by Nir Eyal
I've always envied friendships on TV
On the hit show Friends, a group of 20-something New Yorkers hang-out daily. I sort of thought these depictions of adult relationships were based on a sliver of reality. Nope. They aren't.
When my wife and I moved to New York City
We waited for our local version of Chandler, Kramer, Monica, and Elaine to come over. But they didn’t. In fact, no one did. What should adult friendships look like?
Not having close friendships = worse than being an alcoholic
A study in 2010 by showed that a lack of social relationships is equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.
Several months ago, when someone asked: "How are you doing?"
My reply was the standard Silicon Valley yuppie salute: "Good! Super busy!" But it wasn't exactly true. I was super busy, but I wasn't good.
More professional prospects -> More time away from friends
My professional and personal life were going well...but I only felt fine.
Friendships Starve to Death
It's easy to leave the most important people for last. However, the food of friendship is time together. The less time we invest in people the easier it is to make do without them.
For a more satisfying and more fulfilling life
You need somebody to talk to, depend on, and enjoy. My friends & I came up with a way to keep each other close. We call it the "kibbutz." It fits into our lifestyle despite busy schedules.
Here's how our kibbutz works
Every 2 weeks, 4 couples get together to talk about 1 question. Questions range from deep inquiry to lighter more practical questions.
The conversation resembles an interactive Ted talk
The conversation is always contemplative, informative and most often very funny. The topics get us past the small talk. It also prevents the gender split that happens when couples convene.
I always leave the kibbutz with new ideas and insights
Most importantly, I feel closer to my friends. It's that closeness I was missing & it's what finally helped snap me out of my funk. Consistency is key. We set side a time, every other week.
Stiff-arm the kids
Typically they play on their own, but if they do interject, they're given a stern response. We want to model what adult friendships look like.
Friends are not something we abandon like outgrown clothes
Being a good friend means listening when others have something to share and that means not being distracted by anything - including our phones and even our children (unless someone is bleeding)
Forming strong bonds is always important
no matter ho busy we get or how old we are. Lifelong friendships appear to be the key to living a longer life. Friendships help keep us alive. Seeing an occasional status update is no replacement
The people we care about most make life worth living.