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  • You know that paranoid feeling you get sometimes that everyone secretly hates you or find you annoying,

  • and the yearlong relationships you've had with colleagues, friends, family, it's just a long con of lies.

  • Well, according to science, you're not wrong.

  • A 2016 study by researchers at M.I.T analyzed friendship ties in 84 subjects ages 23 to 38.

  • They were asked to rank how close they were to each person on a scale of 0 to 5.

  • 0 was: I don't know them; three being: friend, and five being: one of my besties.

  • They found that while 94% of the subjects expected their feelings to be reciprocated, only 53% of them actually were.

  • Now you may think, "Okay, Anna, 84 research subjects, that's a small sample size. That does not mean Jack shit about me, about half of my friends."

  • No, you're wrong.

  • Kate Murphy from the New York Times reported that these results are consistent with data from several other friendship studies of the past decade, comprising more than 92,000 subjects.

  • And this put friendship reciprocity rates at 34% to 53%.

  • Half of your friends aren't your friends.

  • Why is there such a discrepancy and who we think our friends are versus who actually considers themselves one?

  • Well, one of the computational social science researchers on the initial M.I.T team, Alex Pentland, suggested that most people likely operate out of desperation to maintain a favorable self image.

  • We like them. So they must like us.

  • Even if we hate ourselves.

  • Ronald Sharp, professor of English at Vassar College, he teaches this course on literature of friendship,

  • he was telling the New York Times, Kate Murphy, that treating friends like investments or commodities, which social media often has this doing is an anathema to the whole idea of friendship.

  • If you don't understand what anathema is, I googled it as well 'cause I was like, "I don't know what this man is saying."

  • Now (it) basically means you, like, really dislike something or fun fact, it's a formal curse by a pope or council of the Church.

  • So I guess both are wrong. Treating friends like commodities may indeed be a formal curse by the pope that nobody likes.

  • I formally curse you. Never again, will you appear in my selfie or Tiktok, you clown-chasing whore.

  • Sharp says that in many of our friendships, we spend way more time interacting with each other via social media than actually hanging out in person, which is probably how this perception gap actually came about.

  • And to be fair, Sharp obviously said all this (was) pre-COVID, before digital interaction was necessary to keep our friendships alive.

  • And I know this study sounds awful.

  • Half of your friends don't even consider themselves to be your friends.

  • But if it makes you feel better, Robin Dunbar, a renowned British anthropologist did this study that revealed that while 150 is the maximum number of social relationships the average human can maintain with any degree of stability,

  • which seems pretty high and impressive, 150. I couldn't even fill out my Myspace topic.

  • Anyway, 150 is the most you can maintain, but we are only actually able to maintain five close, high-quality friendships at a time.

  • Anything more than five, he said are more than likely not high-quality friendships.

  • So the next time you're minding your own business and your anxiety disorder sends you on a spiral and says that all of your friends secretly hate you, smile. Because half of them do.

  • Half of them don't give a shit about you or consider you to be a friend, which personally, I find truly comforting because I knew it all along.

  • And the pandemic has more than shown me and probably all of us just exactly who our tribe is.

  • Back in the day, you know, you have so many acquaintance friendships or people you only saw at parties and there was this illusion that we had a lot of close connections.

  • But I think that actually prevented us from becoming more emotionally intimate with our people because our attention and our social circles were so fragmented and spread apart.

  • So thank you science for not just confirming my worst fears, but assuring me that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. Hated by half of the people I know.

  • I'm Anna Akana. Thank you to the patrons who supported today's video and thank you to daddy Squarespace for sponsoring today's episode.

You know that paranoid feeling you get sometimes that everyone secretly hates you or find you annoying,

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B1 friendship squarespace maintain social curse sharp

Only half of your friends actually like you, according to science

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/08/23
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