Apparently half the people you consider friends don't feel the same way about you...
We all know who our friends are...right?
Apparently we may be wrong, if this study spotted by Mashable is anything to go by.
According to researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, only around 50% of people you consider friends feel the same way about you.
This misunderstanding can lead to people overestimating their influence among their peers.
The study authors note that social influence, in this case, is not just about getting the most likes on a Facebook photo, but more the ability to play a larger role in social life, like political movements, or convincing people to buy a particular product.
Individuals seem to assume that their relationships are all reciprocal when this is sadly not the fact at all.
This means that a lot of us think that if you see someone as a friend, you imagine they think the same of you.
This assumption turned out to be incorrect in about half of the cases in a 600-strong study.
The study asked participants to report perceptions of their relationships with other participants on a scale from 0 to 5 signifying 'I don't know this person' at 0 and 'one of my best friends' at 5.
A massive 95% of people misidentified relationships as reciprocal friendships where both parties agreed on the strength of their friendship.
Directionality was also an important factor linked to whether a friendship was reciprocal or not.
The person who misjudges another to be a friend responds quicker to social pressure, while if you don't consider someone a friend you are more resistant.
The most important sign as to whether it's a true friendship is whether you feel a sense of obligation towards that person. Would you answer their phone calls in the middle of the night, or go on an awkward double date with them to keep them company? Would they do the same for you?
Then you have yourself a true friendship.