"Friendship at first sight" exists, but more than through looks, this bond is woven through shared laughter, of this magical complicity which suddenly appears an affinity in common, a coincidence … It is a "love at first sight" defined by positive interactions that will later consolidate through emotional support and, above all, trust.
We have all heard about love at first sight, translating into multiple nuances such as physical attraction, our unconscious patterns, and the ever-mysterious yet unparalleled power of our neurotransmitters. Gold, more recently, personality psychologists have wondered if something similar can be done in the area of friendship.
We think for example of all these social places that we frequent in everyday life: workplace, classrooms, blocks of buildings, gyms, parties, public transport … Is it enough to meet someone's eye to see if that person can become our friend? Can these first impressions give us a reliable and certain track of that?
"What is a friend? A single soul living two bodies."
Based on this postulate, a group of social psychologists conducted a study that was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. The results of this study could not be more interesting: it remains clear, for example, that "the love at first sight" exists. We make quick judgments about what kind of people are closer to us on a friendly level and we value certain aspects, small tracks, subtle nuances …
However, this "feeling" which is often forged from somewhat biased impressions is generally true in 70% of cases. Friendship is for psychologists and sociologists something as fascinating as love. These forces that draw us to a certain type of people and not to others, this is what also defines our social identity and our strong desire to surround ourselves with profiles close to ours.
"Friendship at first sight" happens every day
"Friendship at first sight" happens every day. We can find her, for example, in this child who is frightened by her first day in primary school, the same day that makes us nervous, and who meets the eyes of another child sitting at the back of the class, a little more confident that he, who smiles at him and invites him to come to sit next to him.
It also happens when we take a new job, and in the middle of the day, something unexpected happens that only makes us laugh and another person. The laughter turns into laughter, and then, we discover that from there can be born a beautiful friendship. First impressions are thus charged with coincidences, emotional nuances, sudden coincidences and glances that make quick readings in search of affinities.
Now, something that seems like magic to us is actually largely biological and neurochemical. The brain regions that orchestrate this type of friendly spells are the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex. The first structure is related to our emotions, and more concretely, to these urges related to our survival instinct.
So, if there is something we all know, having a good friend on our side will make life easier for us. We will feel more protected, happier and more satisfied. On another side, the anterior cingulate cortex refers to this sophisticated cerebral area that allows us to make decisions and value objects and people. Something that sometimes we do incredibly fast and that is probably this "friendship at first glance".
Behind "friendship at first glance" are some of the demands
Columbia University psychologists Jeremy C. Biesanz and Elizabeth W. Dunn, authors of the study quoted in the beginning of this article about the fundamentals that define this friendly "love at first sight", tell us something about interesting; "friendship at first sight" exists, but behind it hides a series of very sophisticated mechanisms that are important to consider.
When we connect with a person, we do it from certain expectations. For example, this child, scared by his first day of school and meeting another classmate who smiles at him, will tell himself that this child can be his ally in this unknown and somewhat threatening environment. He will tell himself that he will be someone with whom he will be able to share things, with whom he can play and that he can always have at his side.
"Friendship at first glance" is actually a way of controlling a person with whom we think there can be similarities and common interests, a person in whom it will be worth putting our emotional energy, our time, even a part of our projects.
We are demanding and unconsciously, we expect many things in return. Undoubtedly, the most beautiful friendships are rewarding exchanges where all the members must come out winners, where we invest and where we receive, where we give and where we offer.Share
To conclude, we can say that the love at first sight is real and that sometimes it only takes us a few minutes to connect with someone in an intense and wonderful way. However, after this first connection based on a series of micro-judgments, valuations often somewhat biased combined with the expectations mentioned above, it will be time that will prove us if we were right or not.
Finally, all lasting, meaningful and valuable friendship and one based on three very clear pillars: trust, reciprocity and positive emotional support.