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Friendship: Spontaneous news is more fun than you think - Wikipedia

Friendship: Spontaneous news is more fun than you think – Wikipedia

The bad habit of cutting off contact with a friend completely unexpectedly and without explanation even has its own name in the digital age: Shadows. But what about the other way around, when you unexpectedly reconnect with old friends without any specific concerns? One The current study in Journal of personality and social psychology He explains that this can happen more often: so most people are more happy with an unexpected contact than the sender of the message expected.

“Humans are essentially social creatures and enjoy interacting with others,” says lead author Peggy Liu of the University of Pittsburgh. “There is a lot of research showing that maintaining social relationships is good for our mental and physical health.” But the team’s research suggests that people tend to grossly underestimate how much others value them when approached.

For the study, 5,900 people in different experiments called old friends or acquaintances with whom they had not spoken for a long time. The contact consists only of small gestures, a short message, and “How are you?” Or a little interest. The senders of the message were then asked to rate how much the contacted person appreciated the gesture.

Strangers care more about character than you think

In all experiments, it was found that the subjects tested clearly underestimated how happy the addressees were about unexpected contact. According to Liu, the more surprising the connection or the weaker the bond between two people, the more they underestimate the other person. Surprise makes a positive event appear more positive and thus ensures a particularly positive perception of the person being contacted. Usually this aspect is not considered by the sender of the message.

In addition, people often find it difficult to put themselves in the other person’s perspective. And that leads to more miscalculation: according to one of them Further study in Journal of personality and social psychology For example, strangers’ interest in highly personal information and feelings is often underestimated. This miscalculation is the reason why barriers often appear when talking to strangers and discussing only superficial topics, even though both sides actually find deeper, more meaningful conversations more satisfying and communicative.

Researchers led by Liu also found that people often do not communicate spontaneously for fear of rejection. Both sides benefit from this: According to various studies, even short social interactions such as meeting in front of a coffee machine or an SMS have many positive side effects such as increased social and emotional well-being. The results of the current study show that it is worth jumping over one’s shadow and calling old friends even for no specific reason. Leo says that she herself sometimes hesitates when it comes to contacting old acquaintances. “Then I tell myself I would be very grateful if you called me and there is no reason to suppose you wouldn’t appreciate it if you did.”