I have five ‘first tier friends’. I’ve known this for a few years now. Sometimes, I am unwise enough to say aloud who they are but those people who aren’t first tier friends generally know this. I think it’s very rare that someone would consider you a first tier friend, while you think of them as a second tier friend.
Here is an interesting article from BBC Magazine — What’s the ideal number of friends? The article posits that the maximum number of ‘core’ or ‘Premier League’ friends a person has is between six and twelve.
This is funny:
‘A newspaper columnist once told of her shock when, having struck up a rapport with a man over dinner, she was told at the end of the meal he had no vacancies for friends. He was operating a “one-in, one-out” policy. Six months later she received a card stating he was now available for friendship.’
I will add one more feature to this theory of friendship. Like the United Nations Security Council, there are five permanent members of my first tier and one or two rotating members. At any one time, I feel close to a person that I am usually spending a lot of time with. These days, it’s often a work mate.
It may not be obvious at the time that this person is not a permament first tier friend but rather a rotating one.
Right now, though, this post is vacant. Apply within.