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9 Secrets behind the French ability to build strong friendships



Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/15/21

Look to our Gallic brothers and sisters for advice on making good friends.

Making friends isn’t always easy. But making good friends is much harder. In fact, a recent studied showed a worrying 88% of Americans report having no close friends — a factor exacerbated by the pandemic.

When I first moved from my native England to France, I never thought I’d find a close friend again. Not only were there significant language differences, but our cultures were not always an easy blend.

Thankfully, after about two years, I discovered that the vague friendships I’d started to make at the beginning were really blossoming. Out of nowhere I suddenly had a handful of close friends. These friends I know will stay with me for life.

This realization made me question what it is about the French and friendships that are so different to my previous experiences and friendships (although I still love my faraway English friends with all my heart!).

After much reflection and discussion with my friends, I came up with a list of why the French seem particularly good at building close friendships, in hopes it can help the rest of us …

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