Science Explains Why Your Best Friend Understands You More Than Anyone Else

Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift
@GigiHadid via Instagram

Everyone has that one best friend who's better than all the others. The Selena to your Taylor, the Snooki to your J-Woww... but what you might not know is that your friendship isn't really accidental. You might have randomly stumbled into one another during the women's march, or waiting in line for a frozen yogurt, but in truth, there's a scientific reason for why you get along so well with your best friend for life.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College revealed the scientific connection between people and their closest friends: their brains actually work the same way. 

The brainwaves between you and your bestie are most likely identical if you get along so well. In fact, the closer you are, the more similar your brain patterns are in response to stimuli. 

So that friend who finishes your sentences isn't doing that because she knows you super well, but rather because she thinks so similarly to you that she came up with the sentence herself.

The study worked like this: researchers worked with 280 grad students, monitoring their responses to a variety of stimuli, including music videos, documentaries, and more. Then the researchers analyzed each grad student's brain responses to what they'd seen and heard, and from there, they were able to map out the social relationships within those 280 grad students with surprising accuracy.

The impact of this study is bigger than simply explaining why you and your BFF are so damn close all the time, though.

The study is also one step further in our understanding why humans gravitate towards people like themselves. The question of nature vs. nurture (whether we like people because we're genetically similar, or because we're socioeconomically, racially, or sexually similar) has always been a big one, and this study is one step towards proving the genetic similarities people might share with those they're closest with.

Of course, this study doesn't guarantee that you and your BFF are always going to want to see the same movie, or listen to the same music. But it is a fascinating insight into why we love some people and just plain don't get along with others. 

So go ahead and listen to the latest musical album you're digging with your best friend. There's a pretty high chance she'll love it, too.

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