Men Tend To Have Wide Networks Of Shallow Relationships

This is one of the reasons men tend to have more influence on the wider world — this wider network of shallow relationships. This makes for success in business, academia, culture, sports, and the like.

Women tend to have smaller networks of more intense relationships.

So when it comes to Facebook, I’ve often been told that I should “friend” such and such a woman because we have various things in common and who knows what might happen. So then I friend such a woman and include a note about who sent me and our shared interests and most of the time the woman responds, “I’m only friends on Facebook with people I know.”

So do you think I come out of these interactions wanting anything to do with such women? Not really. If I run into her in person, I probably won’t make an effort to start a conversation. I don’t feel an incentive to include the woman in any of my plans or schemes or businesses or social networks.

I don’t blame the women for these choices. I respect their decisions. I don’t enjoy getting knocked back and all things being equal, that will lead me to shy away from such a person in the future.

The essence of human interactions are “bids.” We’re constantly making bids for other people’s attention, whether it is through a glance or a smile or a Facebook friend request. If we ignore the bids of others, they will quickly stop bidding for our attention.

When it comes to Facebook, I think men are more relaxed with having a wide network of shallow relationships. I think men are less likely than women to need to know someone in person before friending them on Facebook. This attitude makes for more professional success.

Women are more cautious about who they let into their lives, even their Facebook lives. Most of the men I know almost never worry about their personal safety while most women I know have concerns in this area every week if not every day.

Most of the men I know are quite relaxed with sharing their vital bodily fluids with strangers while most of the women I know are quite discriminating in this area.

Here’s a related post: Psychologist Roy Baumeister’s New Book: ‘Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men’

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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