Shoulders to Lean or Cry On: New study looks into the advantages of having a confidant

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A recent study by indicates that having someone to vent to boosts resilience, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

Opening up to someone requires trust, but it’s well worth the risk.

Confidants can have an immense impact on our psychological health we well as happiness.

Social support is powerful - it can diminish the negative impact of stress and trauma and helps us recover more quickly.

The benefits of having a confidant are incontestable. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became close friends during the Revolutionary War, but their very contrasting political views eventually ended their friendship. They finally buried the hatchet and exchanged numerous warm letters, with Adams once telling his friend that “intimate correspondence with you…is one of the most agreeable events in my life.” Adams and Jefferson even died within hours of each other. Having someone to confide in not only provides social support during stressful times, research from reveals that confidants can significantly enhance well-being.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared people who have a confidant to people who don’t. The Confidant group outscored the Non-Confidant group on a number of traits and skills, including the following:

(Note: Scores range from a scale from 0 to 100)

> Score for Confidant group: 71
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 40

> Score for Confidant group: 68
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 42

> Score for Confidant group: 78
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 66

> Score for Confidant group: 75
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 53

> Score for Confidant group: 83
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 53

> Score for Confidant group: 81
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 59

> Score for Confidant group: 79
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 47

> Score for Confidant group: 77
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 48

> Score for Confidant group: 76
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 41

> Score for Confidant group: 34
> Score for Non-Confidant group: 67

“Social support is powerful - it can diminish the negative impact of stress and trauma and helps us recover more quickly,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “This is because having someone to talk to not only lifts some of the emotional burden off our shoulders, it also makes us feel less alone. Moreover, confidants create a safe space for us to be vulnerable, which builds trust. The feeling of connection with someone releases oxytocin, the bonding/love hormone, which contributes to regulation of levels of dopamine, the happy/well-being hormone. The problem is that many people are reluctant to reveal personal things about themselves and show vulnerability. They fear mockery, rejection, or being taken advantage of, and so they suffer in silence. This is why a number of psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder go untreated - because therapy requires self-disclosure, vulnerability and the courage to look inside."

“The restrictions and lockdowns during the pandemic resulted in physical isolation and had a major impact on mental health. Those with a strong support network were affected as well, but the gap between them and those who did not have close friendships before the pandemic widened even more. The good news is that there is a way to circumvent the challenges of finding a new friend in the midst of a pandemic, and enjoy the benefits of having a confidant. Joining an online support group or talking to a life coach or therapist can do wonders for your emotional and psychological health.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out the Emotional Intelligence Test at

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D
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