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REPORt: THE FRIENDSHIP crisis

Only a quarter of adults report being truly satisfied with their friendships. And almost two-thirds lack confidence in even their closest friends. Facing this, most Americans — by more than 2 to 1 — say they’d prefer to have deeper friendships than more friends.

Packed with fascinating (and quirky) insights from the front lines of friendship, this report is helping kickstart an important conversation — about how to be better, get deeper and live more fully with friends. Let’s get talking.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. Most people are not fully satisfied with or secure about the state of their friendships.

2. Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers exhibit markedly lower levels of overall satisfaction with their friendships than do Millennials and Seniors, indicating a mid-life friendships slump.

3. People who say they have more close friends are happier and more fulfilled in life than those who say they have fewer or none. Most people, given the choice, would prefer deeper friendships to having more friends.

4. The qualities most people look for in friends are markedly similar across demographics, including gender, age, race, and geography. Most people want friends who are loyal, are good people, and who will be there for them in a crisis. Among attributes considered least important are physical attractiveness, similar political views, and similar religious views.

5. Women say they have access to more intimate friendships, but they are no happier than men with the state of their friendships.

6. Use of social media is probably not a factor one way or the other in the quality of one’s friendships or one’s overall friendship satisfaction.

7. Those seeking more fulfillment from their friendships should invest disproportionate time and energy in the relationships they consider close.