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  • Writer's pictureJosh Wymore

1+1: Choosing best friends + Jennie Allen builds community

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Hey there! Here’s one leadership idea and one resource I’ve found beneficial this week:

Two women having lunch and laughing

1 idea: Choosing best friends

I've moved many times in my career, so I've often had to make new friends. Since your peer group is arguably the most formative influence in your life, my wife and I have tried to make this decision intentionally over the years. We haven't always gotten it right, though.

In one season of life, we found a family that we loved spending time with, but they were just so busy. We were new; they were established. We had no friends; they had too many. At the end of the day, we wanted something more consistent than they were able to provide.

On the other hand, we've also gotten into regular relationships with people who weren't a great fit for us. They had lots of time to hang out, but we didn't connect at a deep level. We had shared experiences, but not shared values.

After lots of trial and error, I decided to take a more systematic approach to discerning where to invest my time. Maybe it's a total nerd thing to do, but now I use a three-part formula when deciding which relationships to pursue:

Friendship = C x A x V

Here are my 3 variables:

  1. Chemistry. Do I enjoy the person? Is spending time together invigorating or taxing? How fun is the friendship? (If the C score is low, I won’t look forward to seeing them.)

  2. Availability. Will they create space to spend time with me, or will I find that their lives are too full to make room for me? (If the A score is low, I’ll be sad that I never get to see them.)

  3. Values. Even though we won't agree on everything, do we share some similar values? Are they becoming the kind of person I want to be? (If the V score is low, we're going to grow apart.)

As with any multiplication, if any one of these variables is a zero, it's not going to work out.

I find that I often overrate C (I want to hang out with the cool kids) and underrate A (time spent together is where those bonds are formed).


  • Think of your three closest friends. How would they score in each category?

  • Think of the relational frustrations or disappointments you've experienced recently. Which dimension are they related to?

  • Who needs more chemistry, availability, or values alignment from you?

1 resource: Jennie Allen builds community

Why is it so hard to build friendships as an adult? People are busy, vulnerability is hard, rejection is hard…the list goes on. In this conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, Jennie Allen explores these challenges and some solutions that have come from her own story of starting over with friendships.


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