A recent study revealed that over half the friends you consider close to you may not consider you a friend at all. Take a minute and count up all your close friendship or friends you’ve recently seen. Take that number, and divide it in half. That’s how many friends you may actually have. The study made an interesting claim that one in two friendships are one-sided and the other person may not even consider you a friend at all.
The research found that people, in general, have a difficult time figuring out who their real friends are and unknowingly trust individuals who do not have their best interest in mind.
While this may not seem like a newsflash, it was concerning when you look at how often you hear on social media, “I thought we were friends, and they turned on me for no reason.”
PLoS ONE recently put their friendship theory to the test and asked 84 college students to participate in a study. As part of the research, they had to rate everyone in the room on a scale from zero (not friends) to three (friends) to five (best friends). According to the scale, they needed to score a three to qualify for friendship. Each participant also had to guess how the other people in the study would rate each individual.
“They asked each participant to score every other participant on a 0–5 scale, where 0 means ‘I do not know this person’, 3 means ‘Friend’ and 5 means ‘One of my best friends.”
Over the course of the survey, the researchers examined 1,353 cases of friendship, which means at least one person rated another person a three or more on the scale. The results were overwhelming; even if the friendship was one-sided, the other person knew they were considered a friend and still made no attempt to develop a genuine relationship.
Mental Floss noted that the results made perfect sense, stating that when someone considers you a friend, you probably know they are fond of you. They call you, share intimate details about their life, and make time for you. The study went on to state that only a small percentage of the participants reciprocated the friendship. Only 53 percent of the relationships were rated as friends by both participants which led the researchers to come to the conclusion that many friendships are one-sided.
The study also brought up the concern that may people, particularly those persons of college age or younger, have a higher instance of “faking friendships” to make others happy.
“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 research found that people, in general, have a fear of finding out that their friendships are fake, and the other person doesn’t trust or consider them a friend. It led to the conclusion that many one-sided friendships may have started out as a strong friendship and over time the other individual may have decided they didn’t didn’t want to be friends for one reason or the other.
The friendship study brought truth to the common belief that many friendships are fake, and they only interact with you self-serving reasons. The participants were asked to state why they kept the one-sided friendships, and overwhelmingly the response was they didn’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings and didn’t want an emotional confrontation.
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