Do Only Half Of Your Friends Like You?


If you like the idea of being loved by your friends, now might be the time to stop reading. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE in March 2016, only 53% of the study participants’ friendships were reciprocal. Does that mean that almost half of the people you call your friends don’t even like you? Not entirely.

The study had participants rank people on a 0-5 scale, where zero meant they didn’t know the other person and five meant the person was a best friend. A score of three was the minimum number required to consider the relationship a friendship. Once a participant scored a person on this scale, they also wrote down what they thought the other person scored them. In 93% of the cases, the person predicted they’d receive the same score from someone as they scored that person. In only 53% of the cases were friendships scored 3 or above on both sides. According to the study authors, “These findings suggest a profound inability of people to perceive friendship reciprocity, perhaps because the possibility of non-reciprocal friendship challenges one’s self-image.” Learn more about friendships below.

Do Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do?

This is the friendship paradox.

Your Friends Are Probably More Popular Than You

Friends Provide Better Pain Relief Than Morphine, Oxford University Study Reveals


Social bonding has played a key role in our survival as a species. Some of the noted benefits of friendship from an evolutionary perspective include reduced vulnerability to predators, greater access to food resources, and protection from harassment. Today, though most of us no longer worry about being mauled by a predator as we go about our daily business, a healthy network of friends is still extremely valuable, acting like a safety net in life. Bolstered by the support of good friends, we can bound to great heights and celebrate the joys of life, and know that if we fall there will be someone there to offer comfort and assistance, to share our deepest fears and disappointments, and help make the dark moments much more bearable.

Friends 'better than morphine' for pain - University of Oxford reports

Recent studies have explored the science behind friendships and discovered that there are actually measurable differences between people who have strong, healthy social networks and those who don’t. In particular, people with strong friend connections were found to experience significantly better states of physical and mental health.

“People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol — a stress hormone,” says Tasha R. Howe, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Humboldt State University.

Adding to the growing research on the benefits of friendship, a recent study conducted by researchers at Oxford University established that people with more friends have higher pain tolerance. Katerina Johnson, a doctoral student in the University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, wanted to investigate the relationship between our neurobiology and the size of our social networks.

“I was particularly interested in a chemical in the brain called endorphin. Endorphins are part of our pain and pleasure circuitry — they’re our body’s natural painkillers and also give us feelings of pleasure. Previous studies have suggested that endorphins promote social bonding in both humans and other animals. One theory, known as ‘the brain opioid theory of social attachment’, is that social interactions trigger positive emotions when endorphin binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This gives us that feel-good factor that we get from seeing our friends,” said Johnson. “To test this theory, we relied on the fact that endorphin has a powerful pain-killing effect — stronger even than morphine.”

The study was designed to use pain tolerance to test the brain’s endorphin activity. The researchers theorised that people with larger social networks would, as a result, have higher pain tolerance. The findings of the study supported their theory in that it showed that indeed, strong social connections were correlated with higher pain tolerance.

“These results are also interesting because recent research suggests that the endorphin system may be disrupted in psychological disorders such as depression. This may be part of the reason why depressed people often suffer from a lack of pleasure and become socially withdrawn,” explained Johnson.

The study also noted that people with higher levels of stress hormones were more likely to have smaller groups of friends.

“The finding relating to stress may indicate that larger social networks help people to manage stress better, or it may be that stress or its causes mean people have less time for social activity, shrinking their network.

“Studies suggest that the quantity and quality of our social relationships affect our physical and mental health and may even be a factor determining how long we live. Therefore, understanding why individuals have different social networks sizes and the possible neurobiological mechanisms involved is an important research topic. As a species, we’ve evolved to thrive in a rich social environment but in this digital era, deficiencies in our social interactions may be one of the overlooked factors contributing to the declining health of our modern society,” Katerina explained.

As mentioned in the final statement it is not just the size of our social network that is important to our wellbeing, but the quality of the friendships that matters as well. With the advent of the internet modern society is changing quickly, and our interactions are increasingly occurring online. Even though the internet can be a great way to connect with likeminded people, online friends just aren’t the same as those we can actually sit with and look directly in the eye when we communicate–and a digital hug is just nowhere near as good as a real one!

Tips-how to make real friends:

Get out: Some great ways to meet people in real life include volunteering, taking a class, or joining a club or interest group (websites like meetup.com list groups with various interests that meet up in real life locations around the world).

Be yourself: A healthy relationship is built on truth and realness. People who attempt to come across as something they are not often have difficulty making real friends because people tend to sense a lack of genuineness in their approach. Trust that real friends worth having will value you for who you truly are. If you feel a bit shy or awkward try mentioning it. This can act to alleviate the tension, and a potential real friend will value your sincerity. Remember, people tend to feel more at ease with friends who are able to share their weakness as well as their strengths.

A healthy friendship is a two way street: While you can’t develop a real friendship without sharing aspects of yourself, it is important not to get so caught up in your own story that the other person doesn’t feel valued or heard. Don’t be afraid to show interest in the other person, pay attention, listen carefully, and ask questions about their life, opinions, and feelings about things. Both parties should feel enriched by the social interaction. If one person feels drained afterwards, it can be an indication that the dynamic is not balanced.

Try to focus on the positive: If you are someone who tends to focus on the negative, this could be affecting the quantity and quality of your friendships, as well as your worldview. Learning to lessen your focus on the negative will not only make you more appealing to others, it will likely make your whole life experience more uplifting.

Don’t rush: Though there are times when we meet someone and feel an instant connection that feels like it reaches beyond this life, these special friendships are not the norm. Usually a deep friendship takes time to cultivate; it certainly can’t be forced. Try not to catapult yourself into a person’s life. People are often inclined to withdraw when someone comes across as too forward, desperate or needy.

Alone time: In the same way that it is important to give others space, it is also important to take time to love and nourish ourselves. When we take responsibility for our own wellbeing we don’t need to rely on others to uplift us. Having a healthy internal foundation means that we approach a friendship from a space of desire rather than neediness.

Extraversion Lies To You: How Only 1% Of The Population Has A Normal View Of The World


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The friendship paradox says your friends probably have more friends than you. But introverts often see through the ruse.

Introverts have enjoyed a renaissance over the last several years. Countless news headlines have extolled the benefits of retaining a bit of reclusiveness in your everyday life, including the ability to listen actively and possessing the kind of slow-motion critical thinking skills that extraverts seem perfectly happy to gloss over in excitement.

A new study suggests introverts also have a clearer idea of how social the rest of the world is: As little as one percent of people see through the paradox, the report claims. Researchers Daniel C. Feiler and Adam M. Kleinbaum of Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College took the well-known friendship paradox, which states that, statistically speaking, your friends probably have more friends than you do, and extended it to real-world social dynamics. Their findings, published in Psychological Science, have broad applications for understanding how people’s attitudes are shaped by their perception of the norm.

According to the study, which brought together 284 MBA students to fill out questionnaires about their personalities and social lives, the friendship paradox lives on most clearly among groups of extraverts. This should make some sense, the researchers claim. Outgoing people make more friends, and importantly, friends with other extraverts, than introverts do. From the point of view of an extravert, the world is one big group of social butterflies. To introverts, the butterflies are still there; they just aren’t swarming.

“If you’re more extraverted, you might really have a skewed view of how extraverted other people are in general,” Feiler said in a statement. “If you’re very introverted you might actually have a pretty accurate idea.”

The problem is, the friendship paradox tends to plague people in consistent degrees. Introverts and extraverts alike believe their friends have more friends than they do, without considering the relative perceptions of the other group. “There’s a fundamental assumption in psychology that inferences about social norms are based on the people we interact with,” Feiler said. “And if that’s the case, then we need to consider that our social network is a biased sample.”

If we don’t, we risk falling victim to many of the modern-day perils that come with excessive socialization. Heavy Facebook use, for example, has been identified as a cause of unhappiness and lower quality of life. People that use Facebook more often don’t just use the site as an outlet for sadness; the site actually promotes new feelings. We see other people’s photos from last weekend or a past summer vacation, and we get reminded of how we stayed in and did nothing. At the same time, we fail to consider all the highlights of our own lives and all the lows of others’.

According to the new results, if we adopt a more realistic mental picture of the world, in which people are having about the same amount of low-level fun at all times that we are — binging on Netflix, scrolling through Twitter — our own lives won’t seem so insignificant. “There’s a tendency to wonder, ‘am I normal?’” Feiler said. “And our research suggests that you’re probably more normal than you think.”

Source: Feiler D, Kleinbaum A. Popularity, Similarity, and the Network Extraversion Bias.Psychological Science. 2015.

23 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Dalai Lama.


One of the many reasons I am so fond of Dalai Lama and many of the Buddhist teachingsis because of the softness of their words and the fact that through the simple words used in their messages, they empower the whole world. Messages of happiness, love, belongingness, spirituality and wholeness not once relating to one`s religious beliefs, race or background.

Today I would like to share with you 23 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Dalai Lama, this amazing man who does nothing but spread love and kindness all over the world, so that we could all show love to one another and feel safe no matter who we are and where we are from.

Enjoy!

1. The world doesn’t belong to leaders. The world belongs to the whole humanity.

“World belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader or that king or prince or religious leader. World belongs to humanity. “

“I always believe the rule by king or official leader is outdated. Now we must catch up with the modern world.”

2. Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

“I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

“I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.” 

3. The essence of any religion is good heart.

“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion…. This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.” 

“Love and Compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this, we do not need to believe in any religion.”

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”

“The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion.”

4. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.”

“We need to learn how to want what we have NOT to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness”

5. Your Home is where you feel at home.

Home is where you feel at home and are treated well.”

6. In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity for growth. 

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way. “

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”

7. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

“Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.”

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

8. It’s okay if you get angry from time to time.

“As a human being, anger is a part of our mind. Irritation also part of our mind. But you can do – anger come, go. Never keep in your sort of – your inner world, then create a lot of suspicion, a lot of distrust, a lot of negative things, more worry.”

“Generally speaking, if a human being never shows anger, then I think something’s wrong. He’s not right in the brain.”

“I am sometimes sad when I hear the personal stories of Tibetan refugees who have been tortured or beaten. Some irritation, some anger comes. But it never lasts long. I always try to think at a deeper level, to find ways to console.”

9. You must not lose faith in humanity.

“Out of 6 billion humans, the troublemakers are just a handful.”

“Some mischievous people always there. Last several thousand years, always there. In future, also.”

10. Love everyone, be attached to no one.

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”

11. It’s not just your brain who needs to be developed, your warmheartedness needs as well.

“I have always had this view about the modern education system: we pay attention to brain development, but the development of warmheartedness we take for granted.”

“If you have only education and knowledge and a lack of the other side, then you may not be a happy person, but a person of mental unrest, of frustration. Not only that, but if you combine these two, your whole life will be a constructive and happy life. And certainly you can make immense benefit for society and the betterment of humanity. That is one of my fundamental beliefs: that a good heart, a warm heart, a compassionate heart, is still teachable.”

“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”

12. A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence.

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.”

12. Underneath it all we are all good, but not everyone lives life from that place.

“Of course, when I say that human nature is gentleness, it is not 100 percent so. Every human being has that nature, but there are many people acting against their nature, being false.”

13. The best way to resolve any problem is to sit down and talk.

“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”

“The best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk.”

14. Ignorance is anything but bliss.

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”

“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.”

“We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings have been mentally unstable because they have been slaves of delusion, they lack the eye of wisdom to see the path leading to nirvana and enlightenment, and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.”

15. You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things.

“You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

16. We are all different yet we are all the same.

“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.”

“Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are, and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let’s take care of others wholeheartedly, of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion.”

“We discover that all human beings are just like us, so we are able to relate to them more easily. That generates a spirit of friendship in which there is less need to hide what we feel or what we are doing.”

17. You can create a dynamic impression not just by using words, but also by knowing when to be silent. 

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”

18. Knowledge never decreases by being shared.

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

19. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true meaning of life.

“We are but visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”

“The ultimate source of happiness is not money and power, but warm-heartedness”

20. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

“Pain is inevitable,suffering is optional… we have bigger houses,but smaller families. More conveniences,but less time. We have knowledge,but less judgements; more experts,but more problems ; more medicines but less health.”

21. Urge people to investigate things, don’t command them to believe.

“Open-minded people tend to be interested in Buddhism because Buddha urged people to investigate things – he didn’t just command them to believe.”

“I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable to you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is of no use, then you can discard it.”

22. Your task is not to be better than anyone else. Your task is to be better than you used to be.

“The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”

23. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster…

“It seems that scientific research reaches deeper and deeper. But it also seems that more and more people, at least scientists, are beginning to realize that the spiritual factor is important. I say ‘spiritual’ without meaning any particular religion or faith, just simple warmhearted compassion, human affection, and gentleness. It is as if such warmhearted people are a bit more humble, a little bit more content. I consider spiritual values primary, and religion secondary. As I see it, the various religions strengthen these basic human qualities. As a practitioner of Buddhism, my practice of compassion and my practice of Buddhism are actually one and the same. But the practice of compassion does not require religious devotion or religious faith; it can be independent from the practice of religion. Therefore, the ultimate source of happiness for human society very much depends on the human spirit, on spiritual values. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster….”

23 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Dalai Lama

There are so many other beautiful, simple yet powerful lessons to learn from Dalai Lama but because I don’t want to make longer than it actually is, I’ll stop here. Hope you enjoyed reading this because I surely did enjoy writing it.

What is your favorite quote from Dalai Lama? What is one lesson you have learned from this beautiful and incredible Soul? You can share your comment in the comment section below :)

EID MUBARAK.


DEAR ALL MY BLOG READERS, BLOG SUBSCRIBERS, FOLLOWERS, FANS AND FRIENDS..

WISHING YOU  ALL.. ” EID MUBARAK.”

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Happy reading as usual.

Dr Chandan.

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How to Get a New Circle of Friends.


As you have probably learned already, it’s not enough to be optimistic and successful, you also need to be in a success-inspiring environment. The most important element of that environment is the people in your life, and especially friends.

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If you’re surrounded with negative, or non-ambitious people, you’ll always have to work twice as hard to keep your success and optimism level.

In this article, I want to share with you the strategy that you can use to create the fun and inspiring circle of friends that you want.

What To Expect From Making New Friends

As you start making new friends, you benefit in three realms: intellectual, emotional, and physical.

In the intellectual realm, great friends give you access to advice, connections, critical thinking, quality feedback, and challenging you to reach explore your potential to make more money and be more successful.

In the emotional realm, great friends give you more motivation; they believe in you and your dreams; they tolerate and understand you; they remind you to be light-hearted and have fun; they cheer you up during life’s darkest moments, and celebrate your highest successes with you.

In the physical realm, with great friends, you go on trips, travels, and adventures together, you enjoy your weekly dose of fun and relaxation, you get to play and be silly like as if you’re a kid again, and discover loads of new places, experiences, and maybe even new hobbies.

With interesting and fun friends, not only can you be yourself, but you also get the support to be your best self!

How Do You Build A Circle Of Friends: A Two-Part Formula

After years of learning and experimenting with various strategies for making friends and building my social life from scratch, I have come up with a simple, yet powerful formula that works. This can work for you if you want to meet new people, and enjoy the benefits of having an empowering circle of friends.

1. Explore The New

As I always say, “If you’re not making new friends, you’re making less.” As people move, get in new relationships, change careers, or habits, you start to have less and less people to meet. This is why you absolutely need to be making new friends.

To make it easy to meet new people, you can meet them through an interest group, or a club. To make it easier, join a club that is about something you love. To make it even easier, join the organizing team of that club or interest group, which will make it very easy for you to talk and get to know people.

2. Strengthen The Old

In the second part of the formula, you keep up with the people you meet, and introduce them to old friends that you still want to keep in your social circle. If you want to have an entirely new social circle, then introduce these new friends to each other, arrange plans, where you bring them together.

If people stick together because of you, they’ll always be somewhat grateful to you for that introduction. Don’t worry about them being friends and leaving you behind, only the losers do that, and as we said, you’re after great people here.

This is critical because if you bring people together, they’ll start making plans and bringing new people, as well. If you only know people separately, you’ll always have to do all the work of calling, and making plans.

If you adopt this two-part strategy, you’ll soon have more friends than you expected, and start being more selective when choosing friends.

How To Start Making Friends Today

If you’re eager to start building a great social life, filled with the friends you want, then I recommend that you start by doing two things:

First, go to your calendar and put a weekly marker on Tuesday or Wednesday evening. That marker will remind you to take an hour to email, text, or call anyone you want to meet in the coming days or weeks, or anyone new you met recently and want to see again.

Why does this work? Because you don’t have to think about it, you just do it once a week, and never worry about people forgetting about you, just because you forgot to stay in touch.

Second, go look for a club, an interest group, an expat community, or an organization that seems interesting and fun. Subscribe to one or two of those and attend their next events. If you see that the people there are the kind with whom you can enjoy time and learn new things, then you found a winner.

If you find a great expanding community that holds regular social events, then stick with it. That’s where you’ll be meeting new and interesting friends.

Don’t Fail At Making Friends…

When you’re staying in touch and arranging plans with good friends on a weekly basis, and including new ones, you’re really in a position where you literally can’t fail at friendship. You’re also preventing yourself from ever feeling lonely or misunderstood.

Source: Purpose Fairy