What Do You Think is a Healthy Number of Friends?

Research has shown that strong friendships can help us live longer, protecting against everything from heart disease to the common cold.

Johns Hopkins geriatric medicine expert Alicia Arbaje says that the effects of these friendships on our mental and emotional help, especially as we get older, is another key component to healthy aging. “It’s all about whether you have people in your life who meet your need for emotional, spiritual and other kinds of support,” says Arbaje.

While there is no universal magic number of a healthy number of friends, each person has a certain number of connections that keeps them happy and healthy at different point of their lives.

What do you think is a healthy number of friends? Tell us in the comments section if you think you currently have a healthy number. Visit Healthy Connections to learn more about this topic and for tips on ways to meet new people

What Do You Think is a Healthy Number of Friends?

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Harvey Scherr October 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm

As I was growing up, my mother said to me, on many occasions, "it is a lucky person who has one true friend," she was correct. I voted for 6 - 10, I am very lucky! Keep in mind, sometimes a friend turns out to be just an acquaintance.

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Rose Richardson October 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I also think that to have 3-5 friends you need to know what their assets are in the friendship department because friends definitely play different roles in your life. There should be a friend who you tell your secrets to because they are good at keeping secrets, not giving advice necessarily so you may need a friend that gives good unbiased advice, a friend who can help out in financial straits sometimes, however dont't wear them out. See where I'm going with this. Ceratin friends for certain tasks.

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Bonnie C October 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

Quality, not quantity, is the key. But, you need different types of friends for different circumstances (some will be good for going to the movies, others for hanging out for cocktails, and still others for fun events like parties). Not every friend is going to be a one-size-fits-all - each person has different attitudes & moods for different circumstances.

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Elizabeth Duvall October 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

I think you NEED at least, one good and trusted friend. But I have found that different people have been closest to me through different times in my life. It is always good to have many friends. You never know when you will need someone's expertise or compassion. And you stretch yourself when you reach out in unconditional love to many different types of people.

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Jack Walter October 13, 2014 at 7:17 am

It's not the number of friends you have, it's the quaility that's important. One truly good friend is worth dozens of casual friends.

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C October 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

I completely agree. A few good, trusted friends are worth more than the thousands of "friends" one might list on a Facebook account.

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