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We only have five real pals in a crisis

MOST people believe they have five or fewer friends they can count on in a crisis, despite having hundreds listed on social networking sites, new research has claimed.

Nearly two-thirds (64pc) felt they had a core group of five friends or fewer, while almost half (42pc) said they considered just one in 10 of their friends on websites such as Facebook to be true pals, a survey of 2,045 internet users found.

Six out of 10 (61pc) said fewer than a fifth of their online friends would be called on for advice or support in hard times.

Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey, commenting on the survey, said: "Every successful person needs people behind them to drive them. I don't know where I'd be without my friends, husband, trainers and parents.


"They push me to go that little bit further, inspire me and help me escape from it all when I need to. Without them I definitely wouldn't have won my medals or be competing again this year."

Psychologist Rob Yeung said: "Many of us like to think that our own success is based on how we perform, but without valuable people in our lives -- core people around us who support us -- we may not achieve as much as we aspire to."

The YouGov research was commissioned by jewellery chain Links of London, which is launching its Circle of 5 campaign to encourage people to reward their closest mates.

The survey also revealed 91pc would look to family and friends rather than famous people for their role models.