Science Says That Only Half Of Your Friends Actually Consider You A Friend Back (We’re Sorry)
NOTHING IS REAL, QUESTION EVERYTHING.
You know that friend you only really hang out with when there are mutual friends around? Or the one who you never really see, but have a very dedicated social media relationship with? Or that friend from high school who you meet up with twice a year to “catch up”, but you end up talking about old times with instead?
Yeah, chances are those friends don’t really like you. Sorry! A new devastating study by scientific journal PLoS One, has found that generally only the half of the people who you consider to be your friend, actually consider you a friend back. In conclusion: all of your insecurities are true!
Oh, man. The study involved a survey of 84 university students, in which they were asked to rate everyone in their class from zero (I don’t know/like this person) to five (this person is my BFFL). You also had to guess how well individuals rated you. This sounds fine, right? We can all kind of gauge who would consider us a Friday-night-beer friend or just a small-talk-on-a-coffee-break friend.
Except it was NOT fine, because only 53 percent of the friendships identified in the survey were actually reciprocal. “These findings suggest a profound inability of people to perceive friendship reciprocity, perhaps because the possibility of non-reciprocal friendship challenges one’s self-image,” the study concluded. Oh god.
This is depressing news for a myriad of reasons, one being that the older you get the harder it is to make friends. However, there is a school of thought that says that while you have less friends post-30 the friends that you retain are of a higher quality, with a study by Brooklyn College finding that these stages (first quantity then quality) have an affect on your happiness in your fifties.
But still. NOTHING IS REAL.