All primates, including humans, can only manage the number of relationships allowable by our brains Neocortex relative to its size. According to Dunbar’s Number, on average, we can only shuffle around 150 friends at a time.
That’s interesting considering the average number of Facebook friends sits just south of 340 per user. Dunbar’s Number includes aunt’s, uncles, co-workers, mom, dad, siblings, roommates, etc.
We categorize the relationships in hierarchical groups of 3-5. The most trusted group is usually the spouse, best friend, or sibling(s).
Then the next 9-15 will include trusted friends and family. After that group comes the Allies, which usually range in a number somewhere between 40 and 55. Lastly are the acquaintances which count up to about 90-35 people.
These high numbers can become staticky and overwhelming to a few of us. But deciphering who are truly friends from people you just know comes down to who reciprocates the same level of empathy and dependability you provide to someone else.