Conversation between mic'd up 3-yr-old and 4-yr-old is a masterclass in friendship
What if grownups got to know each other like this?
A lot of adults find it hard to make friends past a certain age, and science even confirms that forming friendship bonds as grownups is more challenging than when we were kids.
"Sociologists have kind of identified the ingredients that need to be in place for us to make friends organically, and they are continuous unplanned interaction and shared vulnerability," University of Maryland psychologist Marisa Franco told Boston NPR station, WBUR, adding that environments with those elements are harder to come by as adults.
"Continuous unplanned interaction" and "shared vulnerability" may sound daunting, but maybe we're just making it all too complicated.
As a sweet interaction captured between preschoolers shows, making friends doesn't have to be as hard as we make it. In fact, their conversation is pretty much a masterclass in friendship-making.
While most adults probably wouldn't feel comfortable asking a brand-new friend if they want to hold hands, the rest of the interaction contains some solid elements of building a relationship with someone.
First of all, research shows that walking together, especially in nature, makes conversation easier. And doesn't have to be in the beautiful Montana scenery of this video—just being outdoors in general helps.
Secondly, listen to how the kiddos ask and respond to questions. The little girl asked if the boy took naps (a totally a legit question for grownups to ask one another, by the way). But then she shared a bit about her family, tied it to a question about him and his age, and then built on his answer by sharing a bit more about herself. That kind of give-and-take is how people start getting to know each other.
And then, of course, the sweet compliment! "I like your glasses." So simple, but everyone loves a compliment. And the way she so graciously received it and with such self-assured confidence: "Me too." Now they've established that they share some tastes in common.
Finally, the "Ah, dog poop!" which is just funny. (But also, she's watching out for them both—friends gotta have one another's backs, right?)
Naturally, people are loving it.
"My god, these littles are glorious. My faith in the future of humanity has been restored 🌱🙌🏾💫💕🎆," wrote one commenter.
"They will literally have this same conversation when they’re 90. 'You take naps anymore?' 'You know you’re older than my cousin, he’s 93…,' 'I’m 93 and a half…'😂😂😂" shared another.
"I can’t even. The next time I try to make a new friend I’ll lead with “do you wanna hold my hand?” ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️" wrote another.
Seriously, there's a lot we can learn from observing little ones who learn and connect without all the baggage we grownups often bring to the table. When it comes to friendship, perhaps we should take a page out of these preschoolers' book. They seem to have the basics pretty well figured out already.