Even though the number 4 is not part of the Fibonacci sequence, nor does it represent the best luck/fortune in certain countries (i.e. China), four is still an ideal number, at least for the number of friends in a social circle.
Recently it occurred to me that “friends of four” is everywhere!
Big Bang Theory (excluding Penny)
Sex in the City
Could it be true that a group of 4 has some kind of magical formula embedded? Let’s take a look at a quick and comprehensive comparison between groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, and more.
Group of 2: I am surrounded by lots of “friends of 2” in my life; no doubt, they are very intimate and close with one another (I am referring to friends, not couples). Of course, if the two members are opposite sex, it might be a good opportunity for them to break out of the friend zone. The problem is that once a conflict arises or if one of the friends starts dating someone else, it can result in a long-term isolation between the friends (we see this all the time). Eventually, the party dissembles and you are on your own. Did I mention that it can also get awkward between 2 very intimate guy friends?
Group of 3: Triangles are pretty stable. In a social circle, once a conflict arises between A and B, member C can immediately jump in and intermediate the problem. However, member C must always remember to be in a neutral position, which can be tough at times. Further to that, it is almost always the case that in a group of 3, 2 of the members are closer than the third guy, which will leave him or her feeling lonely and left out. Another common issue with group of 3 friends is the possible development of a love triangle. In the case of Harry Potter and his friends, it was just weird and awkward.
Group of 4: The variety of experience, personality and characteristics of a 4 people group enables the group to dwell. Most importantly, unlike the group of 3, no one will feel left out. Even if two of the members get close, the other 2 will naturally form a stronger bond as well. Big Bang Theory demonstrates this concept really well, where Leonard and Sheldon can be seen as a sub-group, and Howard and Raj can be seen as the other. This structure of 2 sub-groups within a 4 member circle is definitely doing better than Harry Potter and his crew. Fundamentally speaking, 4 is an even number which makes everything, from sports to board games to roller coaster rides a lot more enjoyable.
Group of 5: The biggest problem is taxi! Instead of fitting into 1 taxi now we are forced to take 2 taxis after a night of drinking and clubbing. Aside from that, the 5th person cannot participate in sports, board games, and will also be forced to sit with a stranger on a roller coaster ride.
Group of 6 or more: it is impossible to organize anything! With your friends all getting married, having kids, while managing their careers. It is difficult to satisfy everyone’s schedule even just for a small gathering.
This is my opinion on why groups of 4 are so common in our society. Comment below and let me know what you think.