A recent article by New York Magazine enlightened readers about how instead of seeking partners with similar interests, one should seek partners with similar dis-interests (translation: find a person who hates the same stuff you do).

From a logical standpoint, this actually makes sense! You can grow to love another persons interest–or at least tolerate it–but you can’t grow to love something you hate. Plus, bonding over dislikes is a strong bond! I can say that some of my best friendships are formed when I realize me and a friend strongly dislike the same person/celebrity/tvshow/etc.

Group of Friends

The study that proves this phenomenon was the work of Jennifer Bosson of University of South Florida. Bosson found that “there’s something really powerful about the discovery of shared negative attitudes.”

After coming up with the theory that even a little hatred can form a bond, she conducted a study where she had undergrads rate a professor and then had a mediator hand them a questionnaire of another student while discretely mentioning whether or not this student shared the same sentiments about the professor.

The study found that the students with negative impressions of the same professor felt as if they knew each other better.

What does this mean for friendship? Many people think that agreeing with someone on what they like can induce a friendship. (“Oh my gosh, I love shoe shopping as well!) Next time you want to impress a friend, try faking a hatred instead of an interest!

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