Friendship / Relationships
Some interesting insights about creating friendships (although more investigation is required, so take with a grain of salt).
Create many contexts
“We think of friendship as a singular connection, but it’s a structure,” Hubbard says. A friend who you see in only one context—the office, for example—is likely to be a less close friend than someone who you see in many contexts, and connect with over many different things, rather than a single shared interest.
The psychologist John Gottman came up with the concept of “bids” in the 1990s. “Bids” are small requests for connection—anything from a smile, to attempting to start a conversation, to inviting your partner on a trip with your family. The more partners respond to each other’s bids by “turning toward” them—engaging and offering the requested connection—the stronger their relationship. The more they “turned away” from the bids, the more likely they were to get divorced.
“Sometimes you’ve got a friend at work, and you see them every day, but the pot that plant is in at work is quite small,” Hubbard says. “It’s going to reach the size of the pot, and that’s it. If you want it to be a bigger, deeper friendship, you need to repot it to a bigger context. You might need to bring them to your house. Or invite them to meet your family—that’s an even bigger pot.”