Statistics for Cultivating Friendships

The innovation discussed

What it takes, in general, to cultivate friendships, in terms of “work” and time.


What YOU can do with this innovation

  • Set “fair” expectations for friendships, current, past or future.
  • Set rough goals for developing friendships, current and future.


Did you know that, statistically speaking, on average (mean), it takes:

  • 50 hours of socializing from acquaintance to casual friend
  • An additional 40 hours to become real” friend
  • A total of 200 hours to become close friend

Statistics maybe useless in many circumstances of something as wildly variable as friendships. However, they may actually be more useful than useless depending on the distribution of data that contributed to that mean average. Mean average is the “average” most people think of for “average”, just spelled out for those who think of other kinds of averages and may want clarification.


So think back to some friendships that went either well or didn’t pan out as well despite nothing bad happening to ruin your friendships. How much socialization do you think you did with them? “Socialization” here probably means more of the 1-1 type most of the time, or in small groups, rather than being at a party you both went to but hardly talked to each other during the few hours.

For your current set of friendships, are there some you want to develop more? Have you put in enough time? Of course, getting time is far from an “automatic” thing, but if it were possible and you hadn’t become as close friends as you might be wanting to be, check your stats against the stats above.

And for your future friendships, maybe don’t try to rush things knowing what it takes to move from level to level of friendships. And don’t just expect it all to happen, either! 😉


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