If you’re a regular swimmer or dog walker, a local shopper or seasoned visitor to your favourite café, you’ve probably made some lowstakes, casual friends – people you meet without planning, who share a lighthearted chat or a cheery hello that brightens your day and makes you feel noticed and cared for.
The low-stakes friendship is both fleeting and intimate; advice is shared and troubles are told, but there is no commitment or expectation. It’s a pressure-free relationship with feel-good benefits. Here’s how to recognise, build and nurture those casual friendships.
1 Find friends
A casual friend is someone you care about, but who doesn’t demand too much from you in terms of time investment, energy and emotion. They’re more than a mere acquaintance, but not a confidante. Friendships, and relationships more generally, are the most important contributor to happiness, wellbeing and even longevity, according to Dr Timothy Sharp, and the quality of our relationships essentially determines the quality of our lives. The low-stakes friendship is a straightforward relationship – pure pleasure, like the froth on the top of your coffee.
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