Social activities, like going to the pub, boost male friendship

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With sports on TV, delicious food and drink on demand and serving as a watering hole for locals and friends, it’s no secret that the UK population misses the pub amid restrictions current events on coronaviruses.

After all, Britons will spend 14 months of our lives and around £90,942 – that’s 13,104 pints or 3,276 shots – inside of them, finding friends and getting the world back in order.

It is therefore not surprising that a recent study published in Adaptive human behavior and physiology found that social activities, such as going to the pub, were crucial for developing close friendships.

Specifically, group social activities promote positive relationships between men. The study found that when it comes to building lasting friendships, “men tend to prefer group social interaction.” (continued below)

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‘Extroversion’ was also found to be a key predictor of the intimacy of male friendships, as was ‘mutual support’, which is crucial for intimacy in male groups and a ‘key factor’ in maintaining them. The study went on to explain that shared history helped forge positive relationships, detailing that “the extent to which shared history was seen as an important relationship-maintaining mechanism in the best friendships had opposite effects on intimacy among men and women.

“While this relationship was positive for men, for women it was negative (the more emphasis on shared history, the lower the level of intimacy). This could, again, reflect the difference between men’s preference for group activities (for which shared history is usually an important element) and women’s preference for more intimate dyadic ones.”

“Fundamentally, the pub provides an element of belonging, community and connection. These are basic human needs which, if left unmet, can make us mentally ill,” explained Nick Hatter, a life coach experienced in social behaviors, in a previous interview with Men’s health in the UK.

“The pub is a home for some and its familiarity can provide some comfort.”

Match these viewpoints to a study 2016 who found that pubs play a key role in facilitating friendships and that those who have a local pub are happier and better connected to their community, and taking a trip to your beer garden on April 12th becomes a very smart. We will have an IPA.


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Joel C. Hicks