông xã is actually even something people have used lớn describe the process academically, but it’s basically a process of two people mutually recognizing, liking, right? Two people at the same time, or roughly the same time, realize, I like this person and the other person likes them in return, and we see that verbally and non-verbally in conversation. We see that when people make jokes & other people get our jokes. And we see that when a person says something that’s kinda sly or cynical or even something kindomain authority quirky & you totally get it, you know where they’re coming from. And all of those little clues, we suss up very swiftly, và then we say, this person has a friover potential.
So what’s interesting is is that it seems that our ability to lớn judge whether or not we want khổng lồ be friends with people happens fast, but the process of developing that relationship takes a lot more time.
Brett McKay: Okay, & so, Okay, you have that first recognition, so let’s say you’re talking to some guy at work và he throws out a joke that’s kinda quirky & you got it, and you’re like, Wow, this is a potential friover here. What sorta thing… Like, how vì you… What vì chưng you have sầu to vày to… Besides time, what bởi vì you have khổng lồ bởi vì khổng lồ move that from acquaintance lớn casual friend?
Jeffrey Hall: So a lot of people, what they vì is they change kinda their routines at work. So if you were somebody at work, you might stop by their office more often. You might see if they wanmãng cầu have lunch together during work hours. You see whether or not they’re going to lớn the same kindomain authority training or otherwise. You sit by them during a meeting. What’s interesting is we vị a lot of behaviors that are simpler than what you might do like in middle school to show, these are the kindomain authority people who I wanmãng cầu spover time with. So that kind of workplace is the first kind of place in which the people develop that friendship. It usually doesn’t happen that people meet at work và then immediately say, Hey, vì chưng you wanmãng cầu come to lớn my house, or vì chưng you wanna have sầu a drink after work, or do you wanmãng cầu join my softball team? That’s a little unusual. And part of it is, is that we are not normative-ly accustomed to lớn the idea that friendship should be something that develop through a process of invitation, although I would argue that that invitation act is critical in moving a friendship forward.
Another project I did at the University of Kansas with a graduate student, I focused on this idea of turning points, and we need this moment in our friendship to lớn signal that you’re open to lớn having kind of a deeper relationship with another person. So although immediately after clicking with sometoàn thân, you start kind of redirecting your behavior khổng lồ spover more time with them at work, at some point, if you want that friendship to develop inlớn something more significant, you have to actually take some risks. And those risks require spending time outside of work.
Brett McKay: Right. And inviting them khổng lồ go get drinks, go khổng lồ a ball game or something lượt thích that, whatever.
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, exactly. So I’ve made friends through people who were part of a softball team when I first got to the University of Kansas. I’ve sầu made friends with people who… We had a similar interest in things that were going on around town or wanted lớn go to a basketball game together. And so there are a lot of possibilities of what you might invite people to, but there’s a lot of social awkwardness that comes along with that invitation as well, which is I think why people are so reticent to try.
Brett McKay: Well, let’s say you’ve made that move, there’s that turning point, you’ve sầu turned an acquaintance khổng lồ a casual frikết thúc, you spkết thúc time và you get closer, like, what has to lớn happen, what sort of interaction has khổng lồ happen to lớn move from, say, friend to best friend or good friend?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, so what’s interesting here is my study that I did on friendship hours basically took three processes into lớn trương mục. One of them is just time and time alone. So this study got really popular because that it provides some sort of estimates that people can think about in terms of what it requires to lớn get there. And I think that those estimates are important, because what they seem to lớn suggest is if you have sầu less than that amount of time, then you probably haven’t spent enough time on that person to lớn điện thoại tư vấn them this type of relationship. So it’s kind of more of the idea of, this is kind of the range of where things start to lớn change. The second thing we looked at is, how vày you spkết thúc your time together? And what my study found was the more time you spend hanging out with somebody toàn thân, the greater chance that’s going to develop into lớn a more intimate friendship. But the more time you spover just at work or school, it decreases the likelihood of that developing inkhổng lồ a more intimate friendship.
And the third is, how you talk to lớn someone. So there’s a long, long history of doing retìm kiếm on relationship development focused on something that’s called self-disclosure, & self-disclosures come as a huge body toàn thân of literature that says that if I talk about myself or reveal more intimate details of myself, that this develops liking. Well, I broaden that mô tả tìm kiếm quite a bit in my study lớn say that it doesn’t require self-disclosure necessarily, but it does require doing things like joking around, having catch-up conversations, being like, so what have you been up to? Or, how did that thing go that you went to? Or what’s been going on in your life? And then also meaningful talk, & meaningful talk doesn’t have sầu to lớn necessarily be lượt thích, your personal trials và tribulations, although it could. Meaningful talk could also be talking about things that you really care about, you know? Things that you’re concerned about in politics or things that you’re concerned about at work that really matter to lớn you personally, and having another person listen.
So the idea that I’m working with is that there’s kindomain authority like three separate factors that are all going on in that relationship development. In order to develop a really best or a very cthua trận friend, you kindomain authority have sầu khổng lồ have all three.
Brett McKay: Okay, so let’s bởi vì a quiông xã recap here. So the time you spover together counts, but it can’t just be time you see someone at school or work, because… I mean, you see people every day at school and work and you don’t become friends with those people. It also matters how you spend your time together và how you talk with someone. And there are three types of interactions that increase your intimacy và can increase your chances of becoming friends with someone, the first one is self-disclosure, then there’s having meaningful conversations, and then there is just catching up on the every day stuff as well, lượt thích, what’s going on with work, kids, etcetera? And if you wanmãng cầu move from frikết thúc lớn best frikết thúc or close frikết thúc, you wanmãng cầu have sầu all three of those conversations.
Okay, so even though time isn’t the only factor, I wanna focus on that a little bit, because you’ve sầu done some research as to lớn how long it takes to lớn move sầu up the friendship hierarchy. So let’s talk about that for a bit. Let’s say you meet some guy, you hit it off, you have sầu a lot in comtháng, you get along great, how long is it gonna take to lớn move from acquaintance to a casual friend?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, so according khổng lồ my study, that range happens somewhere between 40 & 60 hours of time together. So the study that I did actually had two parts lớn it, one was focused on adults who geographically relocated, and they typically relocated for work or for family. And then the other one was on college freshman, and I caught them three weeks right after they had arrived at the University of Kansas and looked at who they had been spending time with in those three weeks before the start of the semester. And in combination kind of that first estimate of casual frikết thúc from acquaintance came from the idea that probably for adults it took… According to lớn my study, it took longer for adults lớn develop friends, but what’s tricky about that is because there was a retroactive study, it could be that they had already developed a casual friendship và were just spending more và more time afterwards.
Because the one done on students was done prospectively, meaning, we caught them so early on, we were actually able lớn see changes of different time windows. So that estimate is really the 40 khổng lồ 60 hours is meant to accommodate the idea that it depends kind of on whether or not more and more hours are accumulating with this person. And you can imagine how that would bởi vì that in a school setting or in a work setting. The next kindomain authority level of change happens between 80 và 100 hours of time, and between 80 & 100 hours of time, you kinda go from the casual frikết thúc lớn the frikết thúc category, và this happens really sort of in a development of a greater amount of time spending time away from the place that you met, spending time hanging out, spending time playing, you know, whether you play đoạn phim games or watching TV or going lớn events together. So it kind of diversifies the kind of ways in which you’re experiencing the other person.
And the third cấp độ is over 200 hours it takes to make a cchiến bại or a best friend. And I actually think that might be a conservative estimate, meaning, I think it might actually take longer than that. And part of the reason that it takes so long khổng lồ develop that cấp độ of intimacy with another person is, you have sầu to get to lớn the point where your guard is dropped, you have sầu to get to lớn the point where you’re feeling comfortable being yourself around this other person, & I think for a lot of people, they don’t get lớn that level of comfort with another person to allow for a best friendship to develop.
Brett McKay: Okay, so it takes about 200 hours or more lớn make a closer best friover. So to clarify, vì these hours include both times spent at school or work & outside of it, or is that just time spent together outside of the school or work?
Jeffrey Hall: No, both. So that estimate came from time spent in both places.
Brett McKay: Okay. And is there a certain timeframe that you need lớn accumulate these hours within? Something lượt thích in high school or college, when you’re seeing your friends every day, all day, và then you might be spending every weekkết thúc together, so you might accumulate those 200 hours within a matter of months. I mean, that’s why when you’re young, it feels like you can meet someone one day & then in a few months later, you guys are best friends, but when you’re an adult & you’ve got a job & you’ve sầu got a family, & you might see a friend just lượt thích a few hours every month. So it could take possibly several years lớn accumulate 200 hours. So vì you need khổng lồ accumulate all those hours within a certain window of time or can it be spread out over several years?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, I think they absolutely can. One thing you’re pointing out that I think is very important is that when you have sầu the luxury of time & you’re open khổng lồ developing relationships, such as when you’re in school or a young adult, studies actually suggest that people build really strong friendships, usually within the next, about three or four months. And the reason that it’s such a short interval of time is people kind of make a choice because they have so much luxury of time and different people to make friends with, that by the time that four months elapse, you’re kind of where you’re going to be with that person. I think that you’re right, that for adults, there is some evidence khổng lồ think that this is not only a more gradual process, but remember when we’re talking about 200 hours, we’re talking about someone who becomes your best frikết thúc. And I think that that standard is actually quite high.
To develop a br& new best frikết thúc is quite a hefty endeavor. It’s not something that you can vì simply or it’s not something you can vày the process if you’re just really liking someone or spending a little bit of time together. So I think that you’re correct that as an adult to develop a best frikết thúc, probably it takes many, many more months, và maybe even years in the process of slowly, gradually accumulating kind of that màn chơi of closeness và intimacy, which can be done in a lot of different ways as you kind of progress through that process.
Brett McKay: Okay. So the lesson there is that adults need to be patient with making friends. I mean, if you’re expecting lớn make a new best friend or a good friend in a matter of months, like you did in high school or college, you’re probably gonmãng cầu be disappointed.
Jeffrey Hall: Absolutely, I actually would find it hard khổng lồ believe that there’d be a context in which that you would be able khổng lồ vì chưng so as an adult, unless you found someone who is just in the exact same stage where you’re at, where you’re really open to meeting someone new.
Brett McKay: Yeah, that’s another interesting hard thing about adult friendships is that you’re in different stages with different people, so like, you might be newly married, no kids, you have a lot of time, và then you meet some guy who’s married & has three kids and is coaching football or whatever, you guys… You might have a lot in common, but it might not turn inlớn friendship ’cause you’re out of sync.
Jeffrey Hall: That’s exactly right. Being ready to actually invest time in friendship is, I think that’s something that people imagine that’s only on them, & sometimes they find it really frustrating because they can’t make the other person be available in the way they might like. But it’s probably more common than not that two people are on different pages, and that’s why I think also circumstantial-y, when you are a young adult, it’s so much easier is that many, many people are open khổng lồ the process of developing friendships and having a longer time lớn spkết thúc together with their friends.
Brett McKay: Okay, so one of the obstacles khổng lồ making friends as an adult is that not everyone’s at the same stage in life, or some people just aren’t open lớn friendship at the same time. Besides that, are there any other obstacles to making friends as an adult & accumulating those hours và hours it requires lớn make a friend?
Jeffrey Hall: There are, I think, three kind of key parts to this, one is that we really value work in the
Now, you don’t thua kém all of your friends, when you move sầu, but study after study has confirmed that moving is a huge threat to lớn being able to maintain friendship over time, & I think the third probably has less to lớn vày with just United States, but if you ask both men & women, people throughout the world having kids and getting married are huge killers to lớn friendship, and both of them is because that they’re a huge amount of emotional time and also physical time with two people, basically all of that time is being invested in your most important relationships, and so you don’t make time with friends.
What’s interesting is in the past, there’s good reason to lớn believe that, due partly lớn gender segregation, where men and women had different activities, due in part lớn also kind of a more open culture in the sense that people were more likely lớn vị things like join bowling leagues và be part of the Elks Club & all that kind of thing. They spkết thúc a lot more time out of their house with people who are not their family, và so there was more of an understanding that if you left your trang chính during the week khổng lồ go bởi vì things, it wasn’t an insult khổng lồ the people in your trang chủ, it was just kind of how you were in the society that you lived in, but I find that in our culture, those forces of work, the forces of geographic mobility và the forces that have sầu really said people và men particularly, should be spending more time with their kids and with their loved ones at home means that that time that they would spend outside of their trang chính developing friendships has really been very much curtailed và in some ways minimized as a value.
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Brett McKay: So it sounds lượt thích if you wanmãng cầu make friends, you have lớn make it a priority, you to lớn put it on your schedule. Or it’s not gonna happen.
Jeffrey Hall: Bingo. And I feel strongly about that. I’ll just tell anyone out there who’s interested, I actually have sầu it on my list of things to do sometimes, và I’m not even kidding, if I wanna keep in touch with my friends, I put it on my… Make us an appointment, and I have sầu a standing conversation with my best man from my wedding who lives in Los Angeles & I live in Kansas, and we talk once a month, sometimes we only get to talk for 15 minutes, sometimes we talk for longer, but we make it a priority. And so what’s odd as that even someone like myself, who you’d think I’ve cared about friendship along time I study it. It would just come naturally. You really have sầu to make it a priority in life, otherwise it won’t happen.
Brett McKay: Now, I think that’s a good point. I think a lot of people don’t vị that because they think, Well, it’s friendship you don’t have to lớn make it lượt thích this sort of, it’s not a to lớn vày, but you kindomain authority have sầu to lớn make it that way or it’s not gonna happen.
Jeffrey Hall: I think so, you know what’s funny about things about the to vì concept is that a lot of people actually think that the process of having khổng lồ organize something makes it less pleasurable, but then a lot of research suggests also that when you have something to look forward to lớn it’s actually really nice, lượt thích being able khổng lồ anticipate the lunch that you’re gonna have sầu with a frikết thúc or being able to lớn anticipate hanging out with the guys or anticipate that phone Hotline, a frikết thúc from long ago also has its own rewards. And so people have sầu this kind of interesting characteristic where they Hotline it negative forecasting bias, where they imagine something is in the future, they don’t wanna put on their calendar, ’cause lượt thích, God, making friendship inkhổng lồ a chore that’s lượt thích the worst thing ever? But oddly, by rendering it inlớn something to look forward to lớn và it’s something that you can actually plan for, it actually makes the experience of having it that much more fun.
Brett McKay: We’re gonna take a quichồng break for a word from our sponsors.
And now baông chồng to the show. So we’ve talked about how much time you get khổng lồ spover with someone so they’d become a frikết thúc, do we have sầu any retìm kiếm on how long it takes for a frikết thúc khổng lồ descend down the hierarchy of friendship? Right, so for example, if you don’t invest regularly in your best friendship, how long does it take for that best friover to become a casual friover into sort of an acquaintance?
Jeffrey Hall: What’s very funny about that is that there are two thoughts, schools have sầu thought about this, there is pretty consistent information and evidence that says that people in the casual friend realm are turning in and out of that all of the time, different stages of your life from middle school lớn high school, to college, to lớn young adulthood. To the time with your family. Places you change to lớn go khổng lồ different places in the country of the world to live, that these people who are your casual friends there will go away, và some of them will maintain through things like social media or Facebook or otherwise, but many of them are just people who will disappear, & interestingly, there’s good evidence khổng lồ say that those people… The loss of those people isn’t necessarily a bad thing, people don’t feel particularly sad about having lost their casual friends, but what I would say is that having that kind of group of casual friends lớn reconnect with is a useful thing to have sầu if you move baông chồng lớn the place where you met them. So if I move bachồng khổng lồ Los Angeles, for example, I would have sầu a whole phối of casual friends I’ve kept in touch with a little bit that I might re-enact a friendship with, if I live there.
However, when it comes lớn best friendship, that’s where the school thought kinda differs. What’s interesting is, is there are these several studies, one that was done in the early 90s that I really lượt thích, it was called Just Friends, và this researcher or a sociologist interviewed men và women about their best friendships, & then they would interview the best friend about the friendship as well, and what they found was that there were people who basically said, this person is my best friend, the researcher would reach to lớn the best frikết thúc, the best friend would be lượt thích, I’m their best friover. I had no idea. That’s fantastic, I haven’t seen them in years.
So you can keep this best friover in your life & your emotional sense of who I am, and even in a relational sense, even if you don’t communicate with them very often, and I think what’s interesting about that khổng lồ me is that we vì have the value of feeling like we’re connected with someone, but if we don’t enact that, then we don’t know about the benefits of it. So what I’m getting at is that there seems to lớn be two different processes going on in my own research looks a lot at this one is the relational process, are there people in my life? And the second is the communication process, which is how often vị I talk khổng lồ them và both contribute lớn your well-being, so if you wanmãng cầu have the best possible, best friendship experience, you actually have khổng lồ vì both the communication part và the having part.
Brett McKay: And so, yeah, this means you could still maintain a best friendship, even if that person moves you just lượt thích you make it a priority to lớn talk khổng lồ your best man, at your wedding at least once a week.
Jeffrey Hall: Once a month, yeah. Craig và I talk once a month. And I love sầu it, I look forward to lớn that conversation. We just dive right in. And even if we only get 20 minutes. He’ll be like, Okay, I got 20 minutes. I’m lượt thích, Okay, let’s work. Let’s take it. And you gotta make it a priority absolutely.
Brett McKay: And I think it’s interesting too. If you ask a lot of people lượt thích, Oh, who’s your best friend? They’ll often mention someone from high school or from college, even though they haven’t seen them in decades, & I’ve sầu noticed that like, Oh, who’s your best friend? I’ll include in that các mục my best friover from high school. And we haven’t talked in a while, but if we got together, I feel like we would piông chồng up right where we left off.
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, that’s a definitional characteristic of a best friover. The thing that makes best friends or cthua friends, cchiến bại friends, is that they are people who we can stop having the relationship with, và then when we see them again, we still get to have that sense of closeness and that sense of camaraderie. I too had an experience lượt thích that, or a cthua friover of mine from college, I saw in New York a couple of years ago, ’cause I was going up there, work, & we just spent a long afternoon evening together, và I had just a fantastic time of catching baông xã up again, but neither one of us vì chưng a very good job of keeping intention in the meantime, so I think what’s lovely about these things is that the kind of concern or the worry, Well, if I reconnect with my old friends or otherwise, it may not be as much fun. Typically speaking, if you’re as cchiến bại khổng lồ that person as you were, then chances are, it will be a very good experience.
Brett McKay: Another component that influences making and maintaining friendships that you researched are the expectations each person in the friendship has for the friendship. So what are the factors that you found that shape a person’s expectations for friendship?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, when I did that expectations project, and that was where my interest began to lớn go away from just looking at men’s friendships and look at differences between men & women’s friendships. People have sầu a phối of expectations for what it means to be a friover, what does it require minimally for someone to lớn become a friend or lớn be a frikết thúc, và those projects really focused on the ideas, how does our concept of what friendship is differ between men and women & other wise. One of the things that about that Friendship of expectations project that I looked at và I find really fascinating still, is that I argued something that I hotline cultivated complexity, which is essentially the idea that you cultivate a level of expectations & complexity of those expectations with another person, so that for some friends, you can have very simple expectations of what it means for you & them khổng lồ be together as friends for other people, the friendship danh sách of things you expect from them may be very, very big.
What’s fascinating is that if you expect too much of your friends, you’re often disappointed, but if you expect nothing from your friends, a lot of times they don’t even meet that minimum standard. So there’s just kind of this middle ground, which seems to lớn be the people who are functioning the best in friendship is they’re able lớn expect enough from their friends lớn be able to get those relationship factors out, but they’re not expecting so much khổng lồ be disappointed when their friends aren’t there for them every single time & in every single circumstance, và not so… Expecting nothing, is that basically that relationship goes nowhere. So those kind of expectations really play a role in being able khổng lồ mix the stage for what you want that friendship lớn look like.
Brett McKay: And so what are some things when we’re looking at, what kind of expectations we have for the friendship, what are we looking for? Is it just a matter of how much you’re gonna invest, interest… What are the factors we look at?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, so the main factor, the one that’s actually the most important in many ways is the one that we… Is kind of a trust, a sense that that person is gonna be there for you when you need them? A sense in which that they value you as a person, the idea that their concern for you is genuine, so these kind of four issues that you can trust them, that they’ll be for you, that they truly like you for who you are, & that you can count on them, or they genuinely believe the things that they are, they’re not nhái, or they’re not just kind of fair weather friends, that’s kind of the core expectation of friendship và the most important one. Then other ones we’ve talked about already, one is things lượt thích having somebody toàn thân who’s similar to lớn you is a set of friendship expectation, similar value, similar hobbies, one of them is things around self-disclosure, so self-disclosure expectations, one of them is about having fun with another person, spending time together, the expectation that they’re gonmãng cầu include you in things và invite you khổng lồ do things, và then there’s a final phối of expectations, which are pretty small, the big picture, but also things like…
It’s nice to have friends who know people or nice khổng lồ have sầu friends who are well-connected in business, or it’s nice khổng lồ have friends who are athletic, or it’s nice to lớn have sầu friends who are kinda of socially popular or otherwise. And so these are also things we like khổng lồ have sầu in our friends, but are ancillary to friendship, but my project on expectations was saying, these are the kinda six sets of expectations we can have sầu for our friends.
Brett McKay: So it sounds lượt thích you can have different levels of friendships, & listening to you, it sounds lượt thích it tracks really nicely with Aristotle’s idea of having three different levels of friendship, in the first màn chơi of friendship, it’s instrumental or utilitarian friendship, and this is where it’s a friendship where you just get some kind of use out of the guy, maybe he can help you with your network. Help you with your business. Maybe the second cấp độ of friendship is a friendship of enjoyment, so this is where you just have sầu a good time with this guy, but you wouldn’t expect hyên lớn visit you in the hospital if you were there, và then the third level of friendship is a friendship of virtue và this is where you help each other become better people, and where you’re just friends for the sake of friendship, và so as a consequence, you’d expect more from this type of friendship.
Jeffrey Hall: You got it.
Brett McKay: So how bởi we develop these expectations we have sầu towards friendships?
Jeffrey Hall: So this is actually something that starts very early, research on child development says that the process of being able to develop an understanding of what other people can vì chưng for us and who they are to us is something that maps on lớn a developmental process và children, that starts early on. And this is like in our kindergarten age where kids begin to prefer certain playmates, people that they like to spend time with over others, & then a lot of time, it’s because they can jointly play together, they can actually vị things at the same time, và they cốt truyện nice with each other, so they begin to lớn look at their friends as sometoàn thân who is sharing their blocks or their cars or whatever, rather than somebody toàn thân who’s being selfish, those developed expectations get a little bit farther when their play gets more complicated và kind of get even more complex when the social issues become more complicated. So think lượt thích middle school, where it becomes super important that you have sầu a frikết thúc who’s genuine, super important to lớn have sầu a frikết thúc that you can trust to lớn kindomain authority defover your character if another person is being harsh on you.
A lot of this comes from the idea that adolescents actually go through a period of time where they’re really sensitive sầu khổng lồ both inclusion signals like, Do people lượt thích me & want me to be here? But are also very, very concerned with exclusion signals, so the feeling that if anyone slights them or looks down on them, they get really aroused và upphối by that kind of thing, so as a consequence, your friendship expectations come from that developmental process, what I think is really interesting is that the developmental process maps on to the three levels of friendship we talked about earlier, so as you said, at that lowest cấp độ of, I like this guy is a good guy. Shares nice he shares his toys, that’s a casual friover, or Aristotelian mã sản phẩm of a instrumental friend or a utilitarian one.
And then as you move sầu up from friend khổng lồ cthua kém, or best frikết thúc, at the very top of our best frikết thúc, that’s also the most emotionally developed relationship and friendship. The one that we would only be able to have when we developed a more secure sense of self & other. And that only happens after 15, 16, 17 years old. So what I find really fascinating is this process that your emotional development as a person maps onlớn your strength of relationship và these three different categories of friendship.
Brett McKay: How bởi vì friendship expectations differ by gender, vày men & women generally have different expectations for their friends?
Jeffrey Hall: Men & women vì chưng have sầu different expectations based on gender, in the case of women, as you might suppose and guess that women tkết thúc lớn have sầu a higher expectation of emotional intimacy, self-disclosure kind of talk, that’s really based upon a high cấp độ of sort of emotional talk và also sharing, men và women both mô tả two similar expectations for different categories, they both want their friends lớn be someone who they can hang out with and chia sẻ a laugh và enjoy themselves. The other quality that men and women are quite similar on is this idea of kind of genuineness, like this person really likes me for who I am, and men & women are quite similar on their expectations that their frikết thúc should be trustworthy & genuine in that regard, all though women vày tkết thúc to have sầu slightly higher expectations for that than vày men. But the last category where men actually have higher expectations than vị women, is this category that’s kind of curious, it has all of the different characteristics of what we might want in a friend that’s not about the relationship. So for example, this category included friends who were intelligent và athletic và successful and had good business connections và were attractive and were people who had access to high-paying jobs, & the idea was, is that men more so than women and even young boys và young men. All evaluated friends who had those characteristics as being more valuable friends than did women.
Brett McKay: So status is an important part in male friendship.
Jeffrey Hall: Exactly. And you can kindomain authority see how that changes, & so for boys, for example, status might be somebody who’s popular và athletic but as a young adult, it might be somebody toàn thân who has access khổng lồ jobs or comes from a family with income as you’re young adult, you also might find someone who’s well connected, so the idea of these status indicators actually are motivations for men khổng lồ maintain same-sex friendships in a way that they’re not for women.
Brett McKay: Does personality play a role in our expectations?
Jeffrey Hall: Absolutely, so probably the one that makes the biggest difference of all personality characteristics has khổng lồ vị with this issue of attachment, so people who have sầu very secure attachment have an easier time being able to lớn evaluate others as being a safe place lớn develop closeness with. They get less anxious if there are these signals of exclusion or otherwise, however, there… The one that people talk about the most và I get this question the most often is, well, what about introversion and extraversion? And what I find fascinating is that there is good reason to think that introverts and extroverts are different on two key phenomemãng cầu, one is extroverts are comfortable talking khổng lồ a whole hechồng of a lot more people và kinda a lot more people as friends than introverts bởi, but the other one is, is that introverts also tend to lớn find friends & really dedicate themselves, so they have sầu fewer friends, but really work on developing friends, but introversion and extroversion both value friends in a very similar way, they just define & what it means to lớn be a friend, a little bit differently.
Brett McKay: So if you have sầu an extrovert, and an introvert, being friends, the extrovert might have sầu like, you know, Hey, you know, my expectation for you is that you’re just around whenever, if you can’t make it, no big khuyến mãi. The introvert would be like, Hey, where were you? You were supposed to lớn be here.
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, those kind of miscommunications could come up, one thing that I’m actually thinking in my own experience too, is that I’m probably a little more extroverted in terms of comfortable, certainly talking to lớn different people and making different types of relationships, and one of my friends from college that is much more introverted, one of the things about having a relationship with her is that she’s really lượt thích, These are my people. So what’s need is, is that when we’re able to lớn hang out, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as it did when were in college, we were actually going to more depth of conversation và all the things that a more introverted friendship looks lượt thích, so I was able khổng lồ enact those in my relationship with her.
And in a way, I wasn’t really necessarily able to lớn vày with a lot of my more casual friendships. So what I think is important lớn keep in mind here is that, yeah, there can be conflict between different kind of personality styles or attachment styles when it comes to friendship, but part of the beauty of friendship is you can have friends for different reasons, right, you can have a friover that you talk lớn about really important stuff, but you can also have sầu friends that you’re always having a great time ’cause everyone’s laughing about everything, you can have sầu a friover who’s fantastic for being in a softball team together, or someone that you like lớn go out & have a drink và shoot pool with, but can you have sầu another friend who is sometoàn thân who would be more likely khổng lồ invite to lớn a social gathering or someone who you might like to work with, so what’s neat about friendships is that because they’re not exclusive, we can find different parts of ourselves being developed through these relationships we cultivate with others.
Brett McKay: So what happens when there’s two friends, their expectations of the friendship differ. What typically happens?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah what’s most likely to happen is friends very rarely actually have conflict that leads them khổng lồ go down different paths, and you might be able khổng lồ guess what are the types of conflict that really break friends up, and this is things lượt thích. You cheating on me with my partner, you really let me down, I expected you khổng lồ be there and you totally blew it, or you’re just downright mean. What’s weird is that friendships can even recover if people like fight or scream at each other or come lớn blows even, and some retìm kiếm actually suggest that, that can actually even be bonding because you care enough about that other person khổng lồ argue with them.
So what’s weird is, is when people have sầu different expectations, they’re much more likely to lớn just sort of back off, they spend less time with the person, they don’t say anything, they ignore their texts, they don’t respond, they prioritize other people, và all of these way of disentangling oneself from that friendship usually happens as a matter of course, rather than a matter of intent, so people aren’t going, I need to break up with this person. Instead they’re lượt thích, Man, I’m just not feeling it.
Or, you know what, they’re always expecting me lớn do this and I don’t really want khổng lồ. Or they’re just not meeting the other person’s expectations for the frequency of communication or type of communication, so the other person stops inviting them. And I think that that’s one of the things about that kind of tension that plays out is we are generally speaking, not going to lớn talk lớn our friends about the process of relationship disengagement in the way that we would in lãng mạn partnership, where there’s a clear expectation that if things are falling apart, you try lớn talk it through.
Brett McKay: So when friends have different expectations for a friendship, they typically don’t discuss it, và then they just disengage và the friendship dissolves, but even if it’s not common to talk about the relationship, the friendship, is it possible lớn have a successful or fruitful discussion about different expectations for the friendship?
Jeffrey Hall: That is a very, very hard thing to bởi. I think that friends are actually poorly equipped khổng lồ figure out even how to broach the topic, usually what happens is, is if there is some sort of disconnect, that disconnect happens more because of the sense of reciprođô thị, I’m providing a lot more to you than you’re providing to lớn me, I’m having lớn be the one who reaches out more, I’m having lớn be the one who carries the work và scheduling time together.
And I think those kind of things on a more fundamental level can be managed quite well in the sense that you can actually say… One person, if you are the person on the receiving kết thúc of those invitations but not, are not great, at initiating, be thankful and grateful for what the person offers và make sure that the other person knows I really appreciate you keeping in touch, even though I’m not great at it. We’re gonna be self-deprecating about it, I’m terrible at this, but you’re so great và I really appreciate it. So I think there are ways to smooth those edges over, but retìm kiếm on fundamental disagreements of expectations around trust… Violations of trust or violations of intimacy or violations of sense that the other person just isn’t there for you, those are very hard lớn repair and generally speaking, we bởi not have a good cultural dialogue or any kind of sense of how lớn approach when someone actually does something, that’s pretty off.
Brett McKay: Alright, so people are gonmãng cầu have sầu a hard time discussing deeper expectations in friendship or for friendships, but it is possible to communicate about the more concrete ways there may be some missed signals going on, for example, I know my experience is that most people are either initiators invitors by nature and some people aren’t, and I think it’s just a personality thing. So the people who are natural initiators, they often just need some reassurance from their friend saying, Hey, you know what, just… ’cause I don’t reach out as much. It doesn’t mean I don’t lượt thích you, I’m just not very good at. It’s not my inclination.
Jeffrey Hall: But I think that we can misinterpret a laông chồng of equity & friendship as a lack of desire to lớn be in the relationship, & I have had that happen personally, so many times where in just recently I’m baông chồng in touch with a friover of mine from undergraduate at least back in more routine touch with a friover of mine, and I had thought all the times that he didn’t return my text or otherwise was just that he had other priorities, và now that we’re baông chồng in touch again, he says, I really appreciate all that time that you spent trying to get me to respond, I just did not have sầu my shit together, I did not have sầu my life organized in a way where I could respond, & I’m sorry I wasn’t a good frikết thúc, but I’m really glad we’re baông xã in touch now và that is so deeply reassuring to me, ’cause I did have some anxieties like Why isn’t returning my stuff… I don’t get it.
Brett McKay: Yeah & some people are just are bad texters, they just… They don’t vày that, but… They probably appreciate it. I think so. So what vì you think the big takeaway is about friendship and adulthood that you think people should take away from or they can get from your research?
Jeffrey Hall: Absolutely, I would say the number one is, vày not be a flake. Do not be flake if people invite you to lớn do stuff, show up. If you say, Hey, we should hang out together. Hang out, lượt thích follow through is key, và follow through doesn’t have khổng lồ mean like tomorrow, it doesn’t have to mean be next week, it means that you make it something that you… If someone makes a promise or invitation to lớn you to do things, you help make it happen, and one of the things that I think that in our contemporary culture, you hear a lot is that men will… Or, and women for that matter, we’ll say they met somebody really interesting, they like lớn be friends, lượt thích, Hey, we should hang out & vị that thing together some time. And then nothing. Nothing happens. That is to lớn me the biggest key indicator of something that has potential, if another person says I want to lớn spover time with you, take ’em up on it & spend time with them. The second big takeaway that I would say is something we’ve sầu already talked about is be intentional, be intentional about spending time with your friends, keeping in touch with your friends.
And then the third thing that I would take away, is tư vấn your partner in doing the same. If you’re in a lãng mạn relationship, recognize that you will be happier if your partner also has better relationships with other people, & that goes both ways for both men & women in a heterosexual relationship, và so I think that the takeaways here is that in order khổng lồ enjoy the great parts about being friends with people, you actually have sầu to enact it, & so I wanna encourage people as much as I possibly can to lớn take those steps to bởi vì so.
Brett McKay: Well, Jeff this has been a great conversation where can people go khổng lồ learn more about your work?
Jeffrey Hall: Yeah, so at the University of Kansas, we have sầu the relationships and công nghệ lab. I invite everytoàn thân lớn kiểm tra it out và learn a little more about my work, I do stuff that has to vị with social media and how that affects our lives, we bởi vì work on friendship, và we bởi work on kind of all of those issues of this intersection between relationships and technology and friendship is one part of that, so I welcome everybody lớn kinda learn more about it.
Brett McKay: Well Jeff Hall Thanks for your time. It’s been a pleasure.
Jeffrey Hall: It has been my pleasure. Thank you.
Brett McKay: My, I guest here is Jefferey Hall, He’s a Professor of Communication Studies who specializes in friendship, make sure khổng lồ check out his show notes at aom.is/friendshiptime where you find liên kết to lớn resources where you delve deeper inkhổng lồ this topic.
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