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Why You Need Low-Stakes, Casual Friendships

I used to think of casual friendships as sort of calculating and shallow. Especially way back in high school, it seemed like having lots of friendships was a way to “collect” friends and just try to look cool. So I revolted and embraced only a few close, genuine friends. In fact, I still play video games every weekend with my elementary school friends from 40 years ago. And of course I’m so glad to have them.

But now after a few life adjustments, I’m finally learning that, as with self-confidence, I had things backwards. It’s okay and not shallow to make friends with random people (“neighbors, a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop or fellow members in a spin class”)! It’s fun, and people like it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (What was I thinking?)

These two article are a good reminder that it’s good to just be a silly occasional friend with people.

β€œTake a ton of pictures, text your friends stupid things, check in with old friends as often as possible, express admiration to co-workers, and every day, tell as many people as you can that you love them.”

By the way… It’s not always easy doing this as a single, middle-aged guy. But it can be done. Women in particular may think you’re trying to pick them up. And maybe you are. It gets ambiguous. But that can be part of the fun. πŸ˜†

A 2014 study found that the more weak ties a person has (neighbors, a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop or fellow members in a spin class), the happier they feel.

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