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Do Most People Make Friends Easily?

If you were to ask people around the world to describe the typical American personality, chances are that the word "friendly" would be mentioned. However, apparent friendliness notwithstanding, the findings of a 2019 study suggest that the average American struggles to form new friendships. After digging into the social workings of 2,000 Americans, the marketing research company OnePoll discovered that most haven't made a new friend in five years, and 81 percent said they believe that establishing long-lasting friendships is very difficult. The survey of 2,000 adults, which was conducted with the help of online invitation maker Evite, found that 45 percent of respondents have difficulty making friends -- often due to shyness or introversion -- and 63 percent said that their friendships most often ended because one of them moved away. Besides shyness, factors cited for the apparent lack of ability to make friends included being reluctant to hang out in bars, the sense that the other person had no more "space" for new friends, and not engaging in free time activities where they could meet other people.

Friendship facts:

  • Scientific research has discovered that people typically have more genetic traits in common with their friends than with strangers.
  • According to the work of anthropologist Robin Dunbar, falling in love tends to lead to the loss of two others a person considers close friends.
  • On average, people make approximately 400 friendships in their lifetime, but only 33 of them last.
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