Today’s article will discuss some facts about friendship. It isn’t always easy to talk about the subject. This is the era in which everyone has hundreds of friends on social media, and yet there’s a growing loneliness epidemic.
A genuine friend is much more than someone who “likes” the pictures you post online. Dr. Will Reader, Ph.D. in Psychology from Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom, shared a curious fact: that authentic friendships are usually built outside social media.
The expert points out that social networks can help maintain the link with people who know each other outside that environment. However, they rarely allow true friendships to be built. To this, he added that most people have at most two best friends in their adult life. Continue reading for other striking facts on this subject.
“It isn’t a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
Curious facts about the friendship between men and women
Experts talk a lot about the possibility of true friendship between men and women. This is a contemporary phenomenon because, until the second half of the 20th century, it was unusual for men and women to be friends.
There hasn’t been friendship between the two sexes, but rather a marriage, work collaboration, teaching-learning, or functional ties throughout history. What’s certain is that friendship between men and women has progressively become common. But is it really friendship?
Science says it isn’t. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire found that heterosexual men and women can’t be friends, as there’s always some kind of attraction.
Men seem to have a harder time having a female friend they aren’t attracted to. In addition, they tend to think she’s also attracted to them, even if she isn’t. In turn, women tend to believe their male friends don’t find them attractive, even if they do.
The great benefits of friendship
One fact is certain: that all the related data points to the fact that friendship enriches life in many ways. People who have friends also enjoy higher levels of dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. These are the hormones of well-being and happiness. They’re also less likely to experience cardiovascular problems.
Researchers also found that people with friends have a 70 percent lower probability of developing some type of dementia or other mental disorders. They also have a stronger immune system and are less likely to have colds and other infections.
As if this wasn’t enough, those with friends are less likely to experience stress and depression. They also recover more quickly from disease.
Psychology professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University in Utah noted that those with a strong network of social relationships are also up to 50 percent more likely to live longer.
Other curious facts about friendship
A study conducted at the University of Virginia reveals other curious facts about friendship. The scientists conducted an experiment with 22 volunteers. There was a possibility that a person would receive an electric shock during the experiment, but also that a friend or a stranger would receive it.
The monitoring of their brain activity revealed that people reacted in a similar way when they received the shock as when their friends got it. According to the researchers, “Your sense of self includes those close to you”. In other words, empathy seems to increase among friends.
Other data indicates that people become more productive at work when they have one or more friends in the workspace. However, most people prefer to sacrifice a privilege in competitive situations for it with a friend.
The study also found that people tend to value more those friends who also value them and when they value themselves as well. There’s room for jealousy in friendships as well. This is because you may consider your friends as property and resent having to share their affection to a certain degree.
Healthy Friendships: Bonds that Help You Grow