Half Of Your “Friends” Don’t Consider You A Friend

Corbis

Corbis

I received a crash course in Friendship 101 when I was about six. It was time for the  Valentine’s Day celebration in Miss W’s class. Me and a classmate, Nia, had been inseparable since the first day of school, and according to my six-year-old mind, she was my best friend. No question. We exchanged cards as instructed by our second grade teacher, and I was astonished by Nia’s reaction the card I had given her, which read:

To: My best friend Nia

“You’re my friend, but you’re not my best friend. My best friend goes to my old school.”

Girl what? 

My feelings were hurtttttttt. But I learned a valuable lesson that day. Unfortunately, it seems that we could all use a refresher course when it comes to friendship.

According to a study published in the scientific journal Plose One, which surveyed 600 students from the United States, Europe, and Israel with the intention of determining how many of their friends were actually their friends, only half of the average person’s friends actually consider them a friend. So basically, if you think you have four friends, you probably only have two.

“It turns out that we’re very bad at judging who our friends are,” Dr. Erez Shmueli, one of the study’s authors said. “If you think someone is your friend, you expect him to feel the same way. But in fact, that’s not the case.”

“We found that 95 percent of participants thought that their relationships were reciprocal,” Dr. Shmueli continued. “If you think someone is your friend, you expect him to feel the same way. But in fact, that’s not the case — only 50 percent of those polled matched up in the bidirectional friendship category.”

As for how you can figure out which friendships are reciprocal and which are not, Dr. Shmueli recommends taking a look at “the difference in the number of friends of the two individuals.”

“The higher this difference is, the lower the likelihood of the friendship to be reciprocal,” he told Complex.

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