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This isn't really strongly supported, but for the sake of the discussion I'll assume it as a starting point. That is that extraverts have a greater number of friends than introverts. Again, I know this doesn't have to be true, but you would think that in general it would be true. I'm mainly mentioning it to relate it to the MBTI, but I don't know if there's a real point in splitting hairs about how valid it is, if at all.

The main thing I wanted to hear about is what everyone thought about the potential relationship between the number of friends someone has versus how deep the friendship is.

For example, I don't have a large number of friends. I have a lot of acquaintances and people I've met over the years, but I would say I only have about four true friends. However, I am extremely close with these five friends. I feel like I can talk to them any time I want to or need to, and I can share almost everything about myself with them. I feel like I can be truly comfortable with them.

(I'm also an introvert, but like I said, we don't need to spend a lot of time debating whether there's a connection or not. Part of it may also be that I'm an ISFJ too, though, since it makes me very committed and loyal to those important to me.)


However, some people (maybe extraverts), have said that they have many friends (like, I don't know, maybe 30). I've always wondered if they have as deep of a relationship as I do with my friends with all of them.

It would seem to me that they don't, just because I can't imagine ever wanting to have that many people that I could tell so many things about me....the mere thought wears me out. But maybe they do. I don't know, it's hard to say, partly because their definition of friend, or even "close friend" may not be the same as mine. If I say I have four close friends, they may say they have 30 close friends...but their relationship with those 30 may or may not be as strong as I am with my four.


So I guess what I'm asking is...do you think in general the more friends somebody has make the depth of those friendships less, or do you think some people just have a greater capacity to have a large number of "close friends" than others?
 

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Subterranean Homesick Alien
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I don't think that there's necessarily a connection between the number of friends someone has and the depth of the friendships. There are many other factors that would play a part. For instance, I had three friends throughout middle school, but I never really knew them that well and they never really knew me very well because I was too shy.
If you prefer to have very few friends, then yeah, your relationships with them might have more depth. But if you're shy anyway, then they probably won't have much depth. If you have 30 friends, then you're most likely not gonna have very deep friendships with all of them, but you could have deep friendships with a few of them. Having many acquaintances doesn't mean that you don't have any close friends. And having close friends doesn't mean that you don't have many acquaintances...
 

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MOTM Aug 2010
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I have a ton of acquaintances, but not many very close friendships at all. Sticking with the same group of people and spending a lot of face-to-face time with them is draining for me. I wouldn't necessarily say that having a lot of friends is inversely related to deep relationships though. Some people I know can just be really close with a lot of different people.
 

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From my (INTJ) point of view, Extroverts call everybody ( or a large portion of them ) they know a friend. An introvert will only use the word friend when they think there is a real connection (or perhaps a considerable amount of time spent with the person).
 

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From my (INTJ) point of view, Extroverts call everybody ( or a large portion of them ) they know a friend. An introvert will only use the word friend when they think there is a real connection (or perhaps a considerable amount of time spent with the person).
I'd agree. I know tons of people but consider few of them to be friends.

In fact, I'm often surprised when I realize that someone has become a friend or considers me a friend.
 

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I don't think that the number or depth of friendships is necessarily correlated to extraversion because it probably varies considerably throughout a person's life.
 

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Since 'close' is so subjective then depth of friendships is really hard to measure. I have ridiculously unfairly high standards for example so don't believe any of my friendships to be truly close but another person might have different standards. Maybe it's possible for a person to have close friends numbering 30 or more if they simply consider someone a close friend if they talk to them or see them every day rather than if they can share absolutely everything about themselves to them. In general having any a few friends that you can invest more time in may result in deeper friendships but I'm sure lots of people manage to spend a lot of time with people and never really get to know them.
I said 'close' too many times, I've started thinking the word looks strange :crazy:
 

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well as an introvert, most of my friends are extroverts because I relied on them to initiate things. They will freely talk to lots of people. maybe even consider many friends. However they still have a relatively small number of truly close friends. Of course there are some extreme extroverts who are always socializing with everybody and never have much time to socialize with anybody one on one for very long. So they have a large number of shallow friendships. I don't think most extroverts are quite like that though.
 

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This isn't really strongly supported, but for the sake of the discussion I'll assume it as a starting point. That is that extraverts have a greater number of friends than introverts. Again, I know this doesn't have to be true, but you would think that in general it would be true. I'm mainly mentioning it to relate it to the MBTI, but I don't know if there's a real point in splitting hairs about how valid it is, if at all.

The main thing I wanted to hear about is what everyone thought about the potential relationship between the number of friends someone has versus how deep the friendship is.

For example, I don't have a large number of friends. I have a lot of acquaintances and people I've met over the years, but I would say I only have about four true friends. However, I am extremely close with these five friends. I feel like I can talk to them any time I want to or need to, and I can share almost everything about myself with them. I feel like I can be truly comfortable with them.

(I'm also an introvert, but like I said, we don't need to spend a lot of time debating whether there's a connection or not. Part of it may also be that I'm an ISFJ too, though, since it makes me very committed and loyal to those important to me.)


However, some people (maybe extraverts), have said that they have many friends (like, I don't know, maybe 30). I've always wondered if they have as deep of a relationship as I do with my friends with all of them.

It would seem to me that they don't, just because I can't imagine ever wanting to have that many people that I could tell so many things about me....the mere thought wears me out. But maybe they do. I don't know, it's hard to say, partly because their definition of friend, or even "close friend" may not be the same as mine. If I say I have four close friends, they may say they have 30 close friends...but their relationship with those 30 may or may not be as strong as I am with my four.


So I guess what I'm asking is...do you think in general the more friends somebody has make the depth of those friendships less, or do you think some people just have a greater capacity to have a large number of "close friends" than others?
Yes, I've noticed that the higher the extroversion, the higher the number of friends, and the lower the extroversion the lower the number of friends. However, I believe that things like career play a part to. For example, someone like Sean Penn, an INTJ would obviously have more friends because his public acting career status requires him to constantly be around people. It is because of this that he probably meets new people befriends them.
 

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The more friends I have, the greater opportunity I have to find someone that matches one of my particular interests at that moment. That's probably one of the bigger benefits. However I have very few friends I would consider "closer" than others. It seems impractical (and possibly hypocritical) to have an imaginary list of friends and their "ranking" of degree of closeness. For me, I try my best to care about each one of my friends/acquaintances equally regardless of the amount of time we spend together. I know this bothers some types (ESFJ's, for example).
 

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I agree that the extroverts who have more friends may not keep them as close because they are always off making new friends. I, on the other hand, keep my friends very close and value them. Once I get to know you, be prepared to have a friend for life.
 

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i hate emotional connection. i feel trapped. the ideal relationship is one where i can call him up after like two years of not speaking, meet up the next day, talk for 4 hours straight, then forget each other for another long stretch. i can't stand hanging out with the same people more than twice a month (mostly because i haven't yet found anyone on the same wavelength). ideally, we won't bother trying to impress each other by ever dropping names or "what"s or "whom"s or "where"s. i don't expect anything more from my friends either. life support is far too much to ask, which is why i keep relationships brief.

as far as my current relationships there are plenty of people whose characters i hate, but whom i keep in touch with, a) because if i dropped them, i'd lose 80% of my social network, and b) because if i dropped them, i wouldn't be able to meet new people. i'm a straight up two-faced politician, not even gonna lie, i love to talk shit. but in my defense, i give everyone a chance, and discriminate by individual integrity alone.
 
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