THE best way to be a really good friend to someone is to say ‘mmm-hmm’ frequently, sincerely and meaningfully while they are talking.
Rather than shared values, interests or beliefs, the strongest friendships are all based on one person making listening noises while the other one wangs on, research has found.
The study also confirmed that ‘mmm-hmmm’-ing effectively is the primary skill required to be a good romantic partner, employee, and parent.
Joanna Kramer of Macclesfield said: “In my friendship with Mary, she’s the one who talks. I just sit there making appreciative noises for what, three or four hours at a go?
“In fairness I was only drawn to her because she has such a total car-crash of a life and I enjoy the distraction from my own problems, so it’s not an issue.
“It’s mainly just the noises at different pitches, though I throw in the occasional head-nod, raised eyebrow and once in a while, a scandalised ‘No?!’ I’m not sure what at, but from her reaction I said the right thing.”
Friend Mary Fisher said: “Joanna’s a good friend. Such a good friend. She’s always there for me. And when I confessed to sleeping with her ex she just said ‘Mmm-hmm’ in such an understanding way.