Breaking News! How to Make Friends that Get You
Ever feel like you don’t fit in? In today’s age of instant “friends,” superficial connections are everywhere. But how do we make and cultivate friends on a deeper level? Scientists have discovered “exciting” news on the covert social dynamics that are at play in friendship making and what it takes to find your people.
“This is great news,” explained a participant in the study. “Aside from graduating high school 20 years ago and rooting for the same football team, I can’t stand the guys I hang out with.”
Study after study shows we naturally gravitate toward people who think like us and share similar backgrounds. What’s even more fascinating is the study revealed that our friends are so similar they could practically be fourth cousins.
“So that’s the advice I typically give people who want to make new friends,” explained a scientist. “Conduct a DNA swab test and when you get the results, reach out to your fourth cousins. Also, it’s okay to date fourth cousins, just saying.”
Here’s where it gets a little more complicated. While individuals might prefer to be more alike on personality traits such as agreeableness and sense of humor, this didn’t always ring true on traits in the neuroticism category, such as hostility and depression.
“This is most likely because depressing people can be…well…depressing. And the truth is, someone who’s depressed doesn’t want to hang out with another depressed person. That’s even more depressing. So we found that within groups of friends there’s generally only one Debbie Downer or Danny Dramaking.”
When choosing friend to hang out with, recent studies showed those who struggle with or dwell on their decisions, or replay conversation they felt slighted, tend to report higher feelings of negativity, and might be labeled as high-maintenance. The takeaway is to not overthink or over-analyze situations. Just go out and have a nice time.
“For me every relationship is a math problem,” said the lead researcher. “There are plus and minuses with any outing. Just assign numbers to it and at the end of the evening if you are left with a plus score, hang out with these people again. If you are left with a minus score, change your phone number, move away, or fake your death. The key is to not complicate this with your feelings.”
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