Of frienship and freewill

I have an offbeat interest in dwelling on aspects of everyday life in which it would be generally assumed ‘we’ have free will to determine how we’ll do things but, actually, there are unseen forces at work that inform our decisions without us knowing. Sounds sinister but it’s not.

So, for example, some time ago I posted a question ** about why it was the vast majority of people (certainly in the Northern Hemisphere) jog anti (counter) clockwise when presented with a circuit (I used the example of a park which I used to overlook at home). I think the jury’s still out on that one although some interesting idea’s did emerge.

A similar idea would be: Why is it when I leave a building not knowing which is the best way to turn in order to get to the next destination, my instinct is to turn right – I dunno !

One that I find particularly interesting is this;

If I consider the ten people to whom I’ve been closest to in my life (family excluded), they would include three mates, three girl friends (two words) and four girlfriends.

Now friendships, especially long term close friendships / relationships, might be the product of a lot of under the surface negotiation, judgements, etc. but to me, these things almost seem to just happen – unplanned and wonderful.

However, all of those 10 people have something in common I wasn’t aware of until quite recently: They are all either single children or the youngest child of at least three in their families. Also (perhaps unusually, perhaps not) none of them, at the formative time of our friendship / relationship, had experienced a parental split up.

When I realised that, it sort of blew me away. I knew that children in a family have different general characteristics dependent on where they happen to be in their family hierarchy but I wasn’t aware of how fundamentally that informed my decision making.

It’s possible that this could be coincidence but it’s also feasible that I have made a great number of life altering decisions (at least in part) with reference to a criteria I wasn’t aware existed.

My specific question (I have many on this……) is: Am I a statistical freak or do we know for sure such friendship / relationship decisions are informed by external as well as internal criteria ?

(And isn’t this thing contrary to the US Constitution…….Okay, okay, I’m joshing, I’m joshing )

And for the record, there are few thing I dislike more than misspelling my own damn thread titles ! Aggghhhh

Ummm … interesting theory, but I suspect that if you picked any ten people at random, they’d have a few traits in common.

Come to think of it, all the guys I’ve ever dated were either the only surviving child in their family or had exactly one sister, and all but one of them had at least one stepparent. Could mean something, but I doubt it … I just discovered these common factors myself, after several minutes of careful thought, and I had to consider and reject several familial traits they didn’t have in common. So there’s surely a certain amount of selective thinking involved.

Well this thread disappeared quicker than an Aussie due to buy a round.

Thanks for your comments, Fretful. Trouble for me is the 10 people I mentioned are the 10 people I’d always choose and they do share those backgrounds. Curious.

Think I need to sleazify my thread titles a litle more……….

Want me to toss in a few hooters to get the hits flowing?

Seriously, I too think it’s a shame this one went down so fast. Although it’s probably more of a debate than a question: I can’t think of any proven relationships between the peers you chose and the situation you’re in, other than the blatantly obvious: “you surround yourself with people whom you can relate to”, therefore, people who are somewhat similar.