Knowledge of Friend's Annoyances Leads to Better Friendships
People who have more knowledge of what their friends might find annoying have better relationships with those friends, Canadian researchers said.
Study co-authors Charity A. Friesen, a graduate student, and Lara K. Kammrath, both of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, recruited university students to get a friend to participate in the study with them.
Each participant individually filled out an online survey that included a list of "triggers" of behaviors that someone might find annoying such as gullibility, social timidity, social boldness, perfectionism, obliviousness and several dozen other possible triggers.
For each behavior, respondents answered a question about how much this triggers them and how much it triggers their friend. Some knew their friends' triggers well while others had almost no idea what set their friends off -- and that made a difference in the friendship, the researchers said.
The study, published in Psychological Science, found people who had more knowledge of their friend's profile of triggers had better relationships, less conflict and less frustration.
"But, if I'm close to someone, I can really start to learn the if-then profiles, and that's what's going to pay off in my relationship," Friesen said.