Billy No-Mates – routines and themes in friendship

Loneliness is worse for your health than smoking 15 cigarettes every day. Men’s social networks shrink faster than women’s. Just two of the revelations from the Max Dickins’ excellent Billy No-Mates – How I Realised Men Have a Friendship Problem.

But Max has good news too. Anyone can repair and rebuild their friendship networks by “being a Sherpa” – organising activities that bring people together. So whether it’s a football game or a regular pub night, being deliberate about your network can be good for your health and your career. At a corporate level it should be part of your routine too.

A bonus point from Max: CS Lewis points out in The Four Loves that friendship is always “about something”. But it doesn’t have to be the same thing. We can build relationships around things that others and even we ourselves) might consider trivial. We don’t need our friends to know everything about us for the relationship to be great – just as we don’t need to pitch every detail of our business. Friendship, like business development, is so often about keeping it simple.