May 26, 2018

The science of making new friends

The science of making new friends

I’ve been going on a series of dates lately.

I exchanged numbers with the person sitting next to me at a Cabernet tasting at my favorite wine bar and went for a coffee with a neighbor I met walking my dog. I reached out to people from my past I haven’t seen in years, to see if they’re newly available. I’m trying to make new friends.

A body of research shows that people with solid friendships live healthier, longer lives. Friendship decreases blood pressure and stress, reduces the risk of depression and increases longevity, in large part because someone is watching out for us.

A study published in February in the British Journal of Psychology looked at 15,000 respondents and found that people who had more social interactions with close friends reported being happier—unless they were highly intelligent. People with higher I.Q.s were less content when they spent more time with friends. Psychologists theorize that these folks keep themselves intellectually stimulated without a lot of social interaction, and often have a long-term goal they are pursuing. Read more

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