Science Finally Explains Why That 1 Friend Keeps Bringing Annoying People Around
Have you ever shown up to a one-on-one hangout with a friend, only to discover that she’s infuriatingly brought someone else along?
Or are you that girl who’s always saying “the more the merrier!” and inadvertently pissing her besties off in the process by bringing semi-randos around?
It turns out neither one is wrong or rude — you might just have different styles of socialization.
As the Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Bernstein explains, most people fall into one of two friend styles: focusing or diffusing.
If you’re a focuser, you:
• prefer to hang out one-on-one.
• aren’t afraid of deep connections.
• are cool with emotional intimacy.
And if you’re a diffuser, you:
• tend to go out with a group.
• love being surrounded by family and friends.
• are more likely to be found joking, ball-busting, and telling stories.
• and, bummer alert, you’re actually deflecting intimacy.
Of course, there are plenty of grey areas between these two types, as Bernstein points out. And like so many other aspects of your personality, whether you’re a focuser or a diffuser could relate back to how your parents treated you. Focusers might have had parents who weren’t consistently affectionate. Meanwhile, diffusers often grew up with hardass parents who didn’t tolerate neediness.
But these two types of people can definitely still make it work — they just need to understand each other. Here’s how Bernstein explains it:
Focusers typically feel rejected by a friend who rarely wants to see them alone. Diffusers often think a focuser friend is rude or antisocial for not wanting to make their outings a group event.
So next time you meet up with a friend and one of you rolls up with an unexpected guest and the other feels bummed, don’t get mad at each other — you just have different social styles.
And hey, in this diffuser’s opinion, a little party never hurt anyone.