Do you remember the days in primary school where making a new friend seemed as simple as saying to someone who you thought was pretty cool, “hey, do you want to be friends?” It seemed straightforward and little conscious effort seemed to be required. Friendships later in life feel so much different. They seem to require conscious effort and time. So why is that?
Some studies suggest it actually takes 50 hours of time together to develop a casual friendship, and then about 200 hours to go from friends to best friends. Clearly, you can’t just become close friends in one day - you have to make an effort to spend time with a person to develop a relationship. You are also more likely to become friends with someone if you spend this time engaging in fun activities and having meaningful conversations. This might explain why we aren’t all best friends with all of our workmates and also why we were able to make friends more easily in school. We spent so much time with each other at school, but it included time to play, explore and chat. If you think about it, we couldn’t help but end up friends with some of the people we went to school with!
There is also some evidence to suggest that you need to have about six conversations with someone you’ve built up to the level of heading towards a solid friendship. If you think about it, most of us don’t get the opportunity to have six conversations with someone we meet unless we really put in a concerted effort to catch up with them again.
This is exactly why our experiences run the way we do. You will meet your group over the course of six sessions, giving you an opportunity to put in that early work in an effortless and fun way to start building those friendships. After that, it is up to you to work towards those 200 hours of meaningful time together to make your new best friend!