I'm Stuck With You I Guess

ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2008) — The actor Sir Peter Ustinov once famously said “Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who get there first.” Psychologists now believe there is some truth to this argument. Rather than picking our friends based on intentional choice and common values and interests, our friendships may be based on more superficial factors like proximity (think neighbors) or group assignments (your department at work). . .

As reported in a recent issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, sitting in neighboring seats as a result of randomly assigned seat numbers when meeting for the first time led to higher ratings of friendship intensity one year later. The same was true even if participants were merely in the same row.

The counterintuitive finding suggests that friendships may not be as deliberate we think. “In a nutshell,” write the authors, “people may become friends simply because they drew the right random number.” (Full Story at sd)

This actually makes sense to me. . . to a degree. I certainly have friends due to proximity, but my best friends all had something about them that made our relationship almost necessary. Their beginnings were not all of proximity. Actually some started with an argument (you know who you are . . . and you should still 'lay off Morgan').