Live, Life, Well: The potential impact of a simple message to a friend

The authors found the surprise element of a message makes a difference.
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The surprise of reaching out to old friends is appreciated more than we think. In this Live, Live, Well, we’re talking about the findings published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The authors found the surprise element of a message makes a difference. It could be to an old friend or a relative you love. But maybe you haven’t connected with them in months or years.

One of the authors says people greatly underestimate how much others appreciate you just reaching out. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baker of Good Dads agrees with the findings.

“I see that a lot of the depression and anxiety that people are experiencing is related to loneliness. And something we can do for someone is really just listening or expressing to them that we were thinking of them,” commented Baker.

Baker says you can reach out while sitting in a waiting room. Just send a quick text message. If you have more time, make a phone call. One Caution from the researchers; if you reach out, you might want to skip asking for a favor. That adds another element to the interaction and may not be as appreciated.

If you’d like to listen to Dr. Baker’s podcast, you can listen here.

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