Science Says People Like You More Than You Know

It reminds me of the thought that at every moment, someone is thinking about you.

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Roungroat/Rawpixel
Source: Roungroat/Rawpixel

What goes through your mind when you’re meeting new people? Maybe you’re centered and at peace with yourself, secure that you have value to bring to the conversation. Just kidding. That’s not true for most of us. More likely, you’re lasering into an almost imperceptible social guffaw you committed, convinced that your conversation partner would rather be undergoing surgery of the Achilles tendon from a shoddy doctor than talking to you. 

This type of self-critical thinking explains what’s called the “liking gap.” The liking gap describes how we systematically underestimate how much other people like us. In a study by Dr. Erica J. Boothby, at Cornell University, and her colleagues, the researchers asked people how much they liked one another after they interacted, across a variety of contexts: in the lab, in a college dorm, at a professional development workshop. It turns out that across all of these contexts…

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