These findings suggest a profound inability of people to perceive reciprocity.
Yes, I’ve noted that for quite some time. The quote above is from this piece on a recent survey of young friendships. In it, participants were asked to identify whom they considered to be actual friends, as opposed to less emotionally invested acquaintances. The results were quite surprising for those not prone to paying attention. Only 53 percent of these platonic expressions of affection were requited by their counterpart. Meaning 47 percent of the time, the pal you think you have has actually put you in the non-friend zone.
I doubt many would honestly debate the general drift of those findings. For those readers with a little snow on the mountaintop, think about who occupied your circle of friends at decade intervals starting from youth. It’s likely the overlap from one period to the next is not far removed from that 53 percent figure. Mutual platonic affection probably has a rate of persistence not unlike its romantic version.
Though where most lovelorn suitors can eventually gauge a girl’s disinterest with fair accuracy, those pursuing less intimate interactions plainly can not. 94 percent of the surveyed respondents believed their feelings of friendship were reciprocated (as noted above, only 53 percent actually were). This resulting in a 41 percent chasm where warm regards and self-esteem plummet to their deaths. The obvious conclusion being that people are terrible judges of the sentiments of others. And that is largely because they mistakenly believe their own affections are contagious.
This becomes a particularly egregious error when applied on a societal scale. How many times I have heard the blithely unreflective remark of: Those people aren’t a problem, I really like them. That’s gratifying to them, I’m sure. But they don’t like you. And that’s the issue more relevant to your family’s welfare. Many simply do not conceive of the diverse spheres of consciousness beyond their own cloistered universalism. They presume, despite howling evidence to the contrary, a reciprocity of affection, morality, and values between themselves and those competing tribes who most certainly don’t consider them BFFs.
Of course reciprocity is a natural solvent to most leftist race pablum. Every non-white appeal to particularist morality should compel its advocate to state whether the process also works in reverse. That is, does it also apply when the principle accrues to my benefit rather than yours? If not, then it isn’t a principle at all, but merely an attack. That is unless one operates under an interest-based morality-–which we in the west would do well to consider for a while.
Though reciprocity is a concept even an Ivy League university student can grasp intellectually. That it is so rarely demanded in explicit terms speaks mainly to cowardice, but also to the human frailty in comprehending its absence.
…a profound inability of people to perceive reciprocity.
Profound inabilities to perceive eventually get exploited, to the great misery of the myopic. Speaking of which, one of my dearest friends owes me quite a bit of money, but I haven’t heard from him in ages. I do hope he’ll call soon.