Have you ever wondered how many friends you need to be happy? Do you feel like you have too many acquaintances but not enough close connections? If so, you might be interested in the 7 Friends Theory, a viral trend on TikTok that outlines the seven types of friendships you should have in your life.
The 7 Friends Theory is not based on any scientific research, but rather on a popular belief that quality matters more than quantity when it comes to social relationships. According to the theory, everyone should have the following seven friends:
- A friend you’ve known since childhood and have been through it all with.
- A friend that makes you laugh, even when times get tough.
- A friend you may not talk to for a while but can pick right back up with as if no time has passed.
- A friend you can say absolutely anything to without judgment.
- A friend who feels like a brother or sister.
- A friend you can’t imagine not being in your life.
- A friend that listens to your relationship problems, even if they’re sick of hearing about it.
The theory suggests that having these seven friends can provide you with different forms of support, comfort, joy, and growth. It doesn’t mean you need to have exactly seven friends or one per category, it just means every friendship you have in your life has a specific reason and fits into a different category.
Why is the 7 Friends Theory popular?
The 7 Friends Theory has gained popularity on TikTok, where users have been creating videos featuring their friends who fulfill each role. The videos are usually set to a slowed-down excerpt of “Scott Street” by Phoebe Bridgers and edited together using a template from CapCut. The hashtag #7FriendsTheory has over 10.9 million views as of December 2023.
The trend has attracted many positive reactions from viewers who find the videos heartwarming, adorable, and wholesome. Many people have also commented that they are lucky to have such friends in their lives, or that they wish they had more friends like that.
However, some people have also expressed sadness or loneliness after watching the videos. Some have admitted that they don’t have any friends at all, or that they only have one friend who fits all the categories. Others have pointed out that the theory is unrealistic or exclusive, and that not everyone can have such perfect friendships.
What are the benefits of having seven friends?
While the 7 Friends Theory is not a scientific fact, there is some evidence that having a small but meaningful social circle can have positive effects on your well-being. According to a study by Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist and psychologist at the University of Oxford, humans can only maintain about 150 meaningful social relationships at a time. However, within this number, there are smaller circles of intimacy and closeness. Dunbar found that most people have about five close friends, 15 good friends, 50 acquaintances, and 150 casual contacts.
Having these different levels of friendship can help you meet your various social needs and goals. For example, having close friends can provide you with emotional support, trust, and intimacy. Having good friends can offer you companionship, fun, and advice. Having acquaintances can expand your network, opportunities, and perspectives. Having casual contacts can give you a sense of belonging, identity, and community.
However, having too many friends can also be detrimental to your well-being. According to another study by Dunbar and his colleagues, having more than 150 friends can lead to stress, anxiety, and lower quality of relationships. This is because maintaining friendships requires time, energy, and attention, which are limited resources. If you spread yourself too thin across too many people, you might end up neglecting or disappointing some of them.
Therefore, having seven friends might be an optimal number for some people who want to balance their social needs and resources. Having seven friends can allow you to have enough diversity and variety in your friendships without compromising their depth and quality.
How can you find or cultivate your seven friends?
If you are inspired by the 7 Friends Theory and want to find or cultivate your seven friends, here are some tips to help you:
- Be clear about what kind of friendship you are looking for. Think about what role each friend plays in your life and what qualities you value in them. For example, do you want a friend who shares your hobbies and interests? Do you want a friend who challenges you and helps you grow? Do you want a friend who is loyal and reliable? Do you want a friend who is fun and adventurous?
- Be proactive and intentional in your social interactions. Don’t wait for people to approach you or invite you. Instead, take the initiative to reach out to people you are interested in or curious about. Ask them questions, show interest, and listen actively. Follow up with them and suggest activities or plans that you can do together. Be consistent and persistent in your communication and engagement.
- Be yourself and be authentic. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not or hide your true feelings or opinions. Instead, be honest, open, and vulnerable with your potential or existing friends. Share your stories, thoughts, and emotions. Express your needs, preferences, and boundaries. Respect their stories, thoughts, and emotions. Respect their needs, preferences, and boundaries. Trust them and let them trust you.
- Be supportive and appreciative of your friends. Don’t take your friends for granted or neglect them. Instead, show them that you care about them and value their friendship. Be there for them when they need you and ask for their help when you need them. Give them compliments, feedback, and encouragement. Celebrate their achievements and milestones. Acknowledge their efforts and contributions. Thank them for being your friend.
The 7 Friends Theory is a viral trend on TikTok that outlines the seven types of friendships you should have in your life. While it is not a scientific fact, it can help you reflect on your social circle and identify the roles and values of each friend. Having seven friends can also provide you with different forms of support, comfort, joy, and growth, without overwhelming you with too many social obligations.
If you want to find or cultivate your seven friends, you can follow some tips such as being clear about what kind of friendship you are looking for, being proactive and intentional in your social interactions, being yourself and authentic, and being supportive and appreciative of your friends.
Remember that friendship is not a numbers game, but a quality game. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, as long as they make you happy and fulfilled.