Circle of Friends

Three women posting for picture

Your best friend is MY best friend? Is that even allowed?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

A breakup, bad work presentation, or family drama. Sometimes we just need to vent with our friends! We all need people to lean on. But why do some friends seem more supportive than others?

David Lee from the University of Buffalo and his colleagues got to work.

Over four-hundred survey participants listed who they turned to in tough times. They reported how much support they receive from each person. “Very much”? Or “None at all”?  They also rated how close the members of their circle were to EACH OTHER.

Results? People felt more supported by those friends who were ALSO friends with each other. Lee says that connected groups feel like a single unit and part of our identity. It gives us a sense of belonging!

Lee believes these results could help design better intervention and support groups.

So I guess it is one for all and all for one! Now, I need to text my besties…! All on the same group thread, of course!

Lee, D. S., Stahl, J. L., & Bayer, J. B. (2020). Social resources as cognitive structures: Thinking about a dense support network increases perceived support. Social Psychology Quarterly, 0190272520939506.