This study proves why your BFF is also probably your opposite
There’s more truth to the old aphorism “opposites attract” than meets the eye.
In fact, it’s probably the reason why you and your BFF are, well, BFFs.
A new study has found that extroverts are typically drawn to their emotional opposite, while shyer people tend to want a friend that encourages them to step out of their comfort zone and take risks, according to the Sunday Times.
The study, published by researchers at Keystone College in Pennsylvania, used what they call a “bonding analysis” to find out just how pals become pals, asking them to rank their BFF’s traits and their own by level of friendliness, spontaneity, neuroticism, and stress levels.
By the way, this goes against what you should be looking for in a romantic partner. Many experts, including the authors of this study, say you should find someone fairly similar to you in the love department so there’s more of a ying-yang thing happening.
According to the scientists’ research, the ideal friend is an extrovert, is agreeable, emotionally stable, conscientious, and open to change – or EASCO for short.
They tend to make friends the easiest, but often need someone more low-key and level to balance their energy.
The study divides other groups of friends (not unlike the Myers-Briggs personality test) with IDCNO (introverted, tough-minded, conscientious, neurotic and open to change) or the IDUNT (introverted, tough-minded, restless, neurotic and traditional). The former, according to the Daily Mail, worries about risks but still takes them, while the latter looks for openness in a bestie.
Dr. Steven Howell, an associate professor at Keystone, told the Sunday Times that it’s best to test the waters for a possible bestie by grabbing a few drinks. Partaking in two (or, three) glasses of wine and needing a friend’s assistance is similar to the homosapiens of yore relying on friends on hunting trips.
“When you have been drinking, when you are exchanging confidences and taking risks in your circle, you cannot fake friendship,” he told the paper. Translation? It’s all about trust.
“The guy or girl — it works worldwide for both genders — with the black eye who drags you out of the dumpster after the bar fight is the true friend.”
So go grab some vino (or a mocktail) with that interesting person you have a friend crush on. If you bond, then it was meant to be. And backed by science.
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