Bengaluru: The pandemic has changed the way we work, shop, and communicate. Our relationships have also changed, especially our friendships and the way we show our gratitude towards our friends. Staying away from friends has made the need to express our feelings towards them a lot more than usual, however a survey by YouGov India & McDowell’s No1 Soda has revealed that most friends prefer to not express their true emotions.
The survey conducted across the country among men in the age group of 25-45 years aimed to understand the complex nature of Indian friendships and why there is a need to celebrate the special bond. Across the country and cultures, it was found that Yaars talk about anything and everything with each other. But when it comes to expressing how they feel for each other, they fall short. The findings that came out were equally eye opening, thus suggesting Yaars to take one day at a time and declare their love and appreciation for your Yaar!
The respondents were asked various questions around friendship and family to determine the results. Questions like- their first choice of different moments & situations in life, to how often they sat down and spent time speaking with- Family, partner & best friend and how often they actually told their friends what they mean in their lives among others.
It was found that even though men don’t call/reach out to their friends as often as they do with family members or partners, their best friend/s hold a special place in their lives.
- 60% of the people said they call/reach out to their family members and partners every day. However, when it came to best friend/s,less than one-third (28%) stated that they are able to keep in touch on a daily basis. However, over 50% of them are likely to reach out to their best friend/s first and foremost if they were left stranded in the middle of the night, indicating that the relationship is not just casual, but one that’s based on dependability.
Yaars talk about everything under the sun but when it comes to expressing through words, they fall short.
- Close to 7 in 10 (68%) say that they don’t actually tell their best friend/ how they feel about them very often. This was further validated where the respondents said, even though best friend/s are trusted to come to the rescue in difficult times, talking to them about feelings or emotions is somehow not the “norm”, and is saved for times of need/crisis
- The reasons indicate that they believe the bond to be stronger than words can express. Whilst 44% say that they don’t do it “Because it is not required, they know how I feel”; another 38% say that its “Because they mean more to me than I can express in words
- Data suggests that they are most likely to do it when things are not right – like when either of them is facing any stress in personal life (56%), or when either of them is heart broken or had their heart broken (42%)
- While voicing their feelings is generally hard, 60% men see alcohol as a medium that is likely to make it easier for them to express themselves
This experiment further encourages yaars to express their feelings towards friends who matter by telling them to not wait. In fact, if a friend were to message to tell them how he/she actually feels about them, close to 40% people think that their first reaction would be to call the friend and check if they are ok – further suggesting that in most cases, its fairly emotional/stressful circumstances that are expected to trigger actual verbalization of feelings. However, irrespective of how they think they will react, most of them agree that if they were to receive such a message, it would leave them feeling happy or loved.
The survey also brought forth statistics that confirmed that nearly 40% of the men interviewed in this survey agreed that the frequency of calling/reaching out to their best friend/s had gone down compared to a time before the pandemic. Whereas, 7 in every 10 men also indicated that the pandemic has not been able to shake their bond – while on one hand, 38% of the men agreed that talking to a friend helps them feel normal during these times, another 32% say that despite the physical restrictions, their friendship has remained strong.
In India, it is a common notion for friends to express their love with actions than words, with words coming across as ‘too formal’ and ‘formal’ expressions are a mark of being ‘not close enough’. The expression is also deep rooted in Indian pop culture as well with ‘Jhappi’ being given a higher stature then words. The survey thus concludes with close to 3 out of 4 individuals agree that in the current times, it is very important to tell their friends how they feel about them. Therefore, the need of the hour being telling your friends- “Tu Mera No1 Yaar”.
Key findings from the survey include the following:
- 60% of the people said they call/reach out to their family members and partners every day. However, when it came to best friend/s, less than one-third (28%) stated that they are able to keep in touch on a daily basis
- Over 50% of them are likely to reach out to their best friend/s first and foremost if they were left stranded in the middle of the night
- 7 in 10 (68%) say that they don’t actually tell their best friend/s how they feel about them very often
- 7 in every 10 men also indicated that the pandemic has not been able to shake their bond
- 38% of the men agreed that talking to a friend helps them feel normal during these times
- 40% of the men agreed that the frequency of calling/reaching out to their best friend/s has gone down compared to a time before COVID-19
- 32% say that despite the physical restrictions, their friendship has remained strong
- 3 out of 4 individuals agree that in the current times, it is very important to tell their friends how they feel about them.