Friendships Are Crucial, Especially At Work
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Having an office lunch buddy or post-work happy-hour partner in crime is fun, but it's also proven to be truly important. Studies have shown these friends can actually boost your productivity at work and make you a happier employee.In Tom Rath's 2006 book Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without, the author explains this idea: "When we asked people if they would rather have a best friend at work or a 10% pay raise, having a friend clearly won." Rath heads Gallup Organization's worldwide Workplace Research and Leadership Consulting practice, and in surveys of more than 5 million workers found that not only are "people with at least three close friends 96% more likely to be extremely satisfied with their lives," but it also doubles their salary satisfaction. As USA Today explains, "people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their job. They get more done in less time. They also have fewer accidents, have more engaged customers and are more likely to innovate and share new ideas."
Shine Theory Helps Women Overcome Competition With Friendship
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It's not difficult to hate someone who seems to have it all. This tendency is especially relatable for many women, who are in the unfortunate position of having to prove themselves in too many male-dominated fields. Looking at the impressive success, career, fame, power, or accomplishment of another woman often sparks jealousy and resentment. But why? There are only so many women in powerful positions in the world, which can make it feel as if there's less room for the women still trying to get there. Journalists Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow coined the concept of shine theory as a solution to this competition.
Do Only Half Of Your Friends Like You?
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If you like the idea of being loved by your friends, now might be the time to stop reading. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE in March 2016, only 53% of the study participants' friendships were reciprocal. Does that mean that almost half of the people you call your friends don't even like you? Not entirely.The study had participants rank people on a 0-5 scale, where zero meant they didn't know the other person and five meant the person was a best friend. A score of three was the minimum number required to consider the relationship a friendship. Once a participant scored a person on this scale, they also wrote down what they thought the other person scored them. In 93% of the cases, the person predicted they'd receive the same score from someone as they scored that person. In only 53% of the cases were friendships scored 3 or above on both sides. According to the study authors, "These findings suggest a profound inability of people to perceive friendship reciprocity, perhaps because the possibility of non-reciprocal friendship challenges one's self-image." Learn more about friendships below.
Your Friends Are Probably More Popular Than You
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The friendship paradox holds true for any network in which some people can be more popular than others, whether it's a real-life group of friends or a social media channel like Facebook. It was first identified in 1991 by sociologist Scott Feld, and its explanation rests on the fact that some charismatic people will always have way more friends than the average person.
Key Facts to Know
The friendship paradox occurs because a handful of popular people are part of more social networks. 3:44
The liar's paradox can be summed up in one sentence: "Everything I say is a lie." 5:42
The paradox of the specious present asks if anything can truly be considered to exist in the present. 10:52
Hanging With Your Friends Can Help You Live Longer
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According to a 2010 study in PLOS Medicine, low social interaction is a definite risk factor for death, and can impact your longevity in startling ways. The researchers found that it can do as much harm as alcoholism or smoking, and even more harm than lack of exercise or obesity. They reached these conclusions by performing a meta-analysis of 148 studies. The data suggested that maintaining connections with your social network can improve your chances of survival by 50%, regardless of your age.
from Mental Floss
Key Facts to Know
Research indicates that people with large networks of friends live longer. 1:26
One study showed that teenagers who befriend fellow students with good grades are more likely to increase their own grades. 4:34
Friends tend to be genetically similar to each other, and the same seems to be true of lonely individuals. 7:08