Want More Girls to Like You? Stop Being Awful

Well, let’s be honest that every Teenager Boy wants to impress more girls. Have more girls hang out with him.

Here’s what a landmark study of 1,970 Year 10 students in Queensland and New South Wales (average age of 15.7 years) published in Journal of Personality found

  • We hypothesized that the link between empathy and friendship would be moderated by sex: Girls will nominate empathic boys as friends, whereas boys will not tend to nominate empathic girls.
  • Multilevel models revealed that boys high in cognitive empathy attracted an average of 1.8 more girl friendship nominations than did their low empathy counterparts, whereas empathic girls did not attract a greater number of opposite-sex friends.
  • In addition, the more friendship nominations a boy received from either boys or girls, the more they felt supported by their friends; the number of friendship nominations received by girls, in contrast, had no effect on their felt support by friends.

Regardless of the quantity of friendship nominations, empathy was linked to more supportive friendships for both males and females.

So boys, show the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.


J. Ciarrochi, P.D. Parker, B. K. Sahdra, T.B. Kashdan, N. Kiuru, J. Conigrave. When empathy matters: The role of sex and empathy in close friendships. Journal of Personality, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12255