Need a Moment, Wednesday

Today wasn’t planned this way – but this is what/when you:

Need a Moment
Close Friend’s 20-Something has cancer and surgery within 24 hours.

When it’s your older brother who smoked cigars and Stage 2 – expected.
Young Adult, not expected.
Need a minute.

How many “friends”?


“I have 2000 friends on Facebook.”


How do you manage that?

Maybe you don’t.  According to some studies, the number of people you can really call “friend” is around 150 to 200. Your brain can’t process more than that. dievca considers Facebook friends, “acquaintances” (see more below). Those studies also say that the number of close friendships you can handle is much lower — around five.

Where did these numbers come from?

British anthropologist and evolutionary biologist Robin Dunbar.

Dunbar argues that you can only keep friendships with about 150 people at any given time, because “this limit is a direct function of neocortex size, and … this in turn limits group size where stable interpersonal relationships can be maintained.” Dunbar says his number of 150 “refers to those people with whom you have a personalized relationship, one that is reciprocal and based around general obligations of trust and reciprocity.”

This number of 150 has appeared in different contexts as the most efficient working system for a Company, a Military Unit, Academics in a discipline’s sub-specialization, etc. The number has also been applied to anarchy and politics ~

Dunbar argues that this number has not, in fact, changed much throughout history and that it applies to social media on the web just as it does in real life. If anything, his research is supported by outlets such as Facebook—according to that site’s official figures, its average user has about 130 “friends.”

dunbar-breakdown-of-numbersThe theoretical circle of 150 is not a homogenous social group, Dunbar explains, but rather consists of four layers, or “Circles of Acquaintanceship,” which scale relative to each other by a factor of 3—an inner core of 5 intimates, and then successive layers of 15, 50 and 150. With each successive circle, the number of people included increases but the emotional intimacy decreases.

The concept of usefulness can impact inclusions or exclusion in the group of 150.

dievca applied this to her circle of friends and it seems to work well. she ended up with more people in the “15” circle and less in the 150 zone, but dievca is highly social. dievca also applied it to Master’s circle of friends and His ratios are slightly different, too. And as an introvert, His close circles are smaller.

What is the cut-off for Friend vs. Acquaintance?

remember-when-friendsPsychologist Mark Vernon, author of The Philosophy of Friendship, argues that everyone likes to be useful to their friends, but feeling that a friend is using you is the first sign of a relationship’s decline.

If you can connect online at any time – doesn’t that allow you to be closer to more people? Isn’t the quality of your friendships better?

The answer, according to Dunbar, is – No.  Why?  Those connections are missing something very important: Touch.

We’ve all seen David Attenborough-narrated footage of primates picking fleas out of each other’s necks to create social bonds. For all our greater sophistication of language and communication, we still overwhelmingly need that too.

“Just the way you casually touch someone on the arm or the shoulder when you’re having a chat with them is so important,” he says.

“It triggers the release of endorphins in the brain, and it’s these that create this sense of warmth and calmness and contentedness with whoever you’re doing it with.”

We may be connecting more verbally, but without the act of touch – the quality of those connections are superficial.  And if you are spreading yourself thin, across a range of Friends/Acquaintances online – you don’t have as much time and attention to spend with your core groups.  The quality of your Relationships may be deteriorating and you may be feeling the lack without knowing why.  Remember, you have 2000 friends on Facebook! 

Please note that humans are always evolving, this might not be a bad thing, but…

Per Dunbar, “Words are slippery, a touch is worth a 1,000 words any day.”

Pieces gathered from Psychology Today, webmd,, the New Yorker, wikipedia


dievca is not a big user of Facebook, she apparently has 190 friends – but has never sent a friend request because she doesn’t know how. she doesn’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but she figures that no one really cares a poop about what is going on in her Life except for her top 5. And those people she talks to face-to-face or on Skype.

Just for fun from Wikipedia:


  • Malcolm Gladwell discusses the Dunbar number in his popular 2000 book The Tipping Point. Gladwell describes the company W. L. Gore and Associates, now known for the Gore-Tex brand. By trial and error, the leadership in the company discovered that if more than 150 employees were working together in one building, different social problems could occur. The company started building company buildings with a limit of 150 employees and only 150 parking spaces. When the parking spaces were filled, the company would build another 150-employee building. Sometimes these buildings would be placed only short distances apart. The company is also known for the open allocation company structure.
  • The number has been used in the study of virtual communities, especially MMORPGs, such as Ultima Online, and social networking websites, such as Facebook (Dunbar himself did a study on Facebook in 2010) and MySpace.
  • The Swedish tax authority planned to reorganise its functions in 2007 with a maximum 150 employees per office, referring to Dunbar’s research.
  • In 2007, editor David Wong wrote a humour piece titled “What is the Monkeysphere?” explaining Dunbar’s number.
  • In the 2012 novel This Book is Full of Spiders, also by David Wong, the character Marconi explains to David the impact Dunbar’s number has on human society. In Marconi’s explanation, the limit Dunbar’s number imposes on the individual explains phenomena such as racism and xenophobia, as well as apathy towards the suffering of peoples outside of an individual’s community.

Drama? What Drama? I had no idea….

Lucy-van-pelt-1-“Do you want to be honest, or do you want to win?
You could have it all if you could gracefully give in
Like when a martyr knows he’s a martyr
And looking in the mirror makes you cry harder
’bout your glittering ball and chain
In love, In love with your
Beautiful pain

Excuses and old theories repeat themselves and die
But when they don’t hold water
You try to keep them safe and dry”
– lyrics from the song Beautiful Pain by Rosanne Cash


dramaDrama: any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting,or striking interest or results.

dievca always thought she was a “no drama” zone.  she feels deeply and is very direct/honest with her emotions – but not apt to make a scene.

A friend used the word “drama”multiple times relating to dievca.  dievca thought she was missing something in the definition and looked the word up. The direct definition didn’t seem to apply either.

So, dievca  googled Drama vs. Emotions and ran into this article:

Mind Body Green: Are you expressing your feelings or just creating drama?

Drama eCard

OMG — dievca was horrified, she has done this!
And it prompted her to write this e-mail:

I have never understood why you use the word Drama relating to me. No one has ever used the word for me.  I didn’t think I do drama.

I kept thinking that I just was telling you how I feel….

Apparently, not.

I was looking up the definition of Drama for a blog post and came across something about drama vs emotions, this article explained an important difference to me:

So how do you avoid drama while simply feeling your feelings? The easiest way is this:
When communicating an emotional experience to whomever you feel provoked by, say, “I feel _____.
But when saying it in a different way:
“You statements” = drama.
You made me feel _____!

The message in between the lines is:

You screwed up.

You did something I don’t like.

You’re wrong.

I am sure I have done this in the past, I cannot change that~

But the past two emails, where I replied to you – I did not do it.

So, if you are generous – I guess we should start there to go  forward.

I still feel a deep need to say I am sorry. I had no idea.

dievca’s sincere apology was accepted, plus she is doing well at using different verbiage to describe her feelings.

Feels Good!

Tony! Toni! Toné! – Feels Good (Click)

dievca is lucky enough to have a posse which closes around her when shit hits the fan.

Here’s what happened: dievca got the flu and didn’t bother to take her temperature — in fact she was a little delirious for about 4 days thinking she was running a slight fever. Wrong! After rejecting Master’s help early (she didn’t want to get Him sick), dievca didn’t realize how sick she was until the fever broke and she had swamped the bed in sweat. Buckets of it….gross really. Thank goodness she had drunk a lot of fluids.

After that — dievca decided to no longer be stupid and ask for help and meals. Master was not available, so her posse turned up in force.  Soup, rice, liquids,  being driving there and back to an event (stayed all of 30 minutes), phone calls, texts, home visits, coverage at work. A very generous bunch of friends. They are amazing.

Currently: Unproductive coughing – has given dievca a 6 pack, she’s lost a lot of weight, breathing can be hard, she sounds like a frog, when the coughs are productive – there is a lot of crap. But, dievca is no longer delirious.

Why is dievca babbling about this? she believes in giving and this is where her giving has come back to her 10-fold.

Granted this is a “closed” blog (no Facebook, no Twitter, no promotion) and only two IRL friends read it (Master and one lovely Lady) — so dievca is giving Thanks to the clouds.  But, she is a big believer in good vibes spread through the ether and though she has given Thanks to her friends, directly – she would like to add kudos online.

The outfit?

Yesterday and today, dievca ventured out to meet friends who wanted to buy her a meal and she found her new “go to” outfit that made her “Feel Good”.  she survived for two hours, each time and managed to eat some appetizers. Going to bed at 8:30 pm helps.  Looks like she is really on the mend. XO

PS – if you got this flu, dievca feels for you. she’s sending love. And no, dievca, didn’t get the flu shot this year – but she hasn’t had the flu in about 8 years…

PPS – don’t you love that Hedgehog? It’s in honor of Master!
Diversity is the Spice of Life: the Hedgehog and the Fox

To know that you’re there by my side / It feels good
To know that you’re there for me / It feels good
To know that you’ll always be around / It feels good
To know that you’ll love me for me

True Friends

friends group shotIn 1967, The Beatles released a song that is still an anthem for all friendships today: I get by with a little help from my friends.

Aristotle once described a true friend as a “single soul dwelling in two bodies“.

“Relationships are the asset which can get us through good times and bad, and it is worrying to think that there are people who feel they have no one they can turn to during life’s challenges. We know that strong relationships are vital for both individuals and society as a whole, so investing in them is crucial.
~Ruth Sutherland, the chief executive of Relate

graffitti,streetart,lovehumor,bestfriends,funny,life11 Signs of a True Friend:

  1. They push us to be more accepting of ourselves.
  2. They call us out when we’re in the wrong.
  3. They’re present.
  4. They really listen.
  5. They support us through adversity.
  6. They keep our stress in check.
  7. They keep us humble.
  8. They have our backs, even when life gets tricky.
  9. They make the friendship a priority.
  10. They practice forgiveness.
  11. They make us want to be better people.

To have close friends, you have to be a close friend. It takes work and desire. You cannot be stand-offish and friendships do get messy and can be time-consuming. But the benefits are numerous.

It’s very simple, as with Manners, to be a friend you have to be present.

best-friends (1) best-friends

The Guardian: One in 10 do not have a close friend and even more feel unloved, survey finds
Huffington Post: 11 Signs Of A Genuine Friendship
Friends vs. Acquaintances dievca’s musings
Best Friends bracelets Etsy

iadornu Etsy: Click to purchase

Carelessly cruel

CruelYou didn’t think, did you?
Too busy with everyone else.
The ones who make a lot of noise.
The ones who don’t give back.

Bring on the saviour.

And me?
The one who is self-sufficient.
Who is quietly thinking and giving.
Who asks nicely.

Gets the self-absorbed behaviour.

The action taken?
Causes unnecessary mental stress.
Because, there wasn’t a dialog.
Because, it wasn’t thought through

Which ends up as – carelessly cruel.