She states how having many acquaintances allows people access to resources and a better chance at a happy life.
You may be having a “bestie” or a “go-to” person who is your ride or die in moments of doubt. Such people serve as the pillars of strength and the bond shared with them is a blessing indeed. However, take a moment to think about the casual friends you may have. Those people from your circle from school, college, work or a webinar you randomly chose to attend. Maybe they are not aware of your highs and lows, but it is true that they might add some value to your life.
Female friendship educator Danielle Bayard Jackson has several insightful statistics and opinions on friendship. Her account, @thefriendshipexpert, is dedicated to sharing everything you need to understand about friendships. She recently posted a video explaining that “weak ties” or casual friends are more important than “besties.” She began by explaining, “People who have more friends are happier.” She elaborated by saying that there are two types of friends, “There are close friends and there are acquaintances.” She added that people who are not our besties but we have pleasant relationships with, pass off as “weak ties.”
Jackson then mentioned that these “weak ties” are people whom we see less frequently and have less intimacy with. Furthermore, she said, “People who have ‘weak ties’ are less likely to have depression.” While this may seem vaguely connected, the expert shared her insights. Explaining the same, she said, “Close friends are not the only relationships that add value to your life.” Jackson then said that those who have more weak ties have more access to various resources which keeps them “happier and healthier.”
She also said that having more people in the form of ‘weak ties’ enables one to get critical information and a variety of perspectives. “It makes their world bigger,” added the expert. “They are getting affirmed for the various aspects of their intersectional identities,” continued Jackson. Simply put, this means that people with weak ties feel more seen due to the variety of people they interact with. She further addressed the contrary thought many have of “needing only 2 besties.”
While Jackson explained that it's okay to prioritize them, “they alone should not be the extent of your social network.” She concluded her video by saying that we need to be more open to the people we come across to increase our chances of developing “weak ties.” “I need you to stop giving the stink face to your neighbors and coworkers and the person that stands beside you at the dog park and instead say 'hello',” Jackson suggested. “It will be worth it."
Commenters agreed with the expert’s opinion and facts and were able to answer the doubts they’ve been having on the matter deep down. @marlonotmario said, “This is so affirming! I felt like I had to be super close with everyone in my life and this video felt like a deep breath.” @allthingsseryn said, “Yes, I think it's less of a burden to be everything to one person. That can feel overwhelming at times.”