Throughout your school career, there’s always the worry that you never have enough friends, and that you’re not popular, and this can carry on throughout your young years, until you get a job really! And that’s understandable! So much online with social media shouts out that if you don’t have many friends on your Facebook you’re not popular.
According to a new study, this doesn’t need to happen for long though! The study has suggested that whilst in our 30s, we shouldn’t be worrying about whether we’ve got many friends or not, as it’s quality, not quantity.
Cheryl L. Carmichael says that in your middle age, your happiness is defined by the number of friends you have in your 20s, and the quality of the friends whilst in your 30s. So, in that case, does that mean whilst in your 20s, you do need to worry about the number of friends you have? This can be tough when you’ve potentially got a relationship to worry about too.
This research was conducted by using around 200 uni students who’re asked to keep diaries during the 70s and 80s. Over two weeks, they were required to keep track of the social interactions – when they were in their 20s, and then again when in their 30s. Later, when in their 50, they undertook mental health tests, about their loneliness, happiness and depression.
There was a strong link that the more interactions in your 20s, the happier you were in your 50s, however, this was not true for when in your 30s. It was the quality instead of the quantity that determined the wellbeing.
This is likely down to your life choices when at 30 – usually you’ve got a family, career and kids, and you can’t maintain the quantity of friendships, but the quality.
So, basically, if you’ve not got as many friends as you used to – don’t worry about it! It’s all cool!