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Fabriq’s Circle Limits & Dunbar’s Number

When it comes to the number of stable relationships that you can maintain with others, there’s a limit as well as a biological imperative. They call it “Dunbar’s number.” This is where the “ah-ha!” science of Fabriq’s circle limits comes into play. 

To put it simply, social scientist Robin Dunbar studied humans (as well as our biological cousins) to figure out that we are truly only capable of maintaining around 150 stable relationships at any given time. We also really need a tight-knit personal-support network to stay happy, healthy, and alive longer. 

Here’s the breakdown of how Dunbar’s number works:

  • 150 is the average number of relationships we can maintain
  • 50 of those people are who you’d seek to connect with the most
  • 15 of them are those who you consider your closest allies and confidants
  • 5 people make up your core “family,” be they chosen or biological 

At Fabriq, we realize that these aren’t hard and fast rules, while we have chosen to maintain Dunbar’s Number overall, there’s some natural flexibility built-in to accommodate larger familes and friend groups. 

Here’s how we break this number down:

Inner Circle

Around 5 people with whom you share an intimate connection and lifelong closeness.

Middle Circle

Around 10 people who you trust, are totally real with, and share life experiences with.

Outer Circle

Around 35 of your favorite people that share your interests and you’d like to stay in touch with.

Extended Circle

Around 100 people who make up your greater personal community whom you’d like to keep on your radar.

You’re Prioritizing – Not Ranking!

We get it! You’re busy and the thought of organizing the people in your life into circles of closeness might seem strange or daunting, but it’s actually quite rewarding.

“It took some thought and I kind of felt guilty about some choices, but it made me really think about the relationships that matter most.”
(Emily, Fabriq User) 

Still wondering what circle they should go in? It’s cool. Here’s a handy deep dive on the science of the circle system Fabriq uses to help you prioritize your people. 

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