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Friendship IRL

Alex Alexander



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The Liking Gap: What It Is, Why It’s Important, and How to Overcome It

• 35 min

Have you ever regretted a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance? To be fair, reflecting on past interactions isn’t a bad thing. Maybe you said something that was slightly offensive. Maybe you said something not knowing a person’s full circumstances and worried you may have triggered them. What you probably experienced was the Liking Gap. Research shows that people often underestimate how well they’re liked after interactions. More often than not, we are our own hardest critics. Today, we dig into the Liking Gap and discuss how to overcome it. It might not feel that important having meaningful conversations with strangers or casual acquaintances, but it sets the foundation for other relationships and impacts our feelings of belonging, which is a basic human need for survival. In this episode you’ll hear about: The “Liking Gap” – how it’s measured and why it happens, from being too self-critical to feeling uncertainWeak ties – the innate trust we sometimes feel in random strangers or acquaintances – and how this trust has deteriorated over the decadesHow sometimes, we are so focused on wanting to be liked that we miss signals from the other person and are less present – plus, ways to overcome the Liking GapThe studies that show people (introverts and extroverts!) feel happier and more connected when they have deep conversations with people they just metQuestions you can ask to start deeper conversations and techniques for more positive interactions with strangersResources & Links Check out some studies on The Liking Gap in Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and Science Magazine. Like what you hear? Visit my website, leave me a voicemail, and follow me on Instagram!  Want to take this conversation a step further? Send this episode to a friend. Tell them you found it interesting and use what we just talked about as a conversation starter the next time you and your friend hang out!

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