Want To Please Your Friends? Talk To Them About Things They Know About

15 February 2017, 1:00 pm EST By Joshua King Tech Times
Friends enjoy hearing stories which they can relate to affirms a new study. On the other hand, new and extravagant experiences can bore the listener.  ( Gareth Williams | Flickr )

People tend to share experiences on exotic vacations or appealing events with their friends, who have not taken part in the said activity themselves.

A new research reveals that these stories in fact do not excite them much as imagined by the speaker.

The research demonstrates the fact the speaker loves to flaunt bigger stories associated with their life, but the listener enjoys stories to which he or she can relate to.

Ways To Please Your Friends

Human social activities primarily revolves around communication or rather conversations. Ordinary conversations are quite logical in terms of the subject being discussed. However, in order to please your friend or rather say the listener, one must talk on topics which the speaker is already aware of.  

"Speakers think listeners will most enjoy hearing stories about experiences that the listeners have not themselves had, but our studies suggest that speakers are wrong," says Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, a psychological scientist.

The research suggests that when a person tries to narrate their own stories, they are attempting to transfer the experiences to the other person's mind. However, to properly communicate an experience is a massive task, one in which almost everyone fails.

"That's because those experiences are so complex that they are nearly impossible for an ordinary person to communicate well," added Gilbert, explaining why this phenomenon takes place.

The listener will only enjoy the story or the conversation if he too has prior knowledge and a similar experience to those that are being told to him.

Therefore, one should avoid such social interactions that are primarily devoted to delineating experiences of which the listener is totally unaware of. Why? As this would result in the listener getting being bored and confused.

Supporting Facts

Language, being the greatest human tool for social interaction, is used often without understanding the importance of communication. Language and communication are two different things. Simply knowing a language does not ensure that the person would be able to communicate well.

The researchers conducted a series of studies. One test which was conducted included a person who was shown a video. The subject was asked to narrate the events of that video to a group of people. The group included both people who had previously seen the video and others who had never seen it. It was revealed that the people who had seen the video previously enjoyed the narration while the ones who did not view it, were bored during the narration.

Further studies showed that people who shared the same experience enjoyed the narration of that experience because they could fill in the gaps left by the narrator with their own knowledge. 

The study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.

Photo:Gareth Williams | Flickr

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