Black lipstick: Here’s how to pull it off
Black lipstick: Here’s how to pull it off

Jennifer McShane

‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid
‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid

Amanda Cassidy

What to try this weekend: Gluten-free vegan churros with a caramel dipping sauce
What to try this weekend: Gluten-free vegan churros with a caramel dipping sauce

Meg Walker

How to increase your confidence and why it’s crucial
How to increase your confidence and why it’s crucial

Niamh Ennis

The scariest thing about Halloween? Competitive parenting
The scariest thing about Halloween? Competitive parenting

Sophie White

Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs
Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs

Megan Burns

Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge
Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge

Holly O'Neill

Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween
Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween

Lauren Heskin

This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends


by Jennifer McShane
10th May 2016

Women walking together on city street

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends

We all know it’s the quality of our friendships that matter as opposed to the quantity of them, but if you can boast a list of hundreds of mates, this latest news may deflate you. In what may be among the saddest pieces of social-psychology research published in quite some time, a study?in the journal PLoS One recently made the case that over half the people we consider our friends don’t feel the same way.

Scientists?at Tel Aviv University teamed up with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to get 84 undergraduate students in Israel to rate their classmates on a scale from zero to five. A zero rating meant “I don’t know this person,” a three meant “friend” and a five meant “one of my best friends.”

The researchers also asked students to predict how they thought their peers would rate them. Although 95% of participants thought their friendship ratings would be reciprocated, only about half actually were. Forty-seven percent of the friendship ratings were one-sided, with one student ranking the other as a friend but not being ranked as a friend in return. ?This basically means were terrible at judging how our friends really feel about us.?

That said, researchers found a few factors that could help predict if two people would select each other as friends: if they had overlapping social circles, for instance, or if they shared the same approximate number of friends. Someone with few friends, for instance, was more likely to have a one-sided connection with someone who already had a lot of friends, and when it came down to it, only 53% of?1,353 cases resulted in reciprocal friendships – a decidedly small amount.

While it’s worth noting that the study (small in itself) participants were undergraduates – their friendships could change and evolve greatly over time – the researchers did say that the reason we tend to misjudge our perceived friendships is down to ego or a “blind spot”, as in, we all love to think that we are the best BFF ever to walk the earth because it makes us feel good.

What the study does tell us is nothing we don’t know already – friendships are precious. So, instead of focusing on growing your social circle (though it’s always a positive thing to forge new friendships), it’s perhaps worth devoting your energies to ensuring the friends you truly value in your life know how much they mean to you.

Via The Cut

Also Read

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

Half Of Your Friends Aren’t Real Friends
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington