The Hard Facts: Friendfluence

It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.

“What’s more, our friend networks are remarkably unstable themselves. A study by a Dutch sociologist who tracked about a thousand people of all ages found that on average, we lose half of our close network members every seven years. To think that half of the people currently on your ‘most dialed’ list will fade out of your life in less than a decade is frightening indeed.” (Friendfluence by Carlin Flora)

This is just one of about a thousand fascinating tidbits in journalist Carlin Flora’s new bookFriendfluence, which hit bookshelves yesterday. Flora was on staff at Psychology Today for eight years, so she knows her stuff when it comes to the science behind relationships. She and I seem to be interested in all the same subjects–Flora wrote a great article about celebrity obsession that touches on all the same themes as my upcoming book–so I was especially excited that she mentioned my search, and MWF Seeking BFF, in Friendfluence. 

If you’re interested in the science and psychology of friendship, you’ll really love this very readable book. Here’s the fun video trailer, which is especially interesting for two reasons: 1) It stars Nate Silver! and 2) all the featured friendships are cross-gender. Very curious.

Do these friendships remind you of any of your relationships?


Filed under The Search

15 responses to “The Hard Facts: Friendfluence

  1. Very interesting! Personally, I’m surprised its only half over seven years. What’s your upcoming book about?

  2. Losing half every seven would leave me with a fraction of a person. Maybe I need to call more people friends. 0_o

  3. I got an advance copy of Friendfluence and have been struggling with it. I want to like it, but I’m finding it reads too much like a textbook and I rarely consider those to be readable. I haven’t hit the reference to MWF yet, but I’ll be on the lookout for it!

  4. Tunie

    The video just made me deeply miss having male friendships – something that has disappeared from my life as I’ve gotten older. Not sure if it’s to do with age or what – I’m 47 and single, but have always had at least one strong, platonic male friend up til about 35.

  5. J

    I hate to be the one to say this, but sometimes I feel that your blogs advertise too much. If we were friends in real life, I would just have to be honest about this. This is just one person’s feedback. No offense intended.

    • Anonymous

      I find lots of Rachel’s recommendations really useful – if not for her ongoing How I Met Your Mother references I would never have thought to watch the show (as its not popular in the UK), which is now one of my all time favourite programme! 🙂

  6. Wow, that is interesting. I guess reflecting on my own life, this pattern holds true.

    Cheers to you,
    Courtney Hosny

  7. friendlyhomosapien

    Books have trailers??? Since when! I love it! I probably won’t read the book but I love this trailer.

  8. i 100% loved your book MWF: seeking BFF! i could. not. put it down while on vacation- i set out to finish 1 book on my 5 day vaca and it was a success. i cant WAIT to share a little book review with all of my bloggy friends! thanks for the WONDERFUL read! 🙂

  9. Randy Kammer

    Not sure I posted reply in correct place. See above. Randy Kammer

  10. Jessica

    So you’re saying I’m not the only one every time she loses her cell phone notices with concern that 75% of the “I lost my phone send me your number” contacts that trickle in are numbers attached to people that I didn’t even know existed the last time it happened? It always seems a little sad how few friendships have a longer shelf-life than do my phones. Although I suppose the quick turnover does keep down the numbers of people who realize just how much of a phone-losing klutz I am!

  11. How rather sad to think that we believe most of our friends will leave. If that is the case, I wonder how committed people are to helping and caring for others. Hearing more about this would be very interesting.

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