Bright Side

A Survey Suggests Only Half of Your Friends Really Like You

The more people we get to hang out with, the more we forget about the true meaning of the word “friend.” Think about it: how many of your pals can you call your real friends? And would those people reciprocate those feelings? One study says the chances of that are slim and stand at around 50/50.

We at Bright Side tried to figure out why this happens and reminded ourselves of what makes a friendship worthwhile.

People we consider our friends might feel differently.

The study focused on 600 students that were asked to evaluate their friendships, and the results were quite depressing. In most cases, only 53% of the relationships turned out to be mutual, while the rest found themselves in one-sided friendships.

One of the researchers believes the results show that people are usually “bad at judging who their friends are.” She also added that the more friends you have, the less your chances are of being called a best friend.

We’re spreading ourselves thin with too many friends.

We can’t have meaningful relationships with all of our friends and that’s a simple fact we all must accept. As we grow older, we accumulate more acquaintances and if you have issues cutting ties with people, you might find yourself overwhelmed with social connections.

But why do we create so many friends — is it just a need we have for an emotional connection? Actually, some experts believe that by getting many semi-friends we’re protecting ourselves from getting hurt by false expectations. We don’t invest as much time and effort into, let’s say, 5 friends than we would with 2, so we won’t be as disappointed when we lose one or feel betrayed by one.

Still, we’re taking on too much by attempting to be there for so many different people. Having too many friends can have a completely opposite effect and result in feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and even an increased chance of death.

Deep connections are important for our health.

Friendships can make or break a person. True friends can be very beneficial for our mental health and actually help us overcome a personal issue, a tragedy, or even just provide us with a shoulder to cry on. We can expect such support only by creating a meaningful connection with someone and giving back as much as we’re receiving.

One study also found that friendships can lower our chances of getting a chronic illness or a stroke, which are often linked to anxiety and a sense of isolation.

Know who your real friends are.

So how do we know that our friendships are real? There are many signs that can help you distinguish who has your best interest in mind:

  • You’ve known each other for a while and have made many shared memories.
  • You don’t have to bother with small talk.
  • You’ve either met their family or know private details of their life (and you keep them to yourself).
  • You help them without expecting anything back and vice versa.
  • You can call each other out —not out of spite — but to help each other become better people.

Your true friend doesn’t have to be a person you’ve known from childhood, it can be anyone who genuinely cares about your well-being and has stuck by your side through thick and thin.

How many close friends do you have?

Preview photo credit jenniferaniston / Instagram