Hello Liftsharers, and welcome to another Twosday – the day we champion the benefits of sharing, and reveal new ways you can make someone else’s life that little bit brighter.
As always, you can share your tips and advice with us, or just namedrop someone who made your life amazing on Twitter using the tag #littlemoments. Because it’s not always big sweeping gestures that make our day, but the little selfless acts that often go unnoticed.
This week we’d like to share with you a new piece of research into cake – that’s right, cake. Have you ever stared lovingly at a huge, inviting slice of chocolate fudge cake with hungry, pleading eyes, before feeling really guilty and deciding against it? Or perhaps you ate a piece and felt remorseful afterwards as you mourn all those gym sessions you just negated.
It sucks, doesn’t it?
Thankfully, a new study has offered a workaround for those crippling feelings of guilt that come with sugary delights – a cake hack if you will, and the solution is to have a friend share the cake with you.
The study was published in The Journal of Consumer Research and its main author is Fangyuan Chen, a doctoral student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
“In our research we found that if eating a [goody] is someone else’s idea, we feel less guilty and psychologically more vital, compared to when it is our own idea,” says Chen. “The reason is the perceived responsibility for the negative consequences associated is lower.”
The idea is that if your friend offers to share the cake slice with you – even if it was your idea in the first place, you will feel less guilty about it because someone else took the initiative and suggested it. You might say it’s the same as not wanting to be the first person to tear into a buffet table, or reaching for the first slice of pizza. We see someone else doing it and feel better about ourselves.
“Discussing it with a buddy — and having that buddy say ‘yes,’ reduces the extent to which you feel solely responsible for the decision,” says Jaideep Sengupta, China Estates professor of Business and Chair of Marketing at the same university, “and the minute that happens, the benefits kick in – reduced guilt and therefore increased vitality.”
So the next time you really want a slice of cake, a doughnut or anything we might typically feel bad about, just get a mate to share it with you to soften the blow.