Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Feel Your Pain

If I started a post with "neurobiological investigations of empathy often support an embodied simulation account," you would probably check to make sure you were on the right blog, think I'd confused my post for a research paper of some sort and click away from the page to give me time to get right. I can literally hear you saying, "Girl, bye."

If I started a post with,

Q: Can you believe I trusted this guy?!?!
A: Girl, I feel you...let's cry it out over a bottle of wine and a bowl of popcorn while we lose ourselves in a Scandal marathon. 

you'd totally get it. You might not be like, "Look at the brain on you!" but you will relate. You know you've said those words (or some variation of them) in your life. 

So, what's the point of all this? Yesterday, I heard about a study proving we feel our friends’ pain. To get to that conclusion, the people running the study (a University of Virginia psychology professor and his colleagues) did brain scans on 22 people. When they told the 22 test subjects that they would get electroshocked or a friend would be electroshocked, the neurobiological response was the same. When it was a stranger at risk of shock, the response was markedly different (barely a care). 

The study shows that over time, we begin to see our friends as an extension of ourselves. If they are harmed, it's a depletion of our resources. Resources....ummm, sounds clinical right? I agree! It sounds super cold but it is kind of true.  

Our friends are the family we can choose. We choose people we love and get along with hoping we will form a lifelong bond and support each other through ups and downs. It doesn't always work--some people are only in our lives for a limited purpose but for the ones that do stick, it's nice to know that even if they haven't been through the same things you have, they get it. Heck, they feel it. That support is probably one of life's most precious resources. SO, here's to all my ride or die sister friends--the friends who've been with me through thick and thin (both in life and in size). You're awesome and I love you. 

Be grateful for your friends! Call/text/email them a "you're awesome" gram. They deserve it. I mean, they're feeling your pain for goodness sake! 

Happy Tuesday! 

1 comment:

robyn said...

You're awesome my friend for life!!!!!!