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Some people may have been lucky to find their BFF almost instantly while other people may have had to put more effort into their friendship over a couple of years. You may not even be able to remember how you met your BFF at this point because it seems like they have been in your life forever at this point. Whether you realize it or not there were stages you went through.

Strangers

This is someone you might wave at regularly or see at a gathering often. You make small talk on topics like the weather or current events. It is not awkward to be around them, but you aren’t sure what to say or how to act so you keep it simple. When you see that you both respond positively to each other you begin to move from strangers to the next stage: Casual Acquaintances.

Casual Acquaintance

In this stage, you still do not know one another too well but you feel comfortable hanging out one-on-one to get to know each other better. You might go get coffee together or take a walk in the park to converse in more interesting topics without revealing anything too personal or intimate. You will both start to respect each other more and it is likely due in fact that you have found that you enjoy each other’s company and opinions. Building a foundation for friendship relies on having similar interests and most importantly trust. Many acquaintances will not make it out of this stage and that is ok. However, your gut instinct might kick in here and let you know if you think it is ok to socialize on a deeper level with this person. When you start to hang with this person more and socialize at parties and connect on social media, you have made it to the next stage of being friends.

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” — Muhammad Ali

Friends

You are considered extremely lucky or possibly an extrovert if you have more friends than you can count on fingers. As your new friendship has entered this stage you start to feel more secure with the person. You may even start to disclose more personal details about your life and even vent about negative things. Because you are both new to this level it is important to keep the negativity relatively low and continue to grow through laughter, giggling, being spontaneous, and being supportive. You both rely on each other to help foster the relationship and being positive as much as possible gives you a chance to moving up to the best friend stage.

Best Friends

Your friendship has hit an all-time high and usually, this level is completed only by the absolute best. You and your best friend are there for each other no matter what. You know each other like the back of your hand and probably know each other better than a partner would. You are so deeply connected with each other it feels like you are family. Whenever you are in a moment of crisis or tragedy, they will be the first person you think of. Their reliability, trust, humor, respect, and honesty are valued by you. You will likely do anything you can to help each other whether it’s a couch to crash on or a shoulder to cry on, you will always be by their side through the good and the bad.

You may be wondering how many friends you have in these categories and a recent study from Snapchat might help as they concluded the averages.

The average person's social circle consists of:

  • 4.3 Best friends
  • 7.2 Good friends
  • 20.4 acquaintances

The friendships you develop are not just for fun, keep in mind that friendships directly impact your health. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have it is just important that you have them. They can help improve your physical health. Studies have shown that people who lack social connections were at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure which could lead to another serious medical diagnosis’.

Next time you are at a party or work or school or wherever you consistently see a stranger put a little more effort into getting to know them. While you may only ever end up having one best friend, there is no such thing as too many friends.

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