Do Birds of A Feather Flock Together or Do Opposites Attract?

Do we like people who have similar taste and thoughts or we prefer people who can provide a different view to our thoughts and yet complement us in some way? Do we end up with similar kind of people or do people with opposite thinking gel well together? Well according to physics, opposites attract each other; but do opposite thinkers also attract each other or do birds of a feather flock together?

A few days ago, I was wondering over the subject that how do we connect with people. Sometimes people tend to have the tendency to like people who are way different than they are and sometimes people tend to like people whose thinking are more or less same as theirs.

After brainstorming over the topic and analyzing my own life, I got confused and called my great psychologist friend Mr V aka Vihan to meet me at Cannought Place. He has grown some beard this time around and with his neatly fitted blue suit, he looked more of a gentleman, unlike the hippy which he is used to. I could easily remember all the tales that he had told me last time around when he explained: how men are just pawn and it’s the women who actually control this world.

After wandering around the inner circle and drinking our favourite pineapple shake at ‘Keventers’, I asked him about his views on the topic. He just calmly reflected with a smile which said yes you are with the right person to answer your queries.

Soon he wore his psychological hat and asked a question: “Is there someone whom you had thought could be your good friend, however, later found out that you both can’t be friends for X, Y or Z reasons?”

I was startled as I had many, however, I wondered how are these two things connected. There was a friend of mine Simarjeet who used to be a very good friend in the initial phase of my college life, however, in the later years, we hardly talked.

“So why did I lose those friends,” he enquired and I understood why he asked me that question. Initially, Simarjeet attracted me as he used to show me the different side of the story and I liked him for his uncommon thought process. However, as the time elapsed, I realised that we could not be good friends for long. For our basic instincts used to differ on many topics.

“Yes, my buoy that is what I wanted to tell you that people with dissimilar thinking tend to attract each other upfront because of their novel philosophy but as our relationship grows, we tend to search in them the similarities that can unite us on certain topics. It may be the feeling attached to a similar kind of situation or our generic view of the world or our tendency to support a specific way of living life.

“There are certain traits that we strongly abide and look forward to in our relationships. Some feelings that we think that the other person needs to have to enter our territory.

“However, if they differ, we tend to win them by our own way of thinking. We constantly tell them about what is right and what is wrong. If the other person is understandable enough, the relationship grows but more often than not, the other person tries to retaliate which ultimately lays the seeds of not so healthy relationship,” Mr V adds.

The feelings which we think should be common, Mr V says, are the by-product of our past experiences – the way we have been brought up and treated in our previous relationships. He further adds that we tend to like people who are opposite to the person we hate. Our past changes the taste of our life and we start to think differently… we avoid people who are similar to the people that have left us, in some way or the other.

The dominant reason, according to him, why people tend to like friends with similar traits is ease of reaching consensus. The biggest satisfaction that they get is the feeling that there are people like them in the world.

Having said this, Mr V believes, it does not necessarily mean that two people with unlike thinking cannot be good friends or partners. “Suppose you have intellectual quality and have reached a level in life where you think that you must possess emotional stability to withstand all your challenges in life. And in your quest, if you find a person who seeks life in a whole together different way – lives a chilled out life with little desire to attain specific goals in her life.

“You may find that person a lot different initially, but if that somebody can understand you and your feelings. At the same time, that somebody wants a person with a better understanding of the world in her life, the chances are that you both can have a long-lasting relationship. Despite all the differences, you both can complement each other,” Mr V explains.

While partying our way and heading towards the metro station, Mr V gave me a last piece of advice: “It would be too boring a situation if your other half is your mirror image and thinks exactly like you. On the other hand, it would be very difficult, almost impossible, to adjust with a person who has an entirely different thought process than yours. It all depends on the time and situation of the life that we are in. Because of the people that we have met, at some stage of our life, we like people who can view the world with similar lenses as ours, while sometimes we need a person can complement us, who do things that we haven’t done and thought about yet.”


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