ITHACA, NY—Citing the deep sense of connection and camaraderie that is forged in such situations, a report published Wednesday by researchers at Cornell University found that the closest bonds between humans develop when a group of individuals tear into a friend who was apparently too busy to come out and join them that night. “Based on our findings, the strongest friendships are formed when people—whether they have gathered at one of their residences or out at a restaurant or bar—all agree that an absent acquaintance is always pulling this bullshit, and then begin to really dig into every last thing they dislike about them,” lead researcher James Thurmond told reporters, adding that the more they rip on the no-show’s infuriating habits, unbearable work stories, and unwillingness to ever “do anything remotely fun,” the more the bond between them deepens and grows. “For most, these interactions—such as shaking one’s head in disbelief at their friend’s terrible taste in music or film or how they actually skipped a mutual friend’s bachelor or bachelorette party—produce an intense level of rapport and profound interpersonal understanding. It’s as close as two human beings can possibly get.” The researchers noted that of the relationships they studied, the most intimate and enduring friendships emerged when all individuals agreed the night was more fun without the absent acquaintance anyway.
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