Curiosities about friendship according to science

Curiosities about friendship according to science

Friendship offers great psychological but also physical benefits, which can also be beneficial in the workplace. There is a reason why it is said that whoever finds a friend finds a treasure.

Curiosities about friendship according to science

Last update: July 20, 2022

In an age where everyone seems to have many more friends than ever, but at the same time there is an epidemic of loneliness, it's not easy to talk about friendship curiosities. Does the accumulation of contacts that so many people present on social networks count as friends?

The truth is, a genuine friend is so much more than someone who likes, even if that also counts sometimes. One of the curiosities about friendship is a fact provided by Dr. Will Reader, PhD in psychology at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom. The researcher said that true friendships almost always arise outside of social networks.

The expert points out that the internet can help maintain the bond with people known outside that sphere, but rarely allow the construction of true friendships.

To this is added another curious fact about friendship: most people have at most two best friends in their adult life. Let's take a look at other surprising facts on this topic.

A friend is the most precious thing you can have, and the best thing you can be.

-Douglas Pagels-

Some curiosities about friendship between men and women

There is a lot of talk about the possibility of a true friendship between men and women. Indeed, this is a very current phenomenon, because even in the first half of the XNUMXth century it was very unusual for a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman to be friends.

Throughout history, more often than not there has been no friendship between the two sexes, but rather marriage, working partnership, teaching-learning or functional bonds, in any case. The truth is that friendship between men and women has gradually become common; however, is it really a friendship?

Science says no. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire found one of the curiosities about friendship: a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman cannot be friends without some attraction.

This changes depending on the sex. Men seem to find it harder to have a female friend they are not attracted to. They also tend to think that she is attracted to him, even if this is not true. Women, on the other hand, tend to believe that their friends don't find them attractive, even if they do.

The great benefits of friendship

One fact is certain: all data indicate that friendship enriches life in many ways. People who have friends also have higher levels of dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins, the hormones of well-being and happiness. They are also less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease.

It was also found that "friends" are 70% less likely to develop dementia or other mental disorders. They also have stronger immune systems and are therefore less likely to suffer from colds and other infections.

Other than that, those who have friends are less likely to suffer from stress and depression. They also recover more quickly from any health condition.

Psychology professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University in Utah pointed out that those with a strong network of social relationships are also up to 50% likely to live longer.

Other curiosities about friendship

A study carried out at the University of Virginia reveals other curiosities about friendship. Scientists conducted an experiment with 22 volunteers. During the experiment, the person could receive an electric shock, but there was also the possibility that a friend or stranger would receive it.

By monitoring brain activity it was found that we react similarly when we suffer firsthand and when a friend does. According to the researchers, "our sense of self includes people close to us". In other words, empathy seems to increase between friends.

Other data indicates that we become more productive when we have one or more friends in the workplace. However, in situations of competition for a privilege with a friend, most people prefer to sacrifice the latter.

It was also found that people tend to value friends more than they value them, even though they value themselves. And yes, there is room for jealousy in friendship. To some extent, we may regard our friends as property and may resent having to share it "with a rival".

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