Study Says We’re All Terrible At Knowing Who Our Real Friends Are
The Debrief: Great. Just bloody great
I’ll be the first to admit that I spend half my life worrying about if my friends like me or not. And I know I’m not the only one (or hope anyway…), especially as now there’s a study to prove exactly is. And it turns out we’re all really bad at judging who our friends are. Fantastic.
A Tel Aviv University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology study says only half of our friends would actually consider you their own friend. Researches studied 84 students at University and asked them to rate their relationships with friends on a scale of 0-5. 0 being they didn’t have a clue who that person was, and 5 being oh hey BF forever and ever. In 94% of cases a student expected the person who they called a friend, to call them a friend back. But the results showed that only half of the friendships were reciprocal. If that’s not one massive slap to the face I don’t know what is.
Apparently this is why not everyone calls their acquaintances friends back: 'This suggests that many of the non-reciprocal friendships are aspirational: people want to be friends with higher-status individuals and behave in ways that indicate friendship (e.g., naming them as friends), but higher-status individuals have greater choice in which friendships to reciprocate and choose to only behave as a friend to a subset of the friendships offered to them.'
So we’re basically all just clinging on with dear life to people who wouldn’t even consider us friends in the first place – and those 'friends' have a selection of higher acquaintances to choose from so probably don't even know our names. Awkward. We’re only meant to have five close friends anyway according to this Oxford University study, so what does this mean. Those five friends secretly don’t like us and we’re just fooling ourselves into thinking they do? What is life.
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