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Science explains why you fight with your best friend - and why you don't

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Friends fight about a lot of things, but there's often an underlying theme in what sets them off. Now two psychology researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University say they have come up with a simple test that reveals whether two friends will have a tempestuous relatoinship or not. It all has to do with knowing your friend's "triggers." Researchers Charity Friesen and Lara Kammrath gave students a test where they built up profiles of how their friends respond to a variety of behaviors.

In a release about their study, they explain:

This included a list of "triggers"-descriptions of behaviors that someone might find annoying. One example was the word "skepticism" which was described as when someone is overly disbelieving of information that he/she receives, when he/she questions things that are generally accepted, or when he/she is very hard to convince of something. The list also included gullibility, social timidity, social boldness, perfectionism, obliviousness and several dozen other possible triggers. For each behavior, each respondent answered a question about how much this triggers them and how much it triggers their friend.

Some people knew their friends' triggers well; others had almost no idea what set their friends off. And that made a difference to the friendship. People who had more knowledge of their friend's if-then profile of triggers had better relationships. They had less conflict with the friend and less frustration with the relationship.


via The Association for Psychological Science

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